Alvaro Enriquez and Andres Paredes are completing their career in Industrial Engineering at the University San Francisco of Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador. The interest in the conjoint analysis research for their undergraduate work came up in one of the classes called New Product Development (NPD) where Conjoint Analysis (CA) is used in the process and the traditional method is applied. The lack of academic involvement in this kind of field in the country can give an opportunity to develop and improve tools like these in the industry.
The University San Francisco of Quito is located in one of the valleys of Quito, Cumbayá. It was established in 1988 and has become one of the best universities in the country. It has a liberal arts philosophy and has one the best industrial engineering programs in the country.
Alvaro is a calm person that likes to relax, but also dedicates his time to activities such as playing tennis and reading about new technology. On the other hand Andrés is an outgoing person, he enjoys being with his friends, doing volunteering in non-profit organizations and helping his community. They are motivated by the investigation about CA and see the potential in their country to develop quantitative tools like this. One of the fundamental goals in the career is to improve industrial and human processes that occur everyday through knowledge applied.
Research Goals And Findings
There are a small number of researches made in comparing different conjoint variants where the research only finds the attribute utilities and validates each CA variant according to this. That is why they want to take it one step further and make consumer testing with the resultant prototypes of each CA and compare them with the respective statistical analysis. As a result of this consumer comparison they are going to be able to discern which CA variant gives better results based not only in the validation but also taking into account the consumer preference.
The comparison is going to be between the traditional conjoint analysis and the choice- based conjoint (CBC) which is the most used CA variation nowadays. The traditional CA, also known as Conjoint Value Analysis (CVA) is the one used in the class at USFQ, that is why they want to compare it with the most CA variant used according to Sawtooth Software investigation, CBC. This information will result in an application of a different CA type to improve NPD in contrast with the one studied in the engineering class at USFQ. Also the utility estimation with the CBC is going to be the Hierarchical Bayes (HB), this method has proven to be very accurate but also computationally heavy; that is why they are going to use the CBC software provided by Sawtooth Software. In the research the Stage-Gate methodology is employed.
What they want to check is if there are significant differences between the results obtained by the CVA and the CBC through the utility estimation of each of the attributes gathered in a marketing research and then use the results and develop the combination of the significant attributes to make consumer tests. Once this is done tests if the results remain the same or they change to analyze the tradeoffs that consumers make. They are going to point out the advantages and disadvantages of using a much more complex utility estimation method, and the design of a much difficult CA, depending on the outcomes of the research.
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