Our method: cogNIAM®

If an organisation does not record information or does not record it unambiguously, misunderstandings will inevitably arise. If the sales manager considers a prospect to be a customer, whereas the accountant only considers customers to be parties with whom an agreement has been made... there will be confusion of words. Confusion of speech that can eventually seep through to the information systems, with all the negative consequences this entails. We have seen enough examples of this in recent years.

With the cogNIAM® method (which stands for: Cognition enhanced Natural language Information Analysis Method) we structure and connect semantics, data, rules and processes in your organisation, and provide a uniform record that is - where possible - easy to automate.

This way, you avoid wasting knowledge, time and money.

PNA also provides training in cogNIAM®, so that you can learn to apply the method yourself in your organisation.

What makes cogNIAM® unique?

Integral approach

cogNIAM® is the 'recipe' for making (with open world standards) a coherent knowledge model with semantics, data, rules and processes as 'ingredients'.


A method (on a scientific basis) that is repeatable and reproducible.


cogNIAM® is not restricted by the laws and limitations of IT systems, notation methods or programming languages; we are agile and future-proof.

Natural language

With cogNIAM® , you have the space to communicate with all stakeholders in their own language and using their own jargon. But that communication always has the same source: the knowledge model.

Concrete examples

We do not get stuck in abstractions, but continuously ask and give concrete, practical examples to check and validate assumptions with people in practice (fact-based consulting). These examples are also part of the knowledge model.

For you, and especially with you

We do not only work for you, but above all with you: we try to structure, validate and capture your reality as much as possible. For this reason too, validation with your practitioners is essential.

The knowledge molecule

Semantics is the art of assigning and recognising meaning. Crucial in knowledge and data management, yet often neglected. For the sales manager, a prospect turns out to be a customer, while the accountant only sees parties with whom an agreement has been made as customers.
In cogNIAM® we do more than just draw up a list of terms: we also bring structure to it by linking terms to each other. We set high standards for the definition of terms. We apply strict criteria for definitions that guarantee unambiguity.

Semantics in data, rules in processes

We link all concepts to data, rules and processes. In this way, the meaning is always accessible and we can guarantee that everyone in the organisation can know, in every situation, what a certain term means in a specific context.

We live in a knowledge economy built on data. However, data without context has no value. To assign and maintain that value, you need to structure data properly and provide context. With cogNIAM, we do this in natural language, making the results understandable for everyone.

Data in semantics, rules and processes

In addition to assigning meaning to data, we also control data with rules. Rules determine which data may occur where and under what conditions, and also how new data is derived or retrieved. When data is retrieved or derived, by linking data to processes, we can also specify who does it, how and when.

PNA also provides training courses in Fact Based Modelling (FBM). Click here for more information.

Rules are indispensable in a world that revolves around data. Rules come in all shapes and sizes: for example, you don't want to be able to record two dates of birth for one person. These kinds of rules ensure that your data remain correct and consistent. But there are also rules that determine how new data can be derived from existing data. Think of calculations or logical stipulations. In addition, you can use rules to determine when in the process certain information is retrieved.

Rules linked to data, processes and semantics

The meaning of all concepts used to describe rules must be known. Rules always relate to data. Rules are also called at specific places in a process. It is essential that the rule is called from within the process without the rule being part of the process: "separate the know from the flow!"

Processes are at the heart of many organisations. The processes determine to a large extent how the business is run.

Processes connected with data, rules and semantics

In cogNIAM® , processes do not stand alone. Processes use data and are subject to rules. Concepts are also needed to describe a process. To understand these concepts, good definitions are necessary. For each process step in a process design, we define which data are needed to carry out a process step. We also record which data results from a process step. Decision rules, for example modelled with the open standard DMN, can be linked to a process step. This ensures that they are executed at the right time.

PNA also provides training courses in Business Process Modelling and Notation (BPMN 2.0). Click here for more information.

A good discussion about how we can help you?