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The digitalization and data analytics revolution is challenging the business world. As we mentioned in our last article, Excel has long been (and perhaps will continue to be) the fundamental tool for data manipulation and analysis. However, there are some tasks and challenges where it makes sense to choose a different tool. It is with these ideas in mind that we have presented KNIME as a potential solution for the “post-Excel era”.

In order to provide a comprehensive view, we aim to address two additional issues pertaining to KNIME:

KNIME Community Hub:a platform where the entire KNIME user community can contribute to our solution with nodes, workflows or ideas

KNIME server: if we want to extend KNIME in our company (different environments, precise rights management, etc.), we need a KNIME server

KNIME Community Hub – The power of community

KNIME Community Hub is a community platform where users can store and share their KNIME workflows and components. They can exchange ideas, share information, best practices on data analysis, data processing or anything they have done in KNIME.

It is possible to keep your own developments private, but being an open platform, users often make their developments public if they feel that they can be useful to others.

It is also common for a user to get stuck with a personal project and ask for help in the Forum. Thanks to the growing number of users each year, you can get an answer within a few hours, often a few minutes, or someone else may already be working on the same issue. In such cases, this forum post is linked to a workflow shared on the Hub and several people start working on the problem as a community development. These community developmentsoften appear later as a publicly available component on the Hub, or, if it is a solution that affects a wide range of people, it may also be included as a standalone node in a later KNIME version.

This collaborative approach facilitates learning and development when working with data. KNIME has also recognized this and has placed a particular emphasis on community building from the very beginning:

  • In the weekly #JustKNIMEItchallenge, applicants are challenged to solve a variety of complex problems, allowing them to match their skills
  • At #DataConnectevents, the company aims to bring users from different industries in the region together in an informal event to build community
  • And DataTalks and the annual Summit events showcase outstanding projects to help knowledge transfer

The Community Hub will add to the versatility and usability of the KNIME platform for data analysis, allowing both the community and enterprise users to benefit and work together to work with data more effectively. These two important parts of the KNIME platform will drive progress and innovation in data analytics and data-driven decision making.

Below we have collected some of the more interesting KNIME projects available for free use on the Community HUB:

KNIME server – When corporate operations are required

The functionality presented so far is available in the KNIME desktop version, which is free to use. However, the KNIME ecosystem can offer much more than this, in many cases making the work of administrators, developers and end users easier. This is the KNIME server.

On the one hand, the server makes the developers’ job easier:

  • Thanks to the collaboration and work sharing facilities, the creation, testing and deployment of individual workflows becomes easier
  • The creation, collaboration and deployment of workflows, the creation and management of workflows, the creation and deployment of workflows, the creation and deployment of new workflows
  • Centrally controlled components can be created, which can contain predefined functionality (e.g. template writing)
  • Use may be mandatory for audit reasons, but the components themselves can only be modified by administrators, not even by development colleagues
  • It is possible to schedule automatic runs, or even link them to specific events, activate notification solutions
  • Scalability to easily change the size of the available resources according to your needs (possibility to scale up and out depending on the platform)
  • Thanks to security solutions, it is possible to encrypt data, use unique authentication mechanisms (sensitive data can be protected, end users do not see the process steps, they only receive the final result)

On the other hand, end users on the business side have easier access to the necessary data and processes:

  • Thanks to the server’s WebPortal,you can start the necessary processes through a streamlined web interface, even at the touch of a button, or by entering the necessary parameters
  • Data integration can be used to connect to other tools (API, website, application, etc.). The user can benefit from the advantages and possibilities of the tool without even knowing how it is used or designed
  • Thanks to advanced reporting and visualization solutions, it is also possible to automatically share and export results and analyses, so that the end-user can receive the documents they need in a scheduled way, without having to use the tool

In today’s world, where more and more solutions are available through cloud platforms, it is a legitimate question to ask: where should our KNIME server be? The simple answer is wherever we want it to be. There is nothing to stop us running our server on-premise, on the ground. However, we have the option to choose a Cloud solution, both in the environment provided by KNIME and on the platform of the major Cloud providers, even as an official solution (in this case, even licensing is possible on a time/usage basis, instead of a fixed annual fee).

A note on the server. A new product, the KNIME Business Hub, has recently been announced, which will replace the KNIME server in the long term. It can be used in corporate environments both on their own servers or as part of a KNIME cloud service (like the server). It works on a very similar principle to the Community Hub, but as a fully closed system. Business Hub services include entitlement management, version tracking, coordinated running of workflows, job monitoring (similar to the server but with a more user-friendly interface).

These tools (Community Hub, Server, Business Hub) all help companies to manage data securely and efficiently, optimize processes and manage projects.

In a data-centric era, KNIME emerges not just as a tool but as a collaborative ecosystem, uniting users through its Community Hub and streamlining operations with the Server. As businesses grapple with the intricacies of data analytics, KNIME stands poised at the forefront, offering a dynamic platform that not only adapts to the evolving landscape but empowers organizations to unlock the true potential of their data securely and efficiently.

This article is based on the following Hungarian article on Controlling Portal

Authors:

Bertold Balázs, Corporate Reporting Expert at IFUA Horváth

Levente Havas, Partner, Head of the Enterprise Analytics Competence Centre at IFUA Horváth

György Nemes, Consultant at IFUA Horváth

Gergely Pálfi, Senior Consultant at IFUA Horváth

Zoltán Szőke, Consultant at IFUA Horváth

Gábor Zombory, Data Engineer, Datraction

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