Our Methodology

Our approach guides you through an intuitive process to discover your personal Preference Profile. Your Preference Profile expresses both the priority and strength of how much you care about different attributes in a complex decision. Knowing your Preference Profile is the key to constructing a personalized composite measure – your Value Rating.


This proprietary method originated in healthcare. In healthcare there is an acute need for accurate and useful summary scores comprised of many distinct performance measures. However, the type of problem our method addresses is quite common; it is by no means limited to healthcare. From education and political polling, to consumer goods and proposal evaluation, our method is highly adaptable.

Use Value Ratings when options are difficult to compare.

preference profile value rating

The Value Rating method has two parts:

  • First, a preference survey teases out the relative importance of the various performance aspects making your decision seem difficult. The survey is intuitive and interactive. It produces your Preference Profile, which displays the priority and strength of each performance aspect – as you see them. The survey is important because when asked to self-reflect, people tend to struggle. They cannot reliably specify the intensities of their preferences among multiple performance considerations. We call this Introspection Risk. The survey helps you to unveil your preference intensities in a stepwise and crosschecked manner that sidesteps Introspection Risk.

For many, discovering one’s Preference Profile is in itself a valuable breakthrough. Consider the case of new car shopping. It can be instructive simply to learn that crash safety is, say, 340% more important to you than affordability. For another instance like this, see the sample application for political polling. But the real power comes from merging your Preference Profile with actual performance data associated with your options.

  • Second, we apply advanced techniques to standardize the performance data for the aspects defining your choices. This enables apples-to-apples comparisons between measures that may not be on par with one another. The techniques also handle measures with different units of service, or where the “degree of difficulty” varies.

Political and technical advantages

The Value Ratings methodology offer a number of political and technical advantages over popular ranking approaches:

  • It easily adapts to changing preferences over time, as might occur with more learning or experience.
  • Checks for consistency in your survey responses assure that Preference Profiles have integrity.
  • Value Ratings can show that the magnitude of variation differs greatly even for people facing the same choicesThis occurs because some Preference Profiles tilt toward aspects with a greater “degree of difficulty.” Only the Value Rating will disclose and quantify this.
  • For highly sensitive decisions, the Evidence Strength underlying Value Ratings becomes increasingly important. It is especially useful for teasing apart gradations of higher performance.