Sawtooth Solutions #17: 2002 Fall

CVA v3 Experimental Designer Better than Before

With the recent release of CVA v3, all three base Sawtooth Software conjoint systems are now integrated within the SMRT platform. (SMRT stands for "Sawtooth Software Market Research Tools".) While we are pleased with the added ease-of-use and polish the new Windows-based CVA offers, we are particularly excited about the improvements in the experimental designer. For starters, rewriting and compiling the program for the 32-bit operating system produced about a 5x speed improvement. But more importantly, increasing the "pool multiplier" capacity and an alteration to the existing algorithm significantly improved the designer.

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Call for Papers: Tenth Sawtooth Software Conference

On April 15-17, we will hold our tenth Sawtooth Software Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Our research conference brings together some of the best minds in our industry to talk about practical issues in computer/Web interviewing and quantitative market research. It is not a sales-oriented event for our software, but a chance to exchange ideas and receive education from a variety of sources and perspectives. Papers presented at our previous Sawtooth Software Conferences are cited frequently in journal articles.

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Upcoming Workshops Announced

We often receive requests from researchers looking for practical materials and training opportunities for conjoint analysis and web interviewing. Our day-and-a-half workshops are excellent opportunities to gain the skills and insights you need to advance your understanding of conjoint analysis and your career as a provider/consumer of conjoint analysis studies.

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Web Site Targets Academics Teaching Conjoint Analysis

We are pleased to announce a new area on our web site designed to assist professors in teaching conjoint analysis. Different lecture outlines are suggested for teaching traditional full-profile conjoint analysis, discrete choice, or Adaptive Conjoint Analysis (ACA). Even though the site is aimed at academics, we hope that professional organizations will also use the materials for training purposes.

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Perspectives on Recent Debate over Conjoint Analysis and Modeling Preferences with ACA

In a recent article in Marketing Research, "What's Wrong with Conjoint Analysis," Larry Gibson argued that conjoint analysis is not needed given the simplicity and predictive accuracy of self-explicated methods. He wrote that conjoint analysis cannot handle the number of factors that self-explicated methods can and that clients usually need to study. This argument may be valid for full-profile conjoint, but it largely ignores the strengths of the more flexible hybrid methods, like ACA. Regarding hybrid methods, he expressed that self-explicated methods produce valid enough data that subsequent conjoint tasks are not justified.

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