Dr Hal MacFie

Consultant in Sensory & Consumer Science

Hal MacFie Training Services
Company Registration No: 7864651
Company Address: 43 Manor Road
Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1RB, UK
Contact Tel: (44) 0117 9863590

About Us!

Introduction to Bayesian Methods for Sensory & Consumer Data

Gemma Hodgson

31 October 2018

Park Inn by Radisson
Hotel & Conference Centre London Heathrow
Bath Road, Heathrow, Middlesex UB7 0DU

Course Organiser
Hal MacFie
For details and registration e-mail:

Bayesian statistical analysis has been successfully used in other industries for many years now, yet is rarely seen in the Sensory and Consumer world. This technique offers an approach to formally combine historical data with current data to see results of trials put into context with past research rather than treating each trial in isolation and then making subjective interpretations. Additionally, benefits can be seen in both reduction of sample sizes and increased ability to make robust decisions with a move away from reliance on the contentious 'p-value'.

In this one-day course, we give you the understanding to the key concepts of these analysis methods, that need to be understood before a Bayesian study can be set-up. We give information on how to interpret and apply results of a Bayesian analysis to improve decision making ability and so maximising use of your data.

Although the course is not software based, there are practical workshops to ensure the concepts are understood and the material remains engaging.

The workshop allows time to discuss typical statistics software packages used for Bayesian analysis and group discussions. At the end of the workshop, participants should have a good understanding of how Bayesian methods work and could be applied, in order that they can work with statisticians to ask the right questions and understand any outputs. (As specialist software is generally required and a thorough understanding of the statistical methods involved, this course does not teach how to carry out the analyses directly, although pointers are given.)

Workshop Outline

  • Introduction to Bayesian ideas & what they can offer
  • How do I use my prior information?
  • How do I communicate my results in a Bayesian analysis?
  • Bayesian thinking as a tool for decision-making  From th
  • eory to practice…the next steps including software
  • Conclusions & Discussion

Gemma Hodgson began her career as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry, working for Pfizer and later Takeda. Since 2012 Gemma has worked for and now runs Qi Statistics Ltd. Gemma has considerable experience in rolling out statistical training in a variety of industries where in modern global companies it is becoming increasingly important for non-statisticians to understand the value and applications of statistics in order to maximise the value of their data.
Gemma has a reputation for being able to translate technical concepts into everyday English.



Introduction to Bayesian Thinking and What it can offer
(Brief history of famous Bayesians. What is Bayes theorem and what are Bayesian methods used for?What is a prior and a posterior?Comparison with classical (frequentist) methods)


How can I use my prior information?
(What do you need to know about Priors? The controversy of informative vs non-informative Priors. How could I construct a Prior?)


Workshop – generating data for a Bayesian worked example




How do I communicate my results in a Bayesian analysis?
(What is a posterior distribution? What does the posterior look like? Impact of Data and Priors on the Posterior.)


Workshop – using the Qi Bayesian app for preference tests




Bayesian thinking as a tool for decision making
How can we improve decision making using Bayesian methods? How do we measure study success?)


From theory to practice…the next steps
(Example of Bayesian application –looking at Panel Performance, Practicalities of running a Bayesian approach, Types of models + necessary checks)




Software to analyse Bayesian designs – including workshop


Summary of Day + Discussion

Course Venue

Park Inn by Radisson
Hotel & Conference Centre London Heathrow
Bath Road, Heathrow, Middlesex UB7 0DU


A 5-minute bus ride from Heathrow Terminals and a very pleasant place to stay overnight with Radisson service. UK participants can park free for the duration of the course. Public areas include café and lounge areas where training participants can relax between sessions.
We are starting at 8.00am and finishing at 4.00pm to allow participants to join us for dinner the night before and catch a flight home on the day of the course.

Yes: Please enrol me in Introduction to Bayesian Methods for Sensory & Consumer Data 31 October 2018

To participate fully in the day you will need to come along with a laptop to be able to run Bayesian analyses. If you prefer we will hire you a laptop for the day at a cost of £60.00 including VAT for the day..

Attendance Fee:

£750.00 Inc VAT

Includes lunch and course materials.

Computer Hire:


Laptop with XLSTAT SENSORY installed.

Fees reduced by 5% for members of academia - space limited.

This year we are running four one day courses at the London Heathrow Hotel & Conference Centre. As a special concession we are offering a 10% discount when you register for 2 courses and a 15% discount when you register for 3 courses. If you are considering attending more than one course then please contact us directly and we will take the payment and apply the discount. Contact

Course Registration Fees



Number of Places

Attendance Fee


Computer Hire


Total: £

    Payments and Refund Policy    

For electronic bank transfers: contact for IBAN details
Mailing address for registration and payment:
Dr H J H MacFie
43 Manor Road
Keynsham, Nr Bristol,
BS31 1RB, United Kingdom

Tel/Fax +44(0)1179863590

Electronic registration forms to