Sawtooth Solutions #11: 1999 Fall

Speakers Lined up for Conference 2000

We hope you've heard by now about the next Sawtooth Software Conference in Hilton Head, SC on March 22-24, 2000. In contrast to other market research conferences, Sawtooth Software Conferences tend to be more practical and down-to-earth. It is a research conference rather than a forum for us to promote our software.

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CBC Workshop Offered in Dallas

On December 6-7 we will be holding a Choice-Based Conjoint (CBC) workshop at the Sheraton Grand Hotel at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. This 1 1/2 day program will be taught by Tom Pilon, Ph.D. It will be a hands-on workshop for a maximum of 15 participants. Attendees must bring their own laptop PCs, as some of the session will be dedicated to using the CBC software and in-class practice.

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Hierarchical Bayes: Why All the Attention?

If you've been to a technical market research conference lately, you've likely heard presentations advocating a technique called Hierarchical Bayes estimation (HB). The possible applications for HB are far-reaching. If there is heterogeneity among individuals, HB can significantly improve upon traditional aggregate models such as: OLS regression or logit for conjoint/choice analysis, customer satisfaction, brand image studies, or any other situation in which respondents provide multiple observations.

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Improving the Accuracy and Stability of Models with Hierarchical Bayes Regression

Regression analysis is widely used in marketing research for quantifying the relationship between predictor variables and an outcome. The predictor variables are termed independent variables and the outcome the dependent variable. As an example, in customer satisfaction modeling, the independent variables can be respondents' evaluations of brands on different aspects such as quality, performance, and service after the sale. The dependent variable is usually a measure of overall satisfaction with the brand or likelihood of purchasing that brand again.

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HB Improves ACA Part Worth Estimation

According to a 1997 industry survey conducted by Wittink, Vriens and Huber, ACA is the most widely used methodology in the world for conjoint analysis. Given its popularity, it is not surprising that ACA has been widely scrutinized and been the subject of a great deal of debate. Most notably, in a 1991 Journal of Marketing Research article by Green, Krieger and Agarwal, ACA was criticized because of potential scale incompatibilities between the self-explicated priors and conjoint trade-off sections of the interview.

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