Ways to display rankings

Tips for concisely displaying results of ranking choice exercises

Updated at March 10th, 2020

Market research surveys often ask respondents to rank treatments, therapies and different concepts. We can display these ranking questions in Protobi.

In this example respondents were asked to rank ten different concepts from best (1) to worst (10). The image below shows distribution of ranks for two of the ten concepts:

To display all the rankings for all the concepts would include 10 x 10 = 100 results. This is a lot of numbers to present. Maybe we can simplify this...

Compact to 1st

One simple way to summarize rankings is to show how often each concept is ranked first. Since each respondent ranks exactly one product first, this converts a complex ranking grid to a simple single-punch variable.

To do this in Protobi, press the edit icon and select "Compact to..." from the context menu. Then select "Compact to "1st":

Voilá...we now see how often each element is selected first. Sort by frequency to see the top picks. Here we see respondents most often ranked concepts B and G first. 

Show rankings as stacked bar charts

You may also want to see how often products are selected second, third, fourth, etc. Showing each concept as a stacked distribution allows us to see the whole picture as well. Press the edit icon and select "Display stacked".

Now each concept is shown as a stacked bar chart, with colors indicating a rank. The numbers still show how often each is ranked first. By default, Protobi colors from blue to green in ascending order. So here 1 is darkest blue and 10 is darkest green:

Sort colors descending

With rankings 1st is better than 10th, so we might want to show 1st as green and 10th as blue. Reversing colors is currently an advanced feature. Press the edit icon, select "Edit JSON..." and set "colors":"descending":

Compact to 1st, 2nd or 3rd

In this example we can see that Concepts D and E are rarely chosen 1st, but are very often selected as 2nd or 3rd. This could be a useful marketing insight.

Maybe we'd like to show how often each product is chosen 1st, 2nd or 3rd to get a more robust metric. Press the edit icon and select "Compact to..." from the context menu. Then select "Compact to Top Box" and enter 1,2,3. The numbers now show how often each product is ranked in the top three:

Partial rankings

Here, each respondent gave a complete ranking for each product. For many products, perhaps your survey asks each respondent to rank only their top three choices. In this case, the value [NA] would represent "Not in top three." You'd want to consider these values in the distributions and summary scores.

To always display missing values in Protobi:

  • Press the edit icon and choose "More properties"
  • Under "Show missing values" select "Yes"

Note: if your survey also has skip logic, missing values might indicate "not asked." In which case, you'd want to also specify a filter so ranking results are shown only for respondents who completed the exercise. 

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