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Building Insights from SenseMaker® Data – Portland, Oregon

Anyone’s first SenseMaker® project presents many challenges. One is that, once you’ve collected multiple narratives, signified into a common framework, it can be difficult knowing where to start with Cognitive Edge’s powerful analytical and sense- making software tools. The tools are highly flexible and provide great insights, but you start with a blank sheet of paper – and any author can tell you that that is a scary prospect.

This course provides scaffolding and training wheels – a guided exploration of the tools along with some suggestions for different levels of analysis and sense- making. From experience on a variety of projects, we’ll walk you through the basics, answer your questions and point to other resources to use in exploring difficult questions about complex situations and systems.

What will I learn?

This two-day course combines theory, examples and exercises to guide people through the analysis and sense-making phases of a SenseMaker® project. In this course, you will learn how the SenseMaker® analysis tools can help your organisation illuminate attitudes, highlight possible interventions, explore brand engagement and improve culture. Applications to date include innovation, employee engagement, customer insight, knowledge management, culture change and programme design.

The course will draw from sample open-source SenseMaker® data and previous project examples. Where possible, we recommend that participants bring their own dataset(s) with them so that they are able to interpret the results from a field that is relevant and applicable to them.

Who should attend?

This two-day course is for people looking to understand complex situations and people using SenseMaker®’s combination of qualitative data in a quantitative, analysable framework. From our experience, these include:

  • Customer Insight experts
  • Researchers
  • Data analysts
  • Anyone supporting decision-making processes
  • Monitoring and Evaluation teams

It is ideal for those who have already collected SenseMaker® data and are about to begin analysis – in which case that data can be used in the workshop. The workshop will start with a brief introduction to SenseMaker®, participants should have a basic knowledge of SenseMaker® concepts.

Course overview

  • Principles of SenseMaker® data and projects
  • Using SenseMaker® Patterns on iPad to make sense of real-time data streams
  • Using SenseMaker® desktop tools for in-depth exploration
  • Practical experience in using SenseMaker® software tools including:
    • Monitoring sample populations – checking whose perspectives we are listening to
    • Exploring abductive links – the unexpected connections between different factors in a project
    • Generating emergent conclusions while limiting researcher bias
  • Extracting exemplar stories from large sets of qualitative material

Participants are advised to install SenseMaker® software in advance of the course. Details will be sent to participants two weeks before the course.

Event facilitator 

Course tutor Tony Quinlan has extensive experience running SenseMaker® projects for public, private and not-for-profit sector clients in many different environments and countries. These range from cultural assessments for governments of Middle East countries, to gender attitude monitoring in Africa, and business improvement projects for Pfizer across Europe. As a regular Cognitive Edge trainer, he brings theory and practice together with examples of the good and bad as well as a sense of humour.

What is SenseMaker®?

SenseMaker® is the only software and methodology licensed to use Cognitive Edge’s patented technique that encourages people to both share authentic experiences and then signify their perception of that experience. It prevents misinterpretation by (even well-intentioned) experts and allows the quantitative analysis of people’s authentic voice.

SenseMaker® provides a tool that gives equal voice to everyone without prejudice and while reducing researcher bias and as such has been used to:

  • Understand people’s perspective on their world
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Develop co-created strategies and programmes in the international development world
  • Explore consumers’ underlying attitudes to products and services – and identify opportunities to enrich customer loyalty
  • Engage with citizens on complex policy issues


Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule the offered session.  In the event of cancelation or rescheduling, a full refund of course fees will be processed within 10 business days of cancellation or rescheduling notice.  Cancellations by registrants are only permitted with a minimum of 3 weeks notice ahead of course delivery date with refunds provided less a 10% processing fee. Substitutions are permitted at any time as well as rescheduling attendance to an alternate session within a 12 month period.

Explanation of the ticket choices above:

1. If you are part of a group of three (3) or more people, each attending three (3) or more days of training, then please email  info@cognitive-edge.com for a group discount.

2. Sign up for the Network here: http://cognitive-edge.com/network/register/ for a Basic membership.  When you’ve done that you’ll be directed to the Network Dashboard page, click on the upgrade option to pay to become a Premium member and use the 15% discount code.

NOTE: Group discounts cannot be used cumulatively with Network Membership discounts.  If you have further questions, please contact info@cognitive-edge.com



November 16, 2015 – November 17, 2015


9:00 am – 5:00 pm



United States