Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Sawtooth Software Rated Top "Industry Thought Leader"
Interesting honor for this week is that Sawtooth Software was rated highest as an "Industry Thought Leader" for the Online Survey Software category in a survey conducted by MarketResearchCareers.com.
According to that website, "The survey was conducted between January 22 and February 5, 2013 collecting responses from 501 market research professionals across the entire market research industry."
Here's the link:
Market Research Careers 2013
Probably one of the main reasons we have achieved this reputation is due to our successful practitioner Research Conference, held every 18 months. This conference leads to an impressive amount of practical R&D and experimentation by our User Community. It opens our methods (and others) to a great deal of critique--and when it is shown that we can make improvements, we often are able to respond by the next software version.
The next Sawtooth Software Conference will be held October 14-18 in Dana Point, California.
See the Program Details and Register Today!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Register Today for Conference 2013!
Widely regarded as the best-run conference for marketing science, the 2013 Sawtooth Software Conference is expected
to draw around 300 participants. It will be held at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point, California, October 14-18, 2013.
The conference consists of 2 optional lead-up days of workshops and tutorials, followed by 2.5 days of short industry
Here is a list of the optional workshops and tutorials:
And, here is an alphabetized list of the affiliations of the authors and co-authors presenting papers during the main
- CBC Consulting Challenge Workshop (2 days)
- CBC Software Workshop (2 days)
- MBC Software Workshop (2 days)
- SSI Web Snorkel & Deep Dive (4-hour tutorials)
- New Frontiers in Conjoint Analysis (4 hour tutorial)
- Introduction to R for Choice Modelers (4 hour tutorial)
- Problems and Solutions in Conjoint Applications in Health and Healthcare (4 hour tutorial)
- Advanced MaxDiff (4 hour tutorial)
- Segmentation Modeling Projects Using Latent Gold® Choice and Excel Based StatWizards from Beginning to End (4 hour tutorial)
- Conjoint Data as Evidence: The Role of Patient Benefit-Risk Tradeoff Preferences in Regulatory Decision Making
bms marketing research + strategy
Brigham Young University
Cambia Information Group
Eagle Analytics of California
General Motors Research and Development
Lifetime Products, Inc.
Market Strategies International
North Carolina State University
Premium Choice Research & Consulting
Radius Gobal Market Research
Research Triangle Institute
The Ohio State University
See the Program Details and Register Today!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Updated 3rd Edition "Getting Started with Conjoint Analysis Book" Hot Off the Press
Just this week we received 500 copies into the office of our "Getting Started with Conjoint Analysis" book, 3rd Edition, published by Research Publishers, LLC.
This third edition offers the following changes from the previous work:
...plus numerous small updates throughout the volume.
- New chapter on Menu-Based Choice
- New section on game theory within the market simulation chapter
- New "how conjoint analysis is used in industry" story by Bob Goodwin of Lifetime Products
- 17 new terms defined/explained in the glossary (glossary is now 62 pages)
- Updated conjoint analysis method usage and trends
- New section on alternative-specific attributes
- Expanded the chapter on MaxDiff to include a discussion of the pros and cons of anchored MaxDiff
The cost for 3rd edition is $45 per book; but if you purchase from us directly in large quantities, we can offer a volume discount. Read more or order your copy at: www.sawtoothsoftware.com/education/cabook
For those of you who are not familiar with the book, it is a 234-page book with the following chapters:
Some of these chapters are available at no cost from our Technical Paper's library (due to a generous agreement by the publisher), but the full content is only available in the book.
- Foreword (from First Edition) by Paul Green
- Chapter 1: Managerial Overview of Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 2: How Conjoint Analysis Works
- Chapter 3: Understanding the Value of Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 4: A Short History of Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 5: Choosing a Conjoint Method
- Chapter 6: Formulating Attributes and Levels in Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 7: Sample Size Issues for Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 8: Traditional Conjoint Analysis with Excel
- Chapter 9: Interpreting the Results of Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 10: Market Simulators for Conjoint Analysis
- Chapter 11: Maximum Difference Scaling
- Chapter 12: Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint
- Chapter 13: Menu-Based Choice
- Chapter 14: How Conjoint Analysis Is Used in Industry
- Glossary of Terms
Monday, April 1, 2013
HB-Reg v4 Released!
After an eight-month beta period, we’re pleased to announce the release of a sweeping update to the HB-Reg software for
regression-based problems. It’s hard for us to believe, but the last significant update to HB-Reg occurred nearly ten
years ago! Since then, HB (hierarchical Bayes) has found even greater use in the industry and advanced analysts have
been finding more and more reasons to run individual-level regressions via HB-Reg (where each respondent or unit of
analysis contributes multiple observations).
