Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

Report on Conjoint Analysis Usage

Thank you to those who participated in our annual customer feedback survey. This tool serves as a measuring stick for our business, and allows us to keep in touch with both the overriding sentiment and the specific ideas of customers. We learn how we can better serve you, and what we can do to improve our products.

Here are some top-line findings you may find interesting:

  • 98% of respondents rated their interactions with us as either Good or Excellent.
  • MaxDiff (Maximum Difference Scaling) was used by 54% of the respondents’ firms during the previous year.
  • 50% of respondents indicate that they are using SSI Web for general online or CAPI interviewing (for programming non-conjoint questions).

Of course, an important element of the annual survey is to track the usage of conjoint analysis methods. Respondents were asked how many conjoint analysis projects their firm (or department) conducted during the previous year. Then, they specified what percent of those projects utilized different conjoint-related methodologies. The vast majority of the projects employed Sawtooth Software tools, and among those projects, the percent of projects utilizing CBC, ACBC, ACA, CVA, and MBC were as follows:

Relative Use of Different Sawtooth Software Conjoint Methods 2012

A newcomer was added this year to the survey: MBC (Menu-Based Choice). According to respondents, 2% of projects over the last 12 months used the MBC approach. A few caveats should be noted when interpreting this finding. First, we only included those projects in this analysis that employed Sawtooth Software techniques, which represented 80% of all preference modeling projects reported by our users. Next, although the MBC software had been available for 1 month in production and 10 months in beta at the time this survey was collected, it is quite possible that many respondents identified a project as using the MBC approach, even though they did not use our MBC software to carry out the project. For example, our CBC experimental design routines together with SSI Web for fielding and CBC/HB software for estimation (or counting analysis) could have been used in such projects.

A continuing trend is that the standby CBC is accounting for a lower percentage of total conjoint projects as new choice-based methodologies have been introduced (ACBC and MBC). Also interesting to note is that the older ratings-based conjoint methods, CVA (traditional full-profile conjoint) and ACA (Adaptive Conjoint Analysis) have held their ground in 2012, after steady erosion of usage over the previous nine years. We’ll see if this is due to sampling error, or whether next year’s results confirm this stabilization of ground support for these traditional methods.

Another portion of the feedback questionnaire asked respondents about their use of Maximum Difference Scaling (MaxDiff). The application of MaxDiff methodology is still increasing, though there is a hint in this year’s findings that its first time adoption by new firms may be slowing. During the last year, 54% of respondents to our survey indicated that their firm had used MaxDiff during the previous year, compared to 52% in the 2011 survey.

Growth in MaxDiff Usage