Protobi blog

You’ve asked each respondent to answer multiple questions. Now you want to know if respondents’ answers to this question are significantly different than their answers to other questions.

Protobi’s new PairedTable allows you to compare different questions across the same respondents (rather than compare the individual questions for different subsets of respondents). This uses pairwise comparisons for stronger statistical tests.

This uses pairwise comparisons for stronger statistical tests. It uses pairwise t-tests to compare means and McNemar’s test (with small sample corrections) to compare percentages.

For more information, see the brief tutorial

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A TopBoxTornado plot is a concise way to present top- and bottom-box scores for multiple ratings on Likert-type scales.

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Protobi is not just a pretty face for the data, it also provides a full-featured language for data cleaning and reshaping prior to analysis.

No matter how carefully you design a survey there are almost always changes you need to make to the data once it comes back:

  • combine multiple waves of an ATU
  • merge in translations for text open-ends in other languages
  • stack patient cases
  • calculate time intervals
  • define segmentations
  • remove outliers
  • zero-fill skipped values

You can now do all of the above (and more) within Protobi.

Previously you might have used SPSS, R, or external vendors to do this externally. You can still do that, and upload the results to Protobi as you wish.

But now you can also keep all your processing code in one place, integrated with your analysis, and documented.

Strapped for time? We’re happy to set up your data cleaning and reshaping for you, and show your analysts how to edit or author it.

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Back-to-school season entails all the necessary checkups and health exams.
Seeing where the kids fell on the height weight standards chart, I noticed that the charts all seem to conveniently stop at age 20. What would they look like if extended for adults?

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We love bar charts and their simple utility in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. But other chart types also have their role in finding and telling the stories in survey data, and our client work often entails creative custom visualizations…

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Does your survey include a collection of related questions on a common scale? E.g.

  • Ratings: “How strongly do you agree with the following…?”
  • Frequencies: “How often do you do the following activities…?”
  • Rankings: “Please rank these items from most desirable to least…”

Protobi includes useful tools—top-box summaries, stacked bars, crosstabs and clustering—that make it easy to analyze ratings, rankings, and other questions on common scales. But the tips here you can do in Excel, R or even PowerPoint…


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Click here for up-to-the-minute New York Times top stories …in PowerPoint!

As powerful and ubiquitous as the mobile/web has become, PowerPoint is still the platform for business analysis today. Interactivity and rapid collaboration are awesome, but business findings are presented in slides, to be presented, distilled and synthesized, as insights crystallize into decisions.

So we’re pushing the boundaries of PowerPoint on the web, making it easy to export data as slides with native charts and tables. Using your company’s template. And even to instantly update the charts and tables (leaving your text untouched) as new respondents come in.

Which got us to wondering, if all other business results must be presented in PowerPoint why don’t executives ask to see the New York Times in a slide deck? Maybe just no one ever thought it was possible!

So for fun we combined the NYTimes Top News API to test our shiny new library to generate PowerPoint with native charts, images, tables, real time data and user-defined templates.

More to the point, Protobi can export your entire survey… be it in Survey Monkey, TypeForm, Qualtrics and Confirmit Surveys seamlessly to native PowerPoint charts and tables.

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Wait! Before you send the survey for programming, here are a few quick ways to simplify the survey for the respondent, the client, and the analyst.

A few of these pick on an actual customer satisfaction survey Amtrak sent me. This is unfair. The trip was great, and it’s clear that Amtrak listens to its riders to keep the experience nice. But a lot of surveys are similar so it’s a good example.

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A key task in any survey is identifying outliers that can mar an otherwise great analysis. Outliers can arise for many reasons – honest mistakes, careless entries, or outright bogus answers. Protobi makes outliers stand out so identifying them as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

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How many ideas might you expect to find in customers' responses to open-ended survey question? Here's an interesting empirical analysis of text verbatim coding from a recent survey, looking at actual data compared to expected values under Zipf's Law and Heap's Law.

The survey question was "Why did you choose the product you selected?". Respondents provided free-text responses. 200 responses were coded in Protobi using the new verbatim coding widget by a professional analyst.

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Verbatims from open ended survey questions are a rich source of insight for market researchers, and a great way for your survey to tell you something you didn’t already know. But surveys often don’t include them, as analyzing text responses has historically been a hassle.

What if coding text verbatims were fun and easy? Would we ask them more often? Might we learn more of what the market is often very willing to tell us?