Here are the main improvements for HB-Reg v4:
- Version 4 features a new user interface, borrowed extensively from the Sawtooth Software's MBC (Menu-Based Choice)
- HB-Reg 4 can automatically code Categorical Independent variables as dummy-coded, linear, or log-linear. This removes
extra data processing requirements, making it easy for you to switch back and forth between different independent variable
- HB-Reg 4 automatically builds a "proper prior covariance matrix" when you specify a categorical independent variable
(when dummy-coding is activated). This is the same procedure as recommended by leading Bayesian academic Peter Lenk that
is also used in our CBC/HB software.
- Covariates may now be included in HB runs. For more information on covariates in HB, please see the white paper
entitled: Application of Covariates within Sawtooth Software's CBC/HB Program: Theory and Practical Example (2009).
This paper may be downloaded from our Technical Papers library on our website: www.sawtoothsoftware.com.
- Ability to run multiple HB runs simultaneously, utilizing multiple cores of your machine's processor.
- Big gains in speed for exceptionally large datasets (>128MB) due to an improved memory caching technique. We have
an enormous HB-Reg dataset for testing (250MB) that experienced a 20x increase in speed under HB-Reg v4 compared to v3.
Demo HB-Reg v4
If you want to run HB-Reg v4 in demo mode to test it out, download the free demo from:
The demo software lets you analyze results for up to 50 respondents.
How to Upgrade or Buy HB-Reg
Many of you are on the corporate annual subscription license and are entitled to this upgrade at no additional cost. Please
contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an
updated license file. Then, just download the latest HB-Reg v4 software:
For HB-Reg v3 and earlier users (not on the corporate annual license), the cost to upgrade is $500 per seat.
If you currently don’t own HB-Reg, you may purchase single-seat licenses for $1,000.
Contact us at +1 801 477-4700 or email@example.com for questions or to purchase.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
SSI Web v8.2 Update Released!
We are so pleased to announce the release of v8.2 of SSI Web. This is a free update for SSI Web v8 users
and also for those with corporate annual subscription licenses.
- Data Generator You can generate test records automatically using this new
feature within v8.2 of the SSI Web system. This is helpful for testing skip patterns and setting up
crosstabulation reports prior to collecting real data. Data can be generated under local testing on
your computer or remote testing on a web server. There are many advanced capabilities within the Data
Generator, including the ability to script specific responses to given questions (for example, to answer
a series of screener questions without screening out) and for other questions to answer randomly.
- Streamlined Sawtooth Software Hosting Setup Those who use Sawtooth
Software's hosting service previously had to cut-and-paste server protocol information (database name,
URL, FTP User Name, passwords, etc.) from their hosting portal dialog into SSI Web's Field | Web Server
Management menu for each new study. This involved about seven separate cut-and-paste steps.
With v8.2, you no longer need to do this. The Field | Web Server Management menu
automatically synchs with our hosting platform (once you provide your email address and hosting password),
so you just need to select the desired hosting project as the target for uploading the study (one click,
instead of seven cut-and-pastes).
- Smarter CAPI Data Merging If a new CAPI file is merged into an existing
data set, SSI Web resolves any duplicate respondent numbers by renumbering records with collisions.
The problem occurs if you try to accumulate the same CAPI file again (perhaps after new records have been
added). With previous versions of SSI Web, this would result in duplicate records (SSI Web would renumber
records again with collisions and add them to the data set). SSI Web v8.2 now remembers the original
ID numbers for CAPI respondents, so that it can distinguish respondents who had been previously merged
(but with renumbered IDs) versus those that are completely new and need to be merged.
- New Test Survey Option: Disable Terminate/Link Allows you to turn off
Terminate/Link functionality while testing your questionnaire. This allows you to test screener questions
more easily in v8.2, because you can back up from the disqualification terminate page (rather than having
to start a new test respondent record each time you purposefully pick a path that disqualifies the test
record). This feature also lets you preview redirect links, such as those to a panel provider, before
the redirect executes.
- Toggle Intelliprompt SSI Web's text editor color highlights recognized
script functions, autocompletes end-tags for HTML, and prompts you with syntax instructions regarding
recognized functions. Starting with v8.2, when you click the Pencil icon you'll find two new icons in
the right-hand corner of the toolbar. The gear icon accesses a menu where you can turn off color
highlighting and prompting for certain scripting languages. A second new icon lets you turn off the
autocomplete for HTML endtags.
We recommend SSI Web v8 users download the update directly from our website. If you are using SSI Web v7 or earlier, please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 801 477 4700 to discuss upgrade options with our support staff.
- Anchored Scaling Standard MaxDiff scores are relative measures of utility.
