Sawtooth Software: The Survey Software of Choice

What is Conjoint Value Analysis (CVA)?

Over the past few decades, conjoint analysis has become the most popular and powerful technique for measuring consumer preferences for product and service features. Conjoint is used to estimate price sensitivity for brands or product features, and to estimate how buyers would respond to new products or modifications of existing products.

The CVA System brings traditional full-profile conjoint analysis to the suite of Sawtooth Software conjoint products. CVA is especially useful when measuring interactions is not a priority and when sample sizes cannot justify the use of CBC. CVA questionnaires may be administered via web-based, CAPI (computers not connected to the web) or paper-and-pencil surveys.

The CVA system provides the tools to design either single-concept (ratings-based or ranking) or pairwise comparison questionnaires. Since full-profile conjoint studies ask respondents to consider all features at the same time, CVA is appropriate for measuring a limited set of attributes (generally about six or fewer).

CVA's Designer helps you create the conjoint interview. The CVA software advises you regarding how many conjoint questions you should ask to obtain enough information to estimate respondent preferences for the attribute levels (part worth utilities). Once you specify the number of conjoint questions to use, CVA's computer-search routine finds a set of questions (product profiles) with high relative D-efficiency. D-efficient designs lead to efficient estimation of part worths. After you have tested and finalized the design, you would typically field the study over the web. However, you can also print the questionnaire for a paper-based survey. CVA can also save the questions to an HTML file which you can edit with word processors.

The base CVA package provides two options for calculating part worths. For ratings-based designs, ordinary least squares (OLS) is appropriate. For ranking tasks, monotone regression is preferred. Select either method, and CVA calculates and saves utilities for each individual. These data provide a rich source of information for simulations or market segmentation using our Convergent Cluster Analysis System (CCA). An optional module for hierarchical Bayes (HB) utility estimation is available.

The CVA/HB Module for Hierarchical Bayes Estimation provides a newer, more advanced method for estimating part-worth utilities called hierarchical Bayesian (HB) estimation. HB estimation is able to strengthen the estimates for each respondent by "borrowing" information from the population distribution.

The Market Simulator is perhaps the most useful conjoint deliverable. Conjoint simulators allow you to conduct "what-if" analyses of your own and competitors' products. CVA shares the same general interface and market simulator with ACA and CBC. A client version of the market simulator is also available.

CVA/Web allows up to 30 attributes with 15 levels each.