DIY Research: What about the quality?

One potential criticism of DIY Market Research, is that it can lead to the circulation of poor quality online surveys. The strongest critics have in the past come from professional market researchers. But the reality is DIY research should been seen as a tool. Tools can be used well, or poorly. The argument is also complicated by the fact that there are many research professionals who use the same online survey tools as well as inexperienced users and non researchers. So we really can’t generalise.
I have to agree, of course, that there is the potential to design and script online surveys poorly. But most people are capable of learning the basics of running an online survey. It takes some effort, but tools such as Surveygoo, provide both the tools and the knowledge to create professional level surveys. Then its up to the user to use those tools effectively.
One other aspect of quality and DIY research worth mentioning is the fact that some DIY tools include third party quality checks. When a Surveygoo customer conducts a survey with our panel respondents (via Online Panel Access) there are two elements of quality assurance. Firstly, the panels themselves are built and monitored to ESOMAR guidelines. Secondly, each survey script is reviewed against basic quality checks: e.g. grammatical/spelling issues, routing and logic tests. Of course, these tests will not turn a poorly designed questionnaire into an excellent questionnaire. But it does provide an extra level of quality assurance which goes at least some way to intercept and prevent the poorest quality DIY surveys.