Anchored scaling allows the researcher to establish a threshold anchor utility (often set to zero) that
has more concrete meaning. All item scores are then estimated with respect to that anchor. The anchor
can refer to the threshold between important vs. not important or a buy vs. no buy. Version 8.2 provides
capabilities to automatically insert dual-response indirect scaling questions (often referred to as
"Louviere" indirect anchor questions, after the inventor of MaxDiff, Jordan Louviere, who suggested
this as a possible anchoring mechanism). You may also use direct anchoring (often referred to as
"Lattery" direct anchor questions, after Kevin Lattery, who has suggested their use) by adding ratings
or rankings questions within your SSI Web questionnaire (using "CiW" question types), then referring
to these during utility estimation to establish anchor thresholds. (Note: we've also updated our
Online MaxDiff Analyzer service so that the TURF procedure can use the anchor utility as the threshold
for counting "reach".)
- Logit and Latent Class Integration SSI Web v8.2 integrates aggregate
(pooled) logit estimation and latent class segmentation estimation within the MaxDiff Analysis menus.
Aggregate logit can be useful when the MaxDiff data are too sparse and not appropriate for HB estimation
(the number of times each item is shown to each respondent is too few). Latent Class finds needs-based
classes (segments or groups) using MaxDiff data, where respondents are quite similar within classes on
the item scores and quite different between classes. The latent class integration is much more convenient
than exporting the data to the standalone Latent Class system. The integrated Latent Class capabilities
are given to all MaxDiff v8 users, so you no longer need to buy a Latent Class license to get this
- Covariates within HB Analysis for MaxDiff Starting in v8.2, you can now
apply covariates in your HB runs for MaxDiff within the SSI Web menus (previously this was only available
through the standalone CBC/HB system). Covariates are segmentation variables (such as user groups, company
size) or continuous variables that might be related to preferences (such as from Likert ratings, constant
sums, or numeric questions that capture income or company revenue). When covariates are used within HB
estimation, individual respondents "borrow" information principally from the means of their covariate
cohorts rather than from the overall population means. Using too many covariates can cause estimation
to slow considerably. The use of covariates does enhance differences among respondents (especially
along the dimensions of the covariates), but the predictive validity of the scores does not generally
- (1 of 12) etc. Counting Functions for MaxDiff Questions Starting with
v8.2, SSI Web by default inserts script functions into the Header 2 of your MaxDiff questions, so that
a running tally is shown to respondents (1 of 12), (2 of 12), etc. This helps respondents see their
progress and have more clear expectations regarding how many repeated MaxDiff tasks they need to complete.
You may delete this notification if you wish.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Call for Papers: 2013 Conference
We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Sawtooth Software Conference will be held October 16-18, 2013,
at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point, California. This conference is held only once every 18 months.
Given the success of our last conference, we expect around 250 people for the 2013 conference.
The conference also includes a dedicated conjoint analysis in healthcare track (one day of tutorials
plus another day of 25- to 30-minute research papers focusing on healthcare topics).
- Please indicate in your proposal if it is intended for the healthcare track.
Our research conference brings together some of the best minds in our industry to talk about practical
issues in online 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.
We're looking for exceptionally strong papers. If you'd like to be on the program:
- Please respond promptly (by March 15, email: email@example.com) with a one or two-page abstract describing your proposed paper, with special attention to the findings and what the audience will "take away" from the presentation.
- You must also include a 50-word description of your paper to include in the conference brochure.
We are interested in papers on a variety of subjects, including Web interviewing, market segmentation,
scale development, customer satisfaction modeling, conjoint/menu/choice analysis, MaxDiff, perceptual
mapping, hierarchical Bayes methods, forecasting, pricing research, market simulations, and case studies.
These papers need not involve Sawtooth Software's programs or approach, but no proprietary or patented
methods are permitted.
Presenters receive a complimentary conference registration (one per paper). To be accepted, a paper must
show promise of being sufficiently practical to be of use to the least sophisticated members of the
audience, while having enough substance to be of interest to the most sophisticated members.
- In addition to standard presentation slides, authors are required to submit a journal-quality
written paper for publication in the Conference Proceedings.
We strive for the highest quality in our conferences. If your abstract is accepted, a member of the
steering committee will review early drafts of your presentation and offer suggestions. Authors are
expected to consider these suggestions conscientiously and rework their presentations as needed. Sawtooth
Software reserves the right to remove any author from the program or proceedings that fails to meet deadlines
or produce high quality work.
