Is KNIME Difficult to Learn?

Right off the bat, let’s answer the question, “Is KNIME difficult to learn?”

No.

KNIME is a data preparation platform that’s easy to learn and has the potential to transform your business into a data-driven organization.

In this blog, we’ll explore the KNIME learning path as well as walk through three tips for passing the KNIME certifications.

What Business Problems Does KNIME Solve?

Data Silos – Let’s say your company has three disparate data sources that need to be combined into one table in order to perform analytics. One table is a flat csv file, another is in the Snowflake Data Cloud and another is stored in a different database. How do you combine them? This is where KNIME comes in. With database connectors for all common databases, KNIME can be used to read in disparate datasets and combine them into one dataset.

Data not ready for consumption – There are many reasons why raw data might not be ready to be used, examples include: gaps in the data due to missing fields, the data is not structured in a format compatible with Data Visualization tools (Tableau/Power BI), and data validation issues.

KNIME can be used to solve all of these data wrangling issues. As shown below, KNIME’s variety of data transformation nodes can be used to clean and enrich the data in order for it to be in a format more compatible with downstream purposes such as analytics or building data science models. This allows your data to be put to use in order to save your business time and money.

A diagram depicting the vast number of data transformation nodes KNIME has.

Why Learn KNIME?

To be data-driven and to take full advantage of the data they collect, businesses need a data tool that allows them to connect to various data sources, combine and restructure the data from those sources, create calculations and manipulations, and finally, output the data into either files or databases. 

While many other tools in the marketplace can accomplish these requirements, few can compete with KNIME’s combination of features and value. 

The KNIME Analytics Platform is open-sourced and free for any user to download and use, however, KNIME Server does cost money. Despite the low cost, KNIME is a full-featured platform and an incredibly powerful tool for anyone who needs to do data manipulation. 

Is KNIME Easy to Learn?

Learning KNIME is incredibly easy. Its drag-and-drop interface allows users to connect to data, clean and transform it, create dynamic visualizations, and a lot more—all without any coding required. 

Through visual workflows, users can intuitively see the journey their data goes through. As soon as users understand what the basic tools do, they will be ready to start building their own workflows.

Below are three easy tips to learn KNIME and get fully certified in the tool.

Tips for Passing KNIME Certification

Tip 1: Understand the rules of the certifications.

There are three levels (L1-L3) required to get fully certified in KNIME. To take the certifications, KNIME requires a user to first go through the content on the KNIME LearnUpon website, shown below. 

For L1 and L2, the user can choose between the Data Science or Data Wrangler paths. For L3 all users take the KNIME Server Course and the subsequent KNIME Server certification exam.

It’s important to note that KNIME doesn’t currently offer certification for L4, but this of course can change. 

A screenshot from KNIME's LearnUpon website that shows 4 levels of learning, L1-L4

Each certification is 15 questions, with the user needing to answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly to receive a passing score. A user gets two attempts at each exam. The L1 certification is free to take, the L2 Certification costs $50, and the L3 certification costs $100.

Tip 2: Take DataCoach’s KNIME Analytics Platform Foundations Course

A great way to supplement the learning from KNIME’s website is to take our new Data Coach offering: KNIME Analytics Platform Foundations. The course covers all of the basic subjects needed to build productionalized KNIME workflows.

Subjects include: 

  • Reading and Writing Data 
  • Manipulating Data 
  • Calculations and Aggregating Data
  • Combining Data Sets

The course also offers 1-on-1 coaching and a guided capstone project using your own data. 

A screenshot of a KNIME course from Data Coach

Tip 3: Go to the KNIME Learning Page

The KNIME Learning page provides an easy guide for getting started in the tool with many helpful links to internal KNIME resources. The KNIME hub is a great place to find solutions and collaborate on workflows. Additionally, the KNIME forum is great for asking questions to the greater KNIME community and connecting with fellow users of the tool.

Conclusion

Learning KNIME and getting the KNIME certification is an easy and valuable way to upskill as an individual and to make your organization more data-driven. 

If you’re looking to fully harness the power of KNIME, consider reaching out to the experts at phData.

phData specializes in guiding business users, analysts, and executives through training, development, and support with KNIME. phData also offers deployment, migration, and server administration services with KNIME. 

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