The Dataiku Neurons program was launched in 2020 to recognize our most exceptional users, who embody our mission to empower everyone in the organization with Everyday AI.
We’re excited to announce the 35 users who are joining the program this year! Not only are they exceptional doers, who turn complex data into tangible results every day, they also elevate others to make better day-to-day decisions with data — by sharing their knowledge, helping fellow practitioners, and providing feedback to help us grow.
The program provides them with opportunities to connect with fellow leading practitioners, deepen their expertise, and spotlight their achievements to inspire others. In addition to finding them on the Dataiku Community, they are active across a number of initiatives with numerous opportunities to connect and share knowledge. Whether it’s through an online event, a hands-on challenge, or a lively exchange on the discussion boards, you can reach out directly to receive their expert insight into your data challenges.
Hear from a few of the Neurons firsthand in the video below, and continue reading to discover how they empower others with Dataiku and data science!
Meet the Dataiku Neurons
Ignacio - Building a Data-Centric Culture at the ALMA Observatory
A Data Scientist at the ALMA Observatory, Ignacio Toledo was one of the first Dataiku Neurons. Through his work, he has helped the observatory go through a pioneering transformation into a data-centric organization, making it one of the first earth-based observatories to make advancements in using data science to optimize its operations.
“As the operations of the astronomical observatories become more complex and critical to the success of our scientific projects, we need our team to have all the tools available in order to make more informed and effective decisions,” he explains.
Working with data has to be part of our culture. This is achieved by democratizing the access to analytics and AI tools.”
When it comes to empowering others within the observatory with their data, Ignacio says, “There is a saying: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” To empower more people with their data, we need to expose them to new tools and frameworks that are made with that goal in mind, so we can all see beyond Python scripts and cron jobs. This is how I'm helping. And our main partner in this endeavor has been Dataiku and its team.”
His passion is evidenced by the ALMA volunteer challenge, which he initiated to help others further their knowledge of data science by supplying them with a fascinating use case and providing expert guidance throughout.
Tom - Bringing Data Science to the International Cultural Nonprofit Community
One of the most active Neurons, Tom Brown, is the Director of Data & Analytics at 41xRT.com. Working at the intersection of people, art, and technology, he dedicates his time to helping cultural nonprofit organizations, such as theaters and museums, to deliver on their missions by better listening to and understanding the data that their patrons share.
My personal mission is to bring advanced analytics and data science to the international cultural nonprofit community,” Tom says.
Always aiming to improve on his skills and become a better data analyst, he found this type of growth challenging while working alone, which drew him to the Dataiku Community and the Neurons program. They were in line with his personal principle: learning something, knowing something, teaching something.
“As a solo practitioner in the organization I work with, the Neurons program and the Dataiku Academy have provided me with a community of data scientists to learn from,” he explains. “Through the forums, I’ve been able to give back by sharing the knowledge I’ve gained. And through the giving, I have received the gift of further knowledge regarding data science and advanced analytics.”
Rachel - Helping Others to Better Investigate and Understand Their Data
Rachel Kurtz is an Analytics Architect at InterWorks, where she joined after finishing grad school in data science. A keen Dataiku user for nearly five years now, she’s looking forward to using the Neurons program to further help people on their data journeys.
“The way I empower other people with their data is to really understand the patterns and the data that they've been collecting. So many of us have been collecting data for years and years, and it's now time to figure out what happened, what's going to happen, and look at both the past and the future,” she says. “I'm looking at descriptive, what happened, in predictive, what is going to happen with our sales or our supply chain, or whatever it might be. But then also making sure to help people become a little bit more autonomous, and not only helping them understand what happened to their data, but helping them get to a point where they will also be able to investigate their data and understand it as well. Really following Dataiku’s idea of Everyday AI for everyday people.”
“The Neurons program can help me first and foremost, by the community that it will bring about through connecting with different Dataiku Neurons,” she adds. “So many of them are all over the world and in so many different industries, and I’m looking forward to connecting with them, discussing how they're using Dataiku, talking about how they're using data science in their everyday work, and working on projects with them.”