Sawtooth Software Conference 2013 Steering Committee Members are:
- Keith Chrzan, Sawtooth Software
- Ken Deal, McMaster University
- Joel Huber, Duke University
- Rich Johnson, Sawtooth Software
- David Lyon, Aurora Market Modeling
- Bryan Orme, Sawtooth Software
Thursday, January 10, 2013
$453K in Sawtooth Software Grants to Students in 2012
Sawtooth Software awarded $453K in software grants to 36 qualifying students in 2012. Our software grants allow students working on
masters and PhD thesis projects to obtain professional versions of our software (for their academic work) that are not limited to the
250 respondents like our standard student lab systems.
Some of the projects that these 36 students are working on include:
- Motivations and Barriers to Solar Panel Usage
- Smart Home Technology Preferences
- How to Encourage Breast Cancer Screening
- Preferences for Alternative-Fuel Vehicles
- Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Housing Practices
- How Recruiters Select High Technology Recruits
We wish these students the best of luck in their academic studies and are pleased to have been able to assist them. For more information
about our grant program, please visit:
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
New Relationship Defined between SKIM and Sawtooth Software
Starting on December 20, 2012, Sawtooth Software has entered into a new agreement that establishes SKIM as an endorsed
worldwide technical support partner. This means that Sawtooth Software customers worldwide (not just those near Europe)
may contact SKIM to receive free technical support. Also starting on December 20, all sales of Sawtooth Software products
will be conducted directly from Sawtooth Software’s office in the US. After December 20, customers may no longer purchase
Sawtooth Software products through SKIM.
Sawtooth Software selected SKIM to sell and support its software throughout Europe starting in the late 1980s because it was
expensive and time-consuming to ship floppy disks and hardcopy manuals to customers in Europe. Long-distance international
phone calling was very expensive back then. Plus, technical support often involved shipping floppy disks with problematic
project files and data files via the mail system to the technical support team. Now with the internet, software is downloaded
from our website (allowing us to sell software more quickly into Europe) and technical support may be executed via email or
inexpensive phone calls.
Sawtooth Software recently established earlier support hours to serve Europe better than before and also moved its offices
from Washington State to Utah, which is one hour closer to Europe.
We look forward to our continued relationship with SKIM and to more directly serving our European customers from our offices
here in the United States.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Corporate Annual License Price Unchanged for 2013
After modest price increases in the last two years, we will not be raising the price during 2013 for the Corporate Annual Licenses. Prices will remain $15,900 for the Corporate Annual License and $19,900 for the Premium Corporate Annual License (includes the new MBC software).
During 2012, more than one-third of our software sales have come from the Corporate Annual Licenses. We find this remarkable, given that we started selling annual subscriptions just 3 years ago.
Percent of Software Sales from
Corporate Annual Licenses
Starting in 2010, Sawtooth Software rolled out the (optional) annual license as an economical way for some of our customers to access all our tools. It conveyed three main benefits:
- It gave users access to all of Sawtooth Software’s modules (the whole alphabet soup: CiW, CBC, CBC/HB, ACBC, MaxDiff, CCEA, HB-Reg, ASM, ACA, CVA, Latent Class, etc.) for about half the cost of purchasing a single seat license to all these tools,
- It allowed up to 10 people at the organization to use the licenses at no additional cost, and
- It offered free, automatic upgrades whenever we released new versions.
If users didn’t like the corporate annual license, they could purchase one-off perpetual licenses as before.
Now, three years later, it’s easy to see that the corporate annual license has been a win-win for us and many of our customers. Offering a subscription license was a bit revolutionary for us (we tend to be set in our ways) and we have to admit that it was a bit scary to offer such a radically new licensing program.
When we first announced the new licensing option, some of the first subscribers said that they were jumping on it fast before we came to our senses (which didn’t boost our confidence at the onset!). Others remarked what a relief it was to get approval just once for the annual subscription, and then never to have to go to battle again with management for permission to buy additional modules, new licenses for new team members, or to upgrade licenses to latest versions. This was validation that there was value created in this strategy.
We initially wondered if the technical support load would dramatically increase. After all, we were giving customers the flexibility to have up to 10 users at their organizations rather than just one seat per license. But it turned out that even though more people were now using the software, the support load stayed about the same. We think that additional users mostly turned to already knowledgeable coworkers to answer their front-line questions. Customers helping customers. Bravo!
Monday, September 24, 2012
SSI Web v8.1.0 Released!
We just released SSI Web v8.1, which offers improvements in Mobile compatibility as well as new analytical goodies for conjoint analysts.
- We've improved the rendering of SSI Web surveys on mobile devices. If we detect that the screen resolution is less than 600 pixels wide, we include a mobile CSS style sheet that makes the text and buttons more readable and clickable on mobile devices. Check out some mobile device screenshots showing "before" and "after" illustrations of what we've accomplished.
