Sawtooth Solutions #30: 2009 Fall

Covariates in HB Modeling

Hierarchical Bayes (HB) has been an enormously successful method for estimating individual-level preferences for CBC and MaxDiff data. It is quite robust, and the default settings in our CBC/HB and MaxDiff software make it easy for users to obtain excellent preference scores and robust models. Despite the benefits, many have expressed reservation regarding the software’s assumption that all respondents are drawn from a single, normal distribution, and the fact that every respondent is “shrunk” (to some degree or another) toward that global mean.

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Survey Hosting Business Thriving

Back in 2001, we began assisting a few of our SSI Web users by posting their surveys to our rented servers. At the time, we knew this would give folks with even basic computing skills the confidence that they could invest in SSI Web and execute their projects without a hitch. Little did we know that hosting surveys would turn into a thriving service business, even among customers with strong computing skills and experience with web servers.

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Sawtooth Software Conference 2010

We are pleased to announce that the 2010 Sawtooth Software Conference will be held October 4-8, 2010, at the Newport Beach Marriott, in Newport Beach, California. This conference is held only once every 18 months. Given this location and the success of our last conference, we expect 200+ people for the 2010 conference.

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SSI Web v7 Upgrade Progress

We're making steady progress on a new version of SSI Web v7, and its benefits will affect all components within the platform (CiW, CBC, ACBC, ACA, MaxDiff, CVA).

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Dual-Response MaxDiff for Anchored Scaling

MaxDiff (best-worst scaling) has been successful and popular among Sawtooth Software users. It is a powerful and flexible scaling technique for scoring multiple items. In each question, respondents are shown typically four or five items and are asked to mark which item is best and which is worst (or most important/least important). It takes longer to complete a MaxDiff questionnaire than a ratings grid on the items. But, the results typically are worth the extra effort.

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