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If I have ACBC 8.3 do I need CBC?

Since Adaptive CBC (ACBC) has been overhauled in version 8.3 of SSI Web, do I need CBC any longer? Does ACBC support Alternative-Specific Designs?

Now that ACBC 8.3 can do alternative-specific designs, can skip the BYO (Build-Your-Own configurator) section straight to the CBC-looking choice tournament, supports HB (it always has)... then it starts to raise the question if it is a substitute and replacement for CBC.

Despite the prodigious benefits of ACBC—and there are many—here are some reasons you should keep CBC prominently in the toolkit:

  1. Non-adaptive CBC is the global standard worldwide. Many academics and clients will ask for the tried-and-true methodology. Because of this, a researcher should have both CBC and ACBC ready to go, depending on the client desires and preconceptions.
  2. Adaptive CBC cannot do shelf-display CBC so common in FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) studies. ACBC can display at most three concepts per task in the CBC-looking choice tournament section.
  3. CBC supports chip-allocation, best-worst choice of concepts within a task, and dual-response none answer strategies. ACBC only offers discrete choice (pick best within each task). The optional Calibration Concept section is similar is many respects to dual-response none, but not exactly the same. This may or may not matter, unless the client really wants DR-None asked after each choice task.
  4. Adaptive CBC does tournament-style CBC tasks, where winning concepts move on and losing concepts do not. Many people will have historic interest in and preference toward non-adaptive designs.
  5. Adaptive CBC cannot do partial-profile CBC studies, where the attributes seen rotate in and out of different choice tasks for the same respondent.
  6. If your study involves showing fixed alternatives (such as pharma studies where some drugs are fixed and others have varying attributes), then it may be very important to you (for context-specific utility estimation within the realistic market scenario) that every choice scenario has all (say) 5 drugs available to the respondent. ACBC cannot do this. Once a constant alternative is rejected in the choice tournament (where only 3 concepts at max can be shown at a time), it will never appear again to the respondent.
  7. ACBC typically requires from 1.5x to 3x more time for respondents to complete than CBC (though respondents find it more engaging and less monotonous than CBC to spend that extra time). The demands of the study may not permit the longer questionnaire. CBC studies (if aggregation is sufficient) can be done with just each respondent (over huge sample sizes) completing just one or a few tasks.
  8. CBC software may be used for “paper-and-pencil” studies whereas ACBC may not. Sometimes, our users set CBC into “paper-and-pencil” mode because they are required for a given client (internal or external) to use a third-party interviewing platform. So, they program a few “blocks” of the paper-and-pencil questionnaire within the non-Sawtooth Software survey platform. The results may be imported into CBC for subsequent data analysis—and CBC doesn’t care whether the data really came from paper-and-pencil respondents or from a third-party web-based survey.

Thus, there are many reasons to hold onto and continue to use your CBC license, despite the amazing capabilities of Adaptive CBC (ACBC) within SSI Web v8.3.

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