- Best-Worst choice format option. Respondents can select best AND worst concepts within each task. Some recent research has found that collecting both best and worst choices is better than collecting best-only choices. Other research is less conclusive. So much depends on the researcher's perspective and the subject matter of the study. There has been an increase in interest for the best-worst choice option for CBC, so we're offering it as a new option in the software. Read more.
- Counts and aggregate Logit available within the SSI Web menus. No need to export the data to the separate
SMRT package to do the Counts and Aggregate Logit analyses.
- CBC/HB and Latent Class available within SSI Web menus. You may run estimation directly within SSI Web's Analysis menu.
- Concept labels. Now you can place labels over the concept columns, such as “Option A,” “Concept 1”, etc.
- Countdown text. The text “(1 of 10)” “(2 of 10)” etc. is automatically added to the header of each choice
task, informing respondents how many tasks they have completed and how many more are remaining. You can delete this
notification or modify it if you wish.
- Improved Experimental Designs. We’ve improved the algorithm for selecting designs, leading to near-perfect
level-balanced designs. This leads to slightly improved HB scores estimation. You can read a white paper
describing the designer
- “GetPrices” Routine within SSI Web interface. We’ve integrated this tool, for tabulating the frequency of
summed prices shown across all respondents, within SSI Web’s Analysis menu. It previously was available as a
separate .exe. This tool helps guide the choice of cutoff points in piecewise (non-linear) price function specification.
- Improvement in HB estimation when attributes are dropped via constructed lists. The old approach could lead to unusual results when the majority of respondents dropped an attribute as completely unimportant and a minority of respondents thought the dropped attribute was critical.
The v8.1.0 upgrade is offered at no additional fee for SSI Web v8, Academic, and Corporate Annual Subscription License users.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Keith Chrzan Hired as SVP to Head Sawtooth Analytics Consulting Division
Sawtooth Software has hired Keith Chrzan as Senior Vice President. In this capacity Keith will head the Sawtooth Analytics division, providing analytical support and consulting services principally to Sawtooth Software's existing software customers. Keith will also participate in R&D efforts that benefit the Sawtooth Software product line and serve as an instructor at its training events.
Keith comes to Sawtooth Software with nearly 30 years of marketing science experience at a variety of client, supplier and consulting companies. Most recently, Keith served as Maritz Research's Senior Vice President/Chief Research Officer where he led the marketing sciences division, developed new design and analysis products and conducted tests of new developments affecting the research industry like mobile data collection, neuroscience and behavioral economics.
Prior to his ten year stint at Maritz, Keith managed the marketing sciences department at IntelliQuest, Inc. His client side appointments include two years at Bayer Inc. working in the consumer packaged goods industry and four years in the medical diagnostics industry working for Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics where he ended up as Director of Marketing Research. Keith also ran his own consulting firm, Exponential Marketing Analytics, which specialized in research for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical diagnostics clients.
Keith majored in Philosophy of Religion and English at Notre Dame and earned his MBA in Marketing from Indiana University; while at Indiana, Keith completed additional graduate coursework in multivariate statistics, experimental design and psychometrics.
Keith is a regular presenter at technical conferences like the AMA's Advanced Research Techniques Forum, the INFORMS Marketing Science Conference and of course our own Sawtooth Software Conference, where he has presented every time since 1990. He also presents at more general marketing research conferences like AAPOR.
"I'm excited to join the Sawtooth Software team," Keith relates. "They have an enthusiastic and loyal following and have been focused on practical marketing science solutions for nearly 30 years. Their ability to combine easy-to-use software with rigorous and robust analyses makes them the ideal partners for applied marketing researchers. The Sawtooth Software product mix and the environment will make Sawtooth Analytics a valuable asset to its clients. On a personal note, they're good people who I've known for many years."
Sawtooth Software's president, Bryan Orme, adds, "Keith has a gift for tackling difficult analytical tasks and yet communicating the results with such clarity that the entire process resonates with less technical clients as well as serious stats people. That was a pattern established by our founder, Rich Johnson, and Keith is cut from the same cloth. Our software users have overwhelmed us with requests for additional analytical services. No question that Keith brings keen leadership and needed bandwidth to our Sawtooth Analytics practice. To that end, he and Aaron Hill will have access across our organization to other talented analysts and software developers."