If you have a current survey with text verbatim responses, let us know. We’re running a study you might be interested in…

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How do you find the optimal price for a good or service? Obviously, it depends what you mean by optimal. And pricing is a hugely complex problem. But if your goal is narrowly defined to maximize expected profit based on a discrete choice logit model, this page has an elegant new solution.

We present a simple analytic formula for the optimal price in a discrete choice pricing model. Here, the optimal price is the one that maximizes the expected revenue (or profit), balancing the revenue versus the likelihood of purchase. This formula allows the optimal price to be quickly calculated precisely for each individual customer, for further analysis and action.

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Protobi now enables drag-and-drop recoding for text verbatims!

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Thanks to our users for awesome suggestions in a recent series of user labs! Key themes:

  1. using Protobi to create client deliverables on rapid timelines and
  2. presenting Protobi as a client deliverable.

This release introduces several new capabilities:

  • Copy elements rather than just move them
  • Find-and-center an element by double-clicking on it in the tree.
  • Save scenarios in a new toolbar button
  • Evaluate scenarios as a segmentation for crosstabs
  • Define new segmentations logically using Mongo-style constraints.
  • Define new segmentations functionally using Javascript expressions.

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A frequent question prospective clients ask is “How are you different from Tableau?”

On the surface, Protobi and leading BI tools are similar in that both create clickable graphs and tables from data. Beyond that they’re radically different tools for different purposes, and even coexist quite nicely.

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Was encouraged to participate in the MIT Big Data Hackathon at Hack/Reduce in Cambridge, MA this weekend by a friend Ashwini Kumar, principal engineer at Senscio Systems. The very idea of signing up to work into the wee hours amongst the super talented people one would imagine would be there seemed both intense and pretty intimidating. But he’d been to these before and assured they are really positive sessions from which you learn a lot you’d never expect. Plus my kids thought the idea was cool. So I was in. And wow, they were right.

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“Hey, is there any way we can see this data as a perceptual map? I’d love to show this to the marketing team tomorrow.” Thus was the question posed by a smart client who likes to present synthesized findings rather than just raw data.

The next question was “How can we make this easier to see?” Together we worked out a new take on Perceptual Maps to make more fun…

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You can now export Protobi visualizations as Excel workbooks with statistical tests. Set a crosstab banner and generate an entire deck of crosstabs. Use it for your own advanced analyses or send it directly to a client. Export Protobi to Excel

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“This is great! How can I export visualizations to PowerPoint for my clients?” We hear you!

Click the 'Export' toolbar button to export selected elements

You can now export Protobi visualizations as PowerPoint presentations:

  • Charts are native PowerPoint chart objects
  • Data is embedded as Excel worksheets

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Style update showing baseline distributions as black outline

We’ve updated the look of Protobi!

  • Current distribution as a single solid color
  • Baseline distributions as a thin black outline

This is based on end user feedback from user labs with our clients and theirs. As before:

  • Blue triangles show statistically significant differences
  • Gold bars show active filters

A key strength of Protobi is its ability to show statistical contrasts, comparing one subset to another. The design challenge is how to make this is clear, intuitive, and aesthetic. We think this strikes the balance.

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Nested crosstab of StackOverflow reputation versus gender within years of experience

You can now run nested crosstabs within Protobi! Hold the Shift key when dragging to nest an additional elements in the banner.

  • For an individual tabs, drag an element onto another
  • For global tabs tabs, drag an element to the Crosstab button.

Nested crosstabs are useful to untangle confounding across multiple factors.

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International Stroke Trial: distribution of delay from stroke to randomization.

The International Stroke Trial (IST) was one the biggest randomised trials ever conducted in acute stroke. Patients were assessed at randomisation, at the early outcome point (14-days after randomisation or prior discharge) and at 6-months.

There is an incredible lack of transparency in clinical trial results today. A team at the University of Edinburgh has been working to change that, and has made the individual patient-level data available for public use, to facilitate the planning of future trials and to permit additional secondary analyses. Explore the data in Protobi.

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Every year the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducts the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), a national patient chart review with outpatient physicians. This annual survey collects details for over 32,000 patient visits from 3,000 doctors in 15 major specialties.

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Global Impact Study: Q5-1 Value of Public Access Venue for Internet Connectivity

Libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés play a critical role providing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times.

The goal of The Global Impact Study was to measure the impact that funding of Public Access Venues (PAV) for internet connectivity has had, in eight countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa.

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Here’s how to to compute candidate market segmentations using R and profile them in Protobi, using the most recent StackOverflow Developer Survey as a case study.

