6 Considerations for In-House vs. Outsourcing Transcription Efforts

By: Verbit Editorial



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In today’s fast paced world, it is becoming best practice to record and capture internal meetings, classes and events. Business and institutional leaders are also creating and offering transcripts with these records to ensure they are accessible, can be referenced easily later and to engage a variety of audiences.

However, these audio and video transcripts are often produced in-house due to the misconception that it is cheaper to do so than outsourcing transcription efforts. Advancements in technology have now made outsourcing transcription more attractive and beneficial for professionals, with an evident ability to  save them time, resources and money. Professionals are well poised to work with transcription experts and partners with established integrations into video hosting and web conferencing platforms they’re using regularly, such as Zoom, YouTubeKaltura, Panopto and others to make for a seamless process.

Outsourcing transcription can make a significant difference. Professionals who outsource these efforts can allocate time and budgets more effectively to other projects. Here are the top 6 considerations for professionals to take into account if they’re on the fence about keeping transcription in-house .

1. In-house transcription is manual and formatting is tedious.

If professionals and universities outsource transcription, they can produce transcriptions in any templates they need quickly and at scale. Outsourcing offers unlimited bandwidth, as many transcription providers such as Verbit use Artificial Intelligence to immediately produce transcripts and then use human transcribers to fact check the technology’s work to achieve 99%+ accuracy. One enterprise client of Verbit’s which produces video surveys noted that she, ““had to spend between 2-5 hours a week managing [transcription efforts]… I had to identify any quality issues myself. With Verbit, that’s gone from 2-5 hours a week to 5 minutes. It’s made a massive difference.”

2. Manual transcription takes serious time.

The industry standard for transcription turnaround is 14 days, or 10 business days. Manually transcribing audio or video to text typically takes an average 4 hours for every 1 hour of video or audio for a skilled transcriptionist, and even longer for a person without experience in this process. By outsourcing transcription, rough drafts of transcripts can be delivered immediately and final transcripts can be accurately produced within 24 hours. In today’s on-demand world, business leaders simply cannot afford to wait for transcriptions to be turned around by in-house professionals with other responsibilities or by those who are not trained in producing them. Offering transcripts to students with a delay does not make for accessible materials, even if the transcripts themselves are accurate. To provide true equity, university leaders and professionals must provide transcripts to those who need them in as timely a fashion as possible.

3. In-house transcription makes for an inefficient workflow.

When producing transcripts in house, it often means downloading and uploading transcription files manually into each system being used to host the audio or video. Transcription providers often have established relationships with video hosting platforms to remove the upload-download process, which can save professionals significant time and resources. 

For example, Christa Miller, Director of Inclusive Media Design at  Virginia Tech, said professionals at Virginia Tech were producing captions and  transcriptions in-house, taking them “6-16 minutes to caption a one-minute video in its previous process.” Verbit is now partnering with the university to produce their captions and transcripts seamlessly and populate them automatically in Kaltura. Verbit offers integrations with Vimeo, YouTube, Brightcove, Kaltura, Panopto, Zoom, GoToMeeting and many more.

4. Poor audio quality makes in-house transcription challenging.

Poor audio quality may contain too many inaudibles to produce a usable transcript if done in-house by one individual. Professionals should consider outsourcing to partners with expertise in handling challenging files with  difficult audio, background noise, accents and different speakers to identify. . Verbit, for example, has the technology to cancel out factors to reduce background noise and other aspects leading to poor audio quality to ensure transcripts are produced accurately despite these challenges.
A person using phone to record.

5. In-house transcription leads to guessing games.

Professionals who do transcription in-house often struggle with the spellings of names and terminology. They have to guess at who is speaking, what’s being said and other elements, leading to an array of likely inaccuracies. Additionally, these guessing games cost them a significant amount of time and ultimately slow down the transcription process tremendously, not to mention how tedious the process can be . Outsourcing to technology providers results in more accurate and quicker identification of speakers and terminology. Verbit for example can reach 99%+ accuracy levels. Additionally, professionals can pre-upload terms which serve as hints for the technology to be trained on so that when put to work it can easily identify the terms which are likely to be used in the course, meeting, event or other material being transcribed.

6. Sensitive information can get into the wrong hands.

Sensitive information that is transcribed is subject to human errors and could easily get into the wrong hands. While NDAs are one fix, enlisting a provider with clearly stated compliance and privacy measures is a safer bet. Employee mishaps of sharing information often occur by accident, so it’s often better to avoid the risk of exposing confidential information to human error or rumor mills.  Verbit is fully compliant with all relevant privacy and information protection standards, such as HIPAA, SOC 2 and GDPR. 

For these reasons, among others, professionals would be wise to outsource their transcription efforts. For bandwidth issues, expertise, privacy and manual effort, outsourcing tops in-house transcription efforts. Verbit can help to handle these challenges.

Verbit’s transcription service is cost-efficient, but highly accurate and meets the needs of a variety of different industries. It shouldn’t be manual, tedious or tricky to generate transcriptions and provide accessible materials to audiences, students and consumers. Outsourcing these efforts means business leaders and university professionals can dedicate their time more wisely, but still ensure transcriptions are produced and offered to those who can benefit from them with Verbit in pocket.