The Power of Transcription as a Data Organization Tool

By: Verbit Editorial

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When you hear the word “data,” what comes to mind? At first blush, it’s easy to associate the idea of data with numbers, statistics and demographics. In reality, however, data can take many different forms. Quantitative data certainly plays a major role in day-to-day data analysis and implementation. However, qualitative data, which conveys feelings and opinions, can also be a valuable resource for businesses across a wide range of industries.  

It’s possible to glean qualitative data in a number of different ways, including focus groups, one-on-one interviews, co-creation sessions and more. The insights these initiatives yield, while extremely beneficial, can sometimes be difficult to document in an accurate and easy-to-reference manner. That’s why many business leaders use data transcription to record their data in a more accessible, convenient way.  

What is Data Transcription? 

Data transcription refers to the process of converting data from audio or video formats to a written record. This tool is valuable for any researchers pursuing recording initiatives for posterity because it allows professionals to make the information from those recordings more readily accessible and easy to digest. Data transcription is also a common form of academic transcription, as institutions of higher learning often must receive, analyze and organize high volumes of both qualitative and quantitative data.  

Audio and video recordings are extremely useful resources, but at the end of the day, they are not always easy to review or reference in a timely manner. This drawback is due to the fact that it is often necessary to sift through long stretches of recorded information to locate a specific data point or discussion topic.  

What is Qualitative Data Transcription? 

Data transcription refers broadly to the transcription of all forms of data. However, qualitative data transcription refers specifically to the transcription of information that describes qualities or characteristics rather than statistics or other numerical data.  

Qualitative data transcription is particularly useful for projects like market research initiatives.  These projects focus on gathering and synthesizing opinions about a specific product or issue. Market research professionals often rely on in-depth research sessions like focus groups and interviews to document the experiences of their subjects.  

Taking audio or video recordings of these sessions is one way of accurately documenting the information that participants share. However, these recordings are not always easy to refer back to without monopolizing a significant amount of an employee’s time. Audio and video recordings also may not be sufficiently accessible mediums for all clients or staff. For example, a market research professional who is Deaf or hard of hearing would likely have a difficult time putting to use any qualitative data that is solely documented in an audio or video recording.  

Qualitative research transcription makes this data much easier to record and document in a manner that is engaging and inclusive for all. Searchable transcripts, in particular, are an extremely efficient reference tool that can enable a user to search for specific data points or subjects within a recording without needing to manually rewind or fast-forward through a lengthy interview or focus group session.  

Data Entry vs. Transcription 

While it can be easy to confuse the two processes, there is a distinction between data entry and data transcription. Data entry, generally speaking, refers to the process of entering data into an online system or database for reference or analysis. Data transcription – meaning the process of converting audio and video data from recordings to text – can technically be a form of data entry. For instance, if the researchers upload a transcript to a device or online database, this is data entry. However, not all forms of data entry are technically transcription, as data entry often involves converting written information to digital information rather than converting audio and video recordings to text.  

How to Perform Data Transcription 

For business leaders looking to improve the utility of their recorded data, transcribing audio and video files to text can serve as an easy means of streamlining and organizing their records. When it comes to the actual data transcription process, professionals can choose between a few different approaches. 

In-house transcription 

Some businesses may attempt to task their in-house employees with transcribing audio and video recordings to text. While seemingly convenient and cost-effective, this approach can actually be extremely costly in the long run. Untrained transcribers are prone to making a high volume of errors. Each of these errors will need to be manually reviewed and edited to safeguard against the potential consequences of inaccurate data finding its way into the record. These transcription errors also negatively impact accessibility and can fail to adequately support accessibility standards and guidelines in the workplace.  

Professional transcribers 

There are professionally trained human transcribers available for hire by any organization looking to cut back on the potential for transcription errors. However, while these pros tend to produce extremely accurate transcripts, they can be expensive to hire and are subject to inhibiting bandwidth issues.  

Data transcription services 

A cost-effective solution for accurate transcription services is to partner with a professional transcription provider like Verbit. Verbit’s data transcription services combine the speed of artificial intelligence with the accuracy of professional human transcribers to deliver highly accurate data transcription with industry-leading turnaround times. Verbit’s online data transcription platform offers seamless software integrations and is GDPR and ISO certified, so you don’t have to worry about the security of your sensitive data.  

Verbit: Transcription Solutions for Every Industry 

Verbit is a trusted provider of transcription solutions for businesses and organizations across a wide range of industries. Verbit’s platform is easy to use and designed to support information that is created and shared across several different mediums and platforms.  

In addition to transcription, Verbit is a one-stop-shop for other valuable assistive technologies like captioning, translation and audio description. All of these tools can help boost efficiency and improve accessibility in the workplace for all clients and staff members. Reach out today for more information about Verbit’s data transcription capabilities and to find out how Verbit is helping to change the way businesses obtain, organize and use their most valuable information.