This yields a simple segmentation of developers based on what tasks they spend their time on ( note how little time in any country spent looking for a new job…)

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Stack Overflow released the results and data for its 2013 annual survey of members. With 7,643 respondents it provides a fascinating glimpse what developers are working on, what they’re excited about, their Stack Overflow activity, salary and careers. Explore the data in Protobi.

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Eurobarometer Attitudes, Robot image 1 Eurobarometer Attitudes, Robot image 2

The European Commission recently released original data for its 27-country Eurobarometer survey on public attitudes towards robots. Click here to explore this dataset in Protobi.

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Real world data can come in a tremendous variety of shapes and sizes. Protobi can currently import data in two standard forms:

Depending on the form of your data, it might take a bit of prep to shape the data to streamline your work in Protobi. In the professional plans, our expert analysts can typically take care of this for you. If you’d like to do it on your own, here’s what you need to know.

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Pew Research Gender and Generations Survey in Protobi

Pew Research recently released its Gender and Generations Survey survey. This survey of US adults covers a range of demographics and attitudes, including health, wealth, household makeup, and family/work/life activities. Click here to explore the data visually in Protobi.

  • Click on responses to drill in, e.g. to compare how people who consider themselves “Very happy” or “Extremely happy” versus those who do not.
  • Drag-and-drop variables to create crosstabs, e.g. vs “Q2. How would you rate your own health?” .

Contact us at inf@protobi.com to create an in-depth view of your research data.

You can download the data directly from Pew Research. Note: The Pew Research Center bears no responsibility for the analyses or interpretations of the data presented here.

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Pew Research Gender and Generations Survey in Protobi

Pew Research Gender and Generations Survey is now available in Protobi. This survey of US adults covers a range of demographics and attitudes, including health, wealth, household makeup, and family/work/life activities.

It’s actually fascinating to explore, to see what does and does not correspond with self-rated happiness.

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Use simple clicks to create nuanced queries. Click to select a specific value (“is”). Option + click to select multiple values within an element (“or”). Shift + click to exclude a value (“not”).

Filters on different elements apply simultaneously (“and”).

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Sign into Protobi, then drag your SPSS or CSV datafile into the “New Project” icon to instantly create an online visualization you can see, explore, organize and share.

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Create an instant crosstab by dragging one element to another. The element you drag defines the columns (or “banner”), and the drop target defines the rows (or “stub”). Drag the column name back out to clear the crosstab.Try it here…

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Pew Research Gender and Generations Survey in Protobi Protobi is now available for individual research professionals and firms who work with survey data. And in free public beta for open collaboration. Sign in and try it!

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The piano keyboard is the perfect point-and-click interface. It can’t be any simpler. Anyone can appreciate the output. And it’s easy to get started. Yet it has nearly infinite possibilities for expressiveness and social interaction.

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StackOverflow is an innovative take on the Q&A discussion forum, focusing on answerable questions. At heart is its scoring system for the community to identify good answers and good questions, and in the process users develop reputation scores based on their contribution. Greg Hewgill created an awesome analysis of StackOverflow posts. Distribution of user reputation on StackOverflow

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The OpenVisConf hosted by Bocoup at the Boston Science Museum on May 16-17, 2013 was that rare conference that was amazingly worth attending. The speakers were the very people who create those awesome works we’ve all admired and forwarded, or wish we’d known about. Let alone the attendees. Here are my key takeways.

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Numbers are more than just important to the Wall Street Journal. And for a wide variety of cases, the simple bar chart is well suited. Dona Wong’s Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics provides a clear and concise guidelines to presenting business data clearly to people who use it.

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A key source of inspiration for many modern app developers is Bret Victor’s musings, sketches and prototypes. Gabriel Florit, a designer at the BostonGlobe.com, shared some of his work in a Boston Data Visualization Meetup that he summarized succinctly as “I saw Bret Victor’s talk, Inventing on Principle, and I built something.”

At Protobi, one of our inspirations is Bret Victor’s reimagination of a New York Times infographic as an elegant sequence of interactive bar charts. Wouldn’t it be great to instantly create an interactive graphic like this from any dataset, big or small? And embed it in your blog, website, or marketing report.

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Heard Bob Caspe, an experienced entrepreneur and adjunct professor of business at Babson, speak at the Venture Cafe at the Cambridge Innovation Center. A brilliantly engaging speaker, with a smart crowd in the room. Key takeways:

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