Borrow Community Processes!

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There’s a saying that good artists borrow, but great artists steal! While I don’t advocate stealing, it makes sense to borrow sometimes. How so? People often borrow ideas and apply them to their particular situations.  Data Scientists and Engineers borrow bits of code, to reuse and apply  to their problems. The same goes for RapidMiner users. You can borrow some great processes that were designed by other RapidMiner’s and use them for your own use case!

Lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on our Community forum answering questions. My colleagues and I, along with Community power users, field lots of new questions or help new users find the information they need. However, there is also a small group of users that use the Community for something other than questions. They search the board  for ideas, processes, and bits of Data Science goodness that they can use to save time and solve problems faster.

Hidden in plain sight are posts with some advanced processes in XML code. Old and new users share processes, from simple to complex, that do some great stuff. Chances are if you want to find something on time series, there’s a process in the threads somewhere. While it might not be a perfect fit, it ends up being a great process to borrow and turn into your own!

Let me give you a recent personal example. I’ve started working on some new demos and I’ve been checking out the Zillow API. I’m trying to extract ZEstimates and other Comp Data for a great new dashboard I want to build. I applied and got a ZWID so I can access their XML call. But when I got to work, I ran into problems. This is typical for the work we do as Data Scientists and Engineers. So, I  spent a few minutes bashing my head on the table and then I did what I always do…

I search the Community.

My #1 “go to” place when I hit a road block and need ideas on how to solve my problem, is the Community.. Do you know what I do? I look for a similar posts with XML code in them. So for this problem, I typed in Zillow and guess what showed up?

A great starter process by one our RapidMiner power users and contributors, Scott!

While this process is not exactly what I need, I can check out how he built the process and see what he’s doing with it. Sometimes this generates a new idea on how to tackle and solve my problem. Sometime it doesn’t. But I borrow it and save it to my process library for when I do need it.

But wait, there’s more!

With the RapidMiner Community, there’s always more!. Not only are great processes attached to 1,000’s of threads, there are Building Blocks, a Knowledge Base and even a Use Case thread.

So take it from me! Start borrowing processes from the community. Sometimes they’ll help you and sometimes they won’t, but save them to your library anyway. You never know when that process would come in handy.

Thomas Ott

Thomas Ott

Marketing Data Scientist for RapidMiner