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Apple vs. Samsung “Patent Trial of the Century,” Conjoint Analysis, and Sawtooth Software
No, we're not referring to OJ and gloves that won't fit. We’re talking conjoint analysis, Sawtooth Software, and our book
"Getting Started with Conjoint" all factoring into the courtroom arguments in Apple's $2.5 billion suit against Samsung
that many are calling the Patent Trial of the Century. The subject of this lawsuit between the world's two largest
smartphone manufacturers was Apple's claim that Samsung stole patented ideas (such as hardware designs, iOS's "bounce-back", tap-to-zoom, and
two finger gestures) and incorporated them into its devices. After 50 hours of often mind-numbing courtroom arguments,
a nine-person jury of Bay Area citizens unfamiliar with intellectual property law was asked to decide this complex
case involving patents and technology innovation. Three days later, the jury awarded a little over $1 billion to Apple,
saying that Samsung had infringed on some of its patents. There are certain to be appeals.
To prepare for the courtroom battle, Apple commissioned two online conjoint analysis studies (one to study preferences
for smartphones and one for tablets) to help quantify the damages. The iPhone developer hired John Hauser, a marketing
professor at MIT, to oversee the research. Hauser, who has spoken at previous Sawtooth Software conferences, used our
conjoint software tools to conduct the research and then took the stand in the San Jose courtroom as one of Apple's
Hauser was unable to reveal much at all about the case due to nondisclosure agreements, but interestingly enough a wealth
of information is publically available that details the software and methodologies he used. According to public information,
Hauser worked together with AMS (Applied Marketing Science) to conduct a series of in-person qualitative interviews with consumers.
Based on the issues and terminology
revealed in those interviews, Hauser and AMS designed the CBC surveys using our SSI Web (CBC) software; then analyzed the choice
data using CBC/HB v5 and our market simulator with Randomized First Choice. In his written expert testimony he stated that
he "...used Sawtooth Software’s SSI Web Version 7.0.26 package, which is a well-known and widely used software system for
these types of applications." Both studies included 16 CBC tasks and employed graphical--in some cases multi-media
representations--for the 7 attributes.
Hauser was one of a team of experts whose testimony was relied upon to justify the $2.5 billion damage claim, and his main
role was to quantify the demand-side of the equation. To do so, he employed a willingness to pay (WTP) computation based
on simulating shares of preference for Samsung's devices with and without the alleged patent-infringing technology. A
second expert for the plaintiff combined Hauser’s WTP estimates with supply-side analysis to arrive at the final claim of
In the courtroom, Samsung's attorney cross-examined Hauser, challenging his approach and the use of conjoint analysis.
During the grilling, Samsung's lawyer even cited a passage from Sawtooth Software's book, "Getting Started with Conjoint
Analysis," where it stated that conjoint studies often come up with WTP values that are higher than prices seen in the
We have read Hauser's (publically-available) technical report and note that he investigated respondents' intrinsic
willingness to pay for the patented features rather than the price a manufacturer could actually capture for the enhancements
given other alternatives (outside goods) in the marketplace. In our experience, accounting for outside goods in a more
comprehensive market simulation leads to more modest estimates of what a manufacturer can actually charge for an enhancement.
But, Hauser's role was to estimate consumer WTP rather than the thornier issue of equilibrium market prices. A second expert
witness for Apple completed the arguments by addressing the supply side of the equation. We don't know which elements
of Apple's overall case were most persuasive, but in the end, the jury sided with Apple, awarding it a little more than $1
billion in damages.
As software manufacturers and admirers of the conjoint methodology, we are regularly taken aback by the diverse and often
surprising applications of our conjoint systems around the world. To wit, they are being used to study ways to reduce
damage to coral reefs in the British Virgin Islands, improve the adoption of solar and wind power in Europe, and to help
the Tanzanian government reduce maternal deaths in its rural countryside. More commonly, firms use our software tools
to design products that improve their competitiveness, profitability, and lead to better consumer experiences. And in
this case, Sawtooth Software's conjoint tools and literature are wielded as battle axes to wage multi-billion dollar
lawsuits in Silicon Valley.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Announcing: Joint SKIM/Sawtooth Software Event in Berlin, April 9-12
Together with our European technical support partner, SKIM Group, Sawtooth Software is pleased to announce
the 2013 SKIM/Sawtooth Software European Conference and Training event. The European event will occur
every 18 months, to place it in good rotation with the US-based Sawtooth Software Conference (to occur
October 15-18, 2013 in Southern California).
The European event consists of 4 days of workshops, tutorials, and conference papers. Typical attendance
has been 60 to 80 participants.
- April 9-10: Menu-Based Choice (MBC) and CBC Workshops. Two separate 2-day workshops that feature hands-on
application of MBC and CBC software.
- April 10-11: 2- and 4-hour Tutorials. A variety of topics will be presented, most focusing on tradeoff/preference-based modeling.
- April 12: Conference Papers. A call for papers will go out immediately to solicit 8 to 10 papers from
the practitioner and academic community.
The venue is the Berlin Marriott, with a promotional rate of 155 Euro single/175 Euro double (breakfast included).
