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Forcing quota option / Displaying quota fail option

Some of the surveys I work on are used by interviewers with quotas applied.

I may have age quotas and location quotas for example.

As the quotas reach their targets, we start to see surveys where an age quota is filled but the location is not (and vice-versa). Obviously this survey will be disqualified because of the age quota.

But what if we are willing to "relax" the quotas a touch and allow this survey to go through?

I've used software in the past that displays a message to the interviewer which says "Quota fail OR Continue" if any quota has been reached. The interviewer has a choice and based on their briefing instructions for the survey, selects the applicable choice. The nice thing here is it is a choice.

For non-interviewer surveys you would not display such a message.

Does anyone else find this useful? I know I have.

Has this request been presented to Sawtooth Software in the past?

asked Aug 24, 2016 by Paul Moon Platinum (80,455 points)
We don't have this functionality built into our terminate questions, but I think you could achieve the same effect with the software as is.  In the quota question's settings, skip non-qualifying respondents to a select / free format instead of a terminate.  Then in the select / FF, ask the interviewer whether or not they want to terminate the survey.  Finally, skips could be used to skip the respondent to the terminate question if the interviewer chooses that option.
Thanks Zachary. Makes perfect sense. I've used various similar approaches in the past. I wasn't sure if you guys had this type of request and was curious on whether the option would be added in?
I would think the only issue with this solution is that this person would no longer be tracking in the quota they would have qualified for would they?  Wouldn't they be assigned a value of -2 for that quota question?
That's a good point, Jay.  Perhaps the SetValue function could be used to set the quota back to the correct value after the interviewer chooses not to terminate?  You'd probably have to use unverified Perl to rerun the same calculations as used in the quota question.

Alternatively, you could potentially use the same quota question a second time, but this would require some complicated qualification logic.  Probably easier to just set the value again with Perl.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Have you considered using the "check for cell membership" setting to randomly check for the quota cell?    On the Advanced tab under the "Check for Cell Membership"  section you can select "Randomize All".   If this is selected then the quota cells will be considered in random order.  This could possible solve your problem by filling the cells more evenly.
answered Aug 24, 2016 by Justin Luster Silver Sawtooth Software, Inc. (7,675 points)
Thanks Justin.

I like using that method for multiple response type questions like "Which brands do you regularly use?". But when we have single response type questions like age / location, it doesn't play the same role.

I have used similar methods to the solution Zachary provided. One additional step is to correct the status of the quota question using SetValue or Perl after the quotas have been established.

Is this something others have requested?