How to Conduct Effective DIY Research During a Crisis

Louise Principe
Feb 10, 2022

Person Doing DIY Research

If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us, it is how to be independent and reliant on ourselves. People have developed a do-it-yourself mentality when it comes to getting things done around them. Businesses such as home improvement and hardware stores have capitalized and built empires based on this mindset.

With new and effective solutions available for DIY research studies today, firms are adapting this do-it-yourself concept and shifting their market research in-house. The advantages of these platforms are that they save time and money while also being accessible because of their user-friendly capabilities.

Nowadays, you don’t need to be an insight expert to conduct your studies, but having sufficient knowledge on how to execute your DIY qualitative study can prove helpful in the long run as you become more confident in conducting more and more projects. This simple guide will teach you everything you need to know on how to implement effective do-it-yourself research.

What is DIY qualitative research?

Do-it-yourself qualitative research is when businesses conduct their own research using self-service tools. This method gives you control over the research design and timeline of your study for a more agile data gathering. It is most suitable independent researchers, teams, and consultants that needs fast results to make informed business decisions.

Market research is all about reducing risk. When used appropriately, DIY tools are an excellent choice for delivering quick, simple data. A DIY approach to research can be as robust and reliable as full-service qualitative research if utilized to its full potential.

Advantages of DIY


As the world continues to evolve, organizations are now transitioning to more proficient ways of working. This means that they are optimizing their market research methods to gather actionable consumer insights in less time than it would usually take with a traditional approach.

If your goal is to collect evidence-based data that will help you justify a corporate decision for a meeting in a week or so, or even tomorrow, DIY market research platforms will be the most viable option. Most platforms now offer results in hours or days whereas managed research can take weeks or even months to complete.

Gone are the days of going with just your instincts, as DIY makes it easier to have logically analyzed consumer feedback within your reach when you need it.


Due to the pandemic’s effect on the economy, we have seen a trend wherein companies are implementing budget cuts to stay afloat. Consequently, you may find yourself in a position where you need maximize your resources and make more with less. DIY qualitative research platforms are significantly more affordable than full-service. And because the results can be just as robust, DIY projects can create more long-term value as well.

A DIY market research solution consisting of a variety of platforms that can handle your study from start to finish provides some useful benefits. For one thing, you have access to a toolset that enables you to have a complete qualitative research experience on your own without having to spend a large sum of money. Essentially, choose the right platform, and you don’t have to sacrifice quality in the name of speed or cost-effectiveness.

In-house expertise

There are a lot of companies that house insight experts who are more comfortable with implementing and analyzing their own studies. DIY is the most convenient for these professionals because the research design and fieldwork process is expedited. This allows them to have more time on each project for thoughtful examination of results.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that expertise is not a requirement for researchers to benefit from a DIY setup. DIY study is becoming increasingly accessible even to non-experts.  While early platforms may have been challenging for those without knowledge or experience, the current generation of self-serve solutions are much easier to navigate.

How to Implement Effective DIY Research

Evaluate goals and devise questions

In preparation for a strategic self-service research, you should first formulate and identify the questions and research objectives that need to be answered and pursued. What specific information you need to collect and the ideal next steps are dependent on these. Your goal may be to identify the viability of your product or to identify potential risks and opportunities for growth. From these goals, you will then derive questions that provide relevant answers to what you want to achieve.

Identify methodology

When conducting your DIY study during a pandemic, web-enabled solutions are the most practical choice for safety and ease-of-use without sacrificing the quality of information gathered. You could make use of online IDIs and focus groups to acquire valuable information through discussion. If you seek to gather real-time ethnographic data from your respondents, then mobile research is the best choice.

  • Webcam Discussions - The advantage of this method is that it allows moderators to gather a great diversity of participants at a lower cost. It gets rid of any logistical problems because participants can just access the session through logging in from their laptop or computer. With an internet connection and webcam, this method saves time, provides productive conversation, and is convenient.
  • Mobile Research - This method makes use of the mobile ability of smartphones wherein you can take them anywhere with you to complete tasks and answer questions. The main advantage of this method is that it enables in-context interviewing, which is very useful for ethnographic studies and capturing real-time authentic feedback. Respondents can participate online or offline no matter where they are.

Engage with respondents and collect data

Building rapport and maintaining engagement with your respondents is important if you want to get worthwhile data for your DIY qualitative research. Make use of open-ended questions that prompt your participants to answer with more than just one-word responses. Probe and follow up if any responses need further explanation. Elaborate answers allow for better understanding and more detailed insights.

Capture respondent feedback through text, photo, audio, or video if they are participating in a mobile study. This allows for them to share their insights on-the-go.

Organize and analyze data

The raw data that you have gathered, such as video or audio files, can be tedious to interpret if you have pause, rewind, and replay certain points multiple times. In your independent research, it is advantageous to utilize transcripts and media curation to organize your data whilst identifying any important details or insights that you can decipher.

Transcripts are the text version of spoken audio. Instead of going back and forth on a media file, trying to understand what was being said, they enable you to review your discussion word-for-word. Having a transcript handy allows you to look over your content in detail to identify any key points, patterns, and anomalies that are worth analyzing.

Media curation helps condense your videos and audio so you can maximize your data. You could create clips of important points in your meetings, add tags for keywords and develop storyboards for your data to have a narrative.

Transcripts and media curation lays your qualitative data out on the table and transforms it into something that is accessible and searchable.

Conduct Your DIY Research Efficiently with Civicom MyQual™

This accessible, affordable and secure online DIY solution provides users with the toolset needed to execute a qualitative research from start to finish. Gather quick, data-driven insights with capabilities such as webcam streaming, media management, and mobile homework using this robust do-it-yourself package. Learn more about MyQual™ and the platforms it can offer to ensure a positive research experience.

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