Call for papers will be issued in the next day or so.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Panel Sample: Who We're Using
In our latest customer feedback survey, we asked our users which Online Web Sample/Online Panels they primarily
used over the last 12 months. Up to six mentions were allowed, asked in open-end format with no pre-coded responses.
Sample providers who were mentioned by at least 3% of the sample in 2012 are reported below. (If a firm acquires
another firm, the results for years prior to the acquisition are not netted.)
Percent of Respondents Using Panel/Sample Supplier in Last 12 Months
(Sorted by 2012 Results)
Friday, April 27, 2012
SSI Web 8.0.2 Released
SSI Web 8.0.2 includes various bug fixes. See:
We have also included a new text editor. We think you will really
like it. See the Product Blog post:
New Text Editor
Friday, March 9, 2012
Menu-Based Choice (MBC) v1 released today
After 19 months of work, we are releasing MBC v1 today! 82 beta testers have been involved in the process, and due their excellent assistance we feel this is a very clean release. Menu-Based Choice (MBC) opens up a new world of discrete choice modeling possibilities for capable Sawtooth Software users who have some training in econometrics and discrete choice modeling. It's truly remarkable what you can accomplish with MBC.
We recommend you buy the software right now, or give it a try by downloading the demo version and working through the tutorial.
Buy MBC Right Now
Please write firstname.lastname@example.org for a price quote. (If you are a European customer you may purchase either directly from us, or from SKIM in the Netherlands. If you purchase from SKIM, all front-line technical support comes from their office rather than from our offices.)
There are three ways to license MBC software:
- One-time fee of $10,000 for a single user/seat. Upgrade fees for new versions will cost about 40% of the original purchase price of the software. (Volume discounts apply.)
- Annual fee of $6,000 for a single user/seat. Upgrades are included at no additional cost. (No volume discounts apply.)
- Premium Corporate Annual License of $19,900 ($4,000 more than the standard corporate annual license). Covers up to 10 users/seats for MBC, plus 10 seats for all other Sawtooth Software tools. (No volume discounts apply.)
Demo MBC Right Now
If you didn't become a beta tester, and are now interested in trying the software in demo mode, you can download the software right now at: http://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/download/releases/mbc/MBC_v1_0_0.exe
After installing the software, we recommend you read at least the first few introductory chapters of the Help Manual (available by clicking Help + Product Manual PDF). Then, you can use the sample dataset installed with MBC software (CarBinaryDVs.csv) to analyze your first MBC project. The Tutorial describing that dataset and how to use MBC software to model it is found by clicking Help + Online Help + Introduction + Quick-Start and Introduction and then by clicking the Tutorial link at the top of that page.
Monday, March 5, 2012
General TURF Tool Available from Sawtooth Software
One of the more common optimization approaches in market research is TURF analysis. TURF stands for Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency. It is a technique for finding the optimal bundle of items (messages, flavors, brands, magazines, etc.) that “reach” respondents. TURF has been available for MaxDiff problems using our Online MaxDiff Analyzer tool. But, we’ve now made that same tool handle general data other than MaxDiff including Likert scale, ratings, magazine readership (yes/no), brand within consideration set (yes/no), etc.
A classic TURF example is the problem of choosing which flavors of ice cream to stock in the freezer at a grocery store. The grocer may decide that he/she has limited space and can only include up to 8 flavors of ice cream (out of 30 possible flavors). The grocer wants to maximize the chance that shoppers will find a flavor that they like well enough to buy in the freezer (where "like well enough to buy" means that the preference score exceeds some threshold, such as a 3 on a 5-point scale). If the respondent encounters a flavor he/she likes in the freezer (having a score of 4 or 5), the respondent is counted as "reached." The problem isn't as simple as including the eight most preferred flavors on average across the sample. Niche flavors that appeal to segments of the population (and that can increase total reach) would be overlooked.
For the ice cream example outlined above, the TURF procedure examines all possible subsets of 8 flavors of ice cream (out of 30 total flavors), and for each set counts how many respondents are "reached." The top sets of 8 flavors that maximize "reach" are listed in the output with the percent of respondents reached shown next to each.
The MaxDiff Analyzer software is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution, meaning you don’t have to install anything. You log on to the software using a browser. The cost is just $250 per year, for access to up to 10 projects concurrently. Read more about MaxDiff Analyzer by visiting: http://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/products/maxdiff/maxdiff_analyzer
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Support Hours Extended for Better European and East Coast Coverage
Starting on April 3, 2012, Sawtooth Software will extend its hours of sales and technical support to 7AM to 7:30PM Eastern Time (12:00 GMT to 0:30GMT).
