This course is now delivered online as a series of live sessions which fully meet the learning objectives of face-to-face training

Unlocking the superpower that drives innovation


How do we advance? As individuals, families, and businesses? As societies, nations, and as a species? In a world where it’s said there’s nothing new under the sun, humans are remarkably resourceful at creating new things. The key to innovation is understanding, but not just by using facts, data, and casual observations. Progress demands the profound and useful understanding of a person or a thing, a situation or an issue. And profound and useful understanding that truly effects change is that most elusive of phenomena: insight.

This new workshop, How to be insightful, provides a novel and deeply practical framework that anyone can use to generate more powerful and impactful insights from the increasing volumes of data we all face every day, whatever we do. This workshop is particularly relevant – of course – for those in the insight industry, market research, and in insight roles in all sorts of organisations: businesses, charities and third-sector bodies, government departments. But because insight truly is the superpower that drives innovation, the workshop is relevant for those in innovation, R&D, new product development, and general marketing roles, too.

Learning outcomes

  • A new model for insightful thinking: the STEP Prism of Insight
  • How to fuel and feed your curiosity, adding fresh stimulus to the brilliant recombinatorial engine of your subconscious mind, both acutely (for today’s task) and chronically (for life)
  • Why taking timeout is critical for insight development
  • How to distract your conscious mind to enable your subconscious to develop insights
  • How to recognise what it feels like to have insights, to capture and express them clearly
  • When it’s right to share insights with colleagues, clients, and collaborators and in what form

The course explores the history, psychology, and neuroscience of insight – now clear and resolved, thanks to recent advances in the lab. It also includes snapshots of insight from global experts in many different fields – psychology and neuroscience, music and acting, forensic science and market research. It introduces delegates to the STEP Prism of Insight model and shows it how to apply this simple framework to their day-to-day roles. And it showcases an innovative Insight Spotting Framework to help understand the insights in the world’s best communications campaigns.

"An excellent session, dare I say Insightful!"

Gina Lee-Young, Demographix

"Delivered in a fun and engaging way whilst being beneficial to my training needs"

Hannah Smith, BVA BDRC

"Really 'insightful'!"

Anna,ENGINE Transformation

"An enjoyable and entertaining approach to solving insight problems effectively."

Paul Phelan, Peabody

Sam Knowles is a data storyteller. He is the founder of the consultancy Insight Agents, and the author of the just-published How To Be Insightful ( This is the sequel to 2018’s critically-acclaimed Narrative by Numbers (, with both books published by Routledge. A classicist with a doctorate in experimental psychology, Sam is a sought-after speaker and trainer, blogger and podcaster, having co-founded the Small Data Forum podcast in 2016, which he co-hosts. He also chairs I-COM’s Data Storytelling Council.

Additional Information

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