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How to use the Theme Builder
How to use the Theme Builder
Kris Rogers avatar
Written by Kris Rogers
Updated over a week ago

What is the Theme Builder?

The Theme Builder is a page dedicated to creating and managing theme frameworks. A theme framework is simply a set of categories that are applied to customer feedback in order to easily monitor and report on change over time.

How is it different from the Query page?

Previously, users have built theme frameworks on the Query page. However, the Query page also provides the ability to perform ad hoc analysis of the data. Having multiple purposes means the Query page lacks specialised functionality that would make it easier and faster to build theme frameworks. We've built the Theme Builder precisely so that we can make that particular workflow as easy and fast as possible.

How to Access

When viewing an Analysis, you can find a link to the Theme Builder in your Sidebar under Analysis Menu.

Getting Started

When you first visit the Theme Builder you'll see a few things.

1. Storyboard

By default, the main area on the page is occupied by the Storyboard. The Storyboard provides a high-level view of the main threads of commentary in your data, in your customers' own words. It serves as a visual, interactive launchpad for building Themes.

The idea is to identify topics within the feedback (usually nouns) as the starting point for your themes. Don’t worry too much about the structure of your themes just yet. Focus on identifying the key topics being discussed. It’s usually a good idea to start big and work your way down.

When you click on a concept on the Storyboard, you'll see three options. You can use it as a starting point to create a new theme, view it on the Unmapped page, or ignore it. We'll dive into ignored concepts later.

2. Coverage Indicator

The coverage indicator allows you to easily see how much of your data is captured by a theme. For example, let's say that we have a single theme Prices that occurs in 15% of verbatims, then it will be reflected in the coverage indicator. Each time we add or modify a theme, we'll see the coverage indicator update accordingly.

The 80% goal is a good rule of thumb to aim for when creating a theme framework as it covers the majority of comments with a fairly modest amount of effort. You might find that you want or need to go slightly lower or higher depending on the nuances of your dataset and your use case. If you're unsure you can always reach out - we love digging into data!

Note: The coverage indicator will only take into account themes that contain unstructured data such as concepts or phrases. A theme based on purely structured data (e.g. Country=Australia) will not count towards the coverage.

We've included ignored concepts on the indicator because some datasets might have a lot of generic or boilerplate comments not suitable for analysis (e.g. "Thanks"). When there are ignored concepts the coverage indicator will shrink to exclude ignored verbatims. An ignored verbatim is any verbatim that contains an ignored concept and is 1 or 2 words in length.

3. Themes & Concepts list

The last major component in the initial screen is a tabbed view that allows you to switch between concepts and themes. In the view of themes, you can see each theme and the % of verbatims it captures. The Create, Save All, and Discard buttons all apply to building themes; we'll explore them in the following sections.

You can click on the concepts header to select the view of concepts. This shows the top concepts identified in the data and is identical to the list of concepts shown on the Storyboard. The 'Hide concepts already in a Theme' toggle can be used to remove concepts from this list that you've already added to a theme, making it easier to see what's left.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this list you'll see any ignored concepts.

Creating Themes

The three most common ways you would start creating a Theme are mentioned below. Whenever you start creating a new Theme it is assigned a generated name (e.g. New Theme 1) and will appear in the In Progress list until is it saved.

Clicking a concept on the Storyboard

This will open the Theme editor with the respective concept selected and the drilldown view visible.

Clicking a concept in the Concepts list

Like selecting a concept from the Storyboard, this will open the Theme editor with the respective concept selected and the drilldown view visible.

Clicking the Create button in the Themes list

The Create button will open up the Theme editor with no concepts selected and the Storyboard visible.

In Progress Themes

As you're creating new Themes, you'll see them appear in the In Progress section of the themes list. All new themes will stay here until they are saved or you navigate away from the page. You can easily switch between in-progress themes by clicking on them.

Building/Editing Themes

Once a new theme has been created, you can continue building it via the theme editor interface. Simply click the Add filter button to create a new row where you can select an item by navigating or searching the dropdown. You aren't constrained by what appears in the dropdown - you can enter any text or phrase to add to the Theme.

You can also add to a theme via the context menu on some of the widgets, discussed in the section on the drilldown view.

Finally, you can change an existing theme after selecting it from the Themes list. When a theme has been modified it will show as having unsaved changes until it is saved. You can discard unsaved changes for a single theme or all themes, using the respective buttons on the theme editor and Themes list.


In the theme editor, synonym suggestions are available for rows that include concepts or phrases. Simply click the or button on the last item in the row to see suggestions loaded.

Drilldown View

When you're creating a new Theme or editing an existing one, you'll see the drilldown view in the main panel. The drilldown view contains the Context Network, Key Phrases, and Verbatims widgets and allows you to explore what's being said in all of the Verbatims that the theme matches.

The concepts and phrases in the Context Network and Key Phrases widget can be clicked to reveal a menu that provides options for including that item in the current Theme.

Renaming & Deleting Themes

To rename or delete a theme, click on it in the theme editor. A dropdown will appear where you can select the option you want. You can also use this dropdown to change which dashboards that theme appears on.

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