This gives our European customers 2.5 additional hours of technical support during their business day. Europe makes up 1/3 of our customer base, and
the East Coast of the US has the largest concentration of our users in the world. Starting our support 2.5 hours earlier than before makes a lot of sense,
as we strive to make our technical support even better. This decision was made in consultation with our European support partner, SKIM.
(Customers in Europe can purchase software either directly from us or through our European Sales Representative, SKIM, in the Netherlands. If purchasing
from SKIM, all technical support comes directly from their offices. So, customers choosing SKIM also make the choice to receive all front-line technical
support from their offices rather than from our offices in the US.)
Please also take note that our online Forum (http://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/) is letting
customers receive help from other Forum users 24/7. Questions about survey programming within CiW, MaxDiff, and also conjoint analysis are being asked
and answered continuously on the Forum. There are two users who deserve special mention for their expert and prolific service on the Forum: Bahadir
Ozkurt (of Turkey) and Paul Moon (of Australia). Thank you!
The use of our Forum is growing year by year, and maybe there will a time in the future when more hints and help are being provided by the online
community over the Forum than through our standard help email (email@example.com) and phone number (+1 801-477-4700). Become a part of the
Forum community today by visiting: http://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/forum/
Thank you for your continued support and loyalty!
Monday, February 6, 2012
Andy Cargile, director of Microsoft Hardware, at CBC Consulting Challenge 2012
The 2012 Sawtooth Software Conference has a two-day optional CBC Consulting Challenge Workshop (March 19-20)
preceding the big event in Orlando, FL. Participants break into small teams to design and field a research
study (overnight, between days 1 and 2) related to a current problem faced by Microsoft Hardware. Some
classroom instruction is also involved. We are very pleased to announce that Andy Cargile, director at
Microsoft Hardware will be at the challenge workshop. He’ll outline the business question/problem and
also help judge the presentations.
This is a tremendous opportunity! Andy is not only a former research director and familiar with Microsoft
Hardware issues, but more importantly is one of Microsoft's visionaries in the world of consumer products
and consumer experience.
Chris Chapman (formerly of Microsoft, currently at Google) will also be a co-instructor at the workshop.
Sawtooth Software's Aaron Hill and Brian McEwan will also co-direct the meeting and provide technical help
to participants, as they design the study and analyze the results.
Survey Sampling International (SSI) is a co-sponsor of the workshop, and is providing panel sample for the
studies. The night of the first day, the competing teams will field their studies using Sawtooth Software
Hosting and SSI Panel (then sleep that evening...we aren't asking you to pull an all-nighter!). On day 2,
teams will analyze the results and develop their presentations to be judged and critiqued by Mr.
Cargile and the other instructors.
All-in-all, this is going to be a fantastic opportunity to work in small teams with discrete choice methods,
to research a real business issue, and design, field, and analyze the results in an extremely compressed time
(48 hours). Come ready to learn a lot! Then, stay for the main conference Wed-Thu (March 21-23).
Register for the CBC Challenge and also the full Sawtooth Software Conference at
Friday, December 16, 2011
In previous feedback surveys and correspondence, our customers have indicated that many wished we could provide overflow SSI Web programming services to
We are finally in a position to provide these services!
Contact Aaron Hill for more information, by writing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +1 801-477-4700.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Expert Panel Discussion (Turbo CBC 2011)
This summer we held a Turbo CBC seminar in Monterey, California. Part of the event featured a 2-hour panel discussion.
Topics included best practices in conjoint, panel sample, most common mistakes made, and future developments in conjoint. The expert panelists were:
- David Bakken (KJT Group)
- Chris Chapman (Microsoft)
- Keith Chrzan (Maritz Research)
- Joel Huber (Duke University)
- Rich Johnson (Sawtooth Software)
- Kevin Karty (Affinova)
- Bryan Orme (Sawtooth Software)
The complete discussion may be downloaded from http://www.sawtoothsoftware.com/download/techpap/panel2011.pdf.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Online Simulator Included in Annual License
Sawtooth Software’s online simulator has been added to the Annual Corporate Subscription License. Previously, the annual subscription gave up to 10 users at a company access to all Sawtooth Software’s products except the online simulator. Now, the 10 users may also have "admin" accounts within the simulator, which allows them to set up an unlimited number of projects for internal simulation use. The Online Simulator is more streamlined and attractive than the installed SMRT simulator. You can customize (and lock down) which settings in the software (i.e. simulation method, Exponent) should be used. Clients may be licensed for just $500 for a 2-year account.
You can set up a free trial on our website, to see how the online simulator works.
Also, we are offering similar access for annual subscription holders to the Online MaxDiff Analyzer. Write email@example.com or call +1 801-477-4700 for more details.