Transcription Services/Note Taking

Is Writing Your Own Transcript The Best Option? The Case For Outsourcing Your Transcripts

By Take Note Team on August, 15 2019
Take Note Team

Extracting important data from audio or video files can be tricky and take time, the easiest way to glean this information is to transcribe the file. This can save you a lot of time, allowing you to focus on other tasks. 

However, writing your own transcript is a time-consuming process within itself and is much harder than you think. You have to have a lot of patience and time to create an accurate and high-quality transcript. 

Fortunately, professional transcriptionists can do this much more quickly. It takes them around an hour to transcribe 15 minutes of audio — if it takes the professionals that long, imagine how long it would take without experience. It would be a much more tedious task. 

This is why you should opt for a transcription service. Not only will it save you time, but there are many other benefits that come with using professional services. This article will explain the reasons using a transcription service is a much better way to get the transcript you need. 

Transcription services guarantee accuracy

If you need a transcript of a business meeting, a financial discussion or even a legal proceeding, it must be accurate. When we hear information, our brain can edit out parts that seem insignificant or unimportant. 

A professional transcriber is trained to pay attention to everything and include all the crucial details in the transcript. Even those which may seem insignificant. They can also take the time and put in the effort to do this. 

There will be differences between whether you opt for a software solution or human transcription services. Depending on your individual transcript needs, either service could suit you better.

 


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For example, with a human transcript service, you can get a full verbatim transcript. With this option, every detail is included such as pauses, dialect, tone and much more. You can also get a copy that’s as close as possible to a hundred percent accuracy. Even if you opt for an option like detailed notes, you have more control over what’s recorded. 

Automated Speech Recognition does provide a cheap option but does not provide the same level of quality as human transcribing. The accuracy rate is lower than 80% even in the best circumstances and can be significantly worse with background noise. Remember, this software needs to pick up subtle sounds and convert them. This process can be disrupted in a variety of ways. 

So, if you want the most accurate option, a human transcription solution is going to be the best option. But that doesn’t mean that ASR can’t help you in certain situations. 

ASR can help you write your own transcript  

You might be interested in writing your own transcript. While this is time-consuming and incredibly difficult, there is no denying that it will save you money. However, it won’t provide the results that you want if you don’t have assistance, and that’s where ASR software can prove useful. 

With ASR software, you will essentially have a base transcript that you can work with. You do need to be prepared to still complete a lot of the work yourself — you will need to make sure that you add the details that the software has missed. The basic structure of the information will be there but you’ll need to clean up the transcript. 

If you are comfortable editing the transcript, losing detail and some level of meaning, this is an option. Before you do opt for this though, think about how often you have to correct Siri or Alