Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

Notes from Software Development

From time to time we give you updates regarding our future direction and development schedule. This year, we are working on SSI Web v6.2, a free update for current (v6) SSI Web users.

SSI Web v6.2

SSI Web v6.2 will include a complete re-write of the passwords module. New functionality will include the ability to append new variables (hundreds of them, if needed) to the passwords table. For example, you already may have prior information (such as demographic variables) about respondents and want this information available for executing skip patterns or during analysis.

We’re also updating Quota Control. Currently, quota control assumes that respondents qualify for just one of many mutually-exclusive buckets that you define. However, many users have wanted the ability to set quotas for each of many screener questions, not assuming a single definition of mutually exclusive buckets. For example, the researcher may set targets of having 500 males and 500 females (screener Q1); and targets of 800 large company respondents and 200 small company respondents (screener Q2). There is no specification of how many male AND large company respondents will be collected (for example); we only pay attention to obtaining the marginal frequencies for Q1 and Q2 separately.

There are a few other features we hope to include in SSI Web v6.2 as well. We expect to be finished with v6.2 by around conference time (October, 2007).

Latent Class v3

We are also currently working on an update to the standalone Latent Class software for MaxDiff and CBC experiments. It will use the same successful interface as the CBC/HB v4 system, and will accommodate constant sum and dual-response None.

CVA/Web

Our other project for this year is to include our traditional full-profile conjoint system (CVA) within SSI Web. Currently, CVA is only available within the older SMRT platform for paper-based or Windows-based interviewing. Although CVA is the least-used of our conjoint trio, it continues to be an important methodology. It is strategically important that we include it in SSI Web. The CVA/Web system will be a paid upgrade for CVA for Window users.

Market Simulator within SSI Web

With all three conjoint packages available within SSI Web, we will almost be ready to leave the older SMRT platform behind. The last key piece will be building a new market simulator within the SSI Web package (sometime in 2008). Once that is complete, few users will need to use the old SMRT platform, since all work may be done within SSI Web, without the need to export and import between SSI Web and SMRT. Perhaps at that point, the usefulness of the “SSI Web” platform name and “/Web” suffixes for software products will have run their course. With everything under a unified platform, it would be much cleaner to refer to our software again by the original names: CBC, ACA, MaxDiff, and CVA.

And, it’s worth mentioning that we plan to create a simpler Excel-based version of the market simulator, probably again in 2008. The purpose of this version will be to give users a simpler interface to share with less technical clients.