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.
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 functionality.
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 improve.
(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.
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