Shubham - Teaching Others to Solve Real-World Problems Using Dataiku
One of our newest additions to the Neurons program, Shubham Jamwal, works with ZS as a consultant through Knowledge Lens. Primarily engaged in data engineering work and solutions, he also trains teams on how to use Dataiku.
“Training is essential when you're introducing a new tech strategy or concept, even if the team is familiar with the data,” he explains. “Dataiku already has a core and advanced learning path on how to use the tool. But on top of that, I also provide teams with best practices on how to use Dataiku or build optimized workflows into the parametrization, so any new future enhancement won't take too much effort.”
Beyond his workplace, Shubham has also always been a very active member of the Dataiku Community, regularly helping others who post their queries on the discussion boards. It was this tireless investment in providing assistance to others that made him an ideal candidate to be a Dataiku Neuron.
“I contribute to the Dataiku Community by posting multiple real-world problems, which can be solved using Dataiku, and also provide solutions to the questions posted by others on the Community.”
Bruno - Empowering Citizen Data Scientists at The Ocean Cleanup
As the Lead Computational Modeler at The Ocean Cleanup, Bruno Sainte-Rose leads a team that develops computer models to evaluate the efficiency of cleanup systems for long periods of time, as well as processing the data necessary to validate and calibrate these models.
“In my own field of expertise, computational modeling, we say that our models can only be as good as the data used to calibrate them. And since we are doing things that no one has ever done before, we need to aggregate and process as much data as possible to get to know more about the problem on the one side, but also to know more about the performance of our system on the other side,” he explains. “And the type of data that we are dealing with is quite diverse. Going from unstructured data, such as documents, observations, to structured data coming out of our measuring equipment.”
Faced with data science challenges, they began using Dataiku in 2018 ‚the Ikig.AI program gave them access to the platform at a company-wide level, in addition to access to Dataiku staff and expertise. The result was the inspiring empowerment of citizen data scientists across the organization.
I've always loved how Dataiku empowers its users to become better practitioners, but also how they showcase their activities to leverage the power of the community to engage in collaborations. Especially for a nonprofit like us. I'm very grateful to be given the opportunity to join the Neurons program.”
Pauline - Using Data Analysis to Generate New Knowledge and Improvements
A Data Scientist at Ordina NL, Pauline van Nies originally studied physics but was drawn to data science as she liked how data analysis could lead to new knowledge and to optimized or improved processes in science and industry.
Both at work and in her personal time, she’s committed to empowering others through data science. She said, “The past year I worked at a large bank in the Netherlands, helping data processing and modeling teams working efficiently on the Dataiku platform. I did this by giving and developing training, providing documentation, and working together on implementing specific use cases as well as Python plugins. Otherwise, I try to help my friends with statistical data analysis for scientific research because I love to share knowledge, learn together, and contribute to science.”
Having already participated in the ALMA challenge, she eagerly anticipates other opportunities to share knowledge and help others through the Dataiku Neurons program. “I’m looking forward to meeting more enthusiastic Dataiku users and, of course, the Dataiku team as I found everyone I interacted with so far within this community to be very energetic, knowledgeable, and kind, which is great,” she says.
Over the past year, I have experienced what advantages the platform can offer in terms of efficient collaboration on data projects for teams, and I hope I can help or inspire others to try this out for themselves, not only in large companies but also in small research groups."
Reach Out and Learn More
Want to grow your knowledge of data science and learn from experts like Ignacio, Tom, Rachel, Shubham, Bruno, and Pauline? Join the Dataiku Community and connect with Neurons and other data practitioners. The one-stop destination for peer-to-peer support, it offers a wide range of opportunities for users to actively participate, learn, and join the conversation.
If you have a question for any of the Dataiku Neurons or are looking to simply spark a discussion, don’t hesitate to reach out to them — in the Community, they can be found animating online events, leading regional user groups, and answering queries in the discussion boards, with their Dataiku Neurons badges making them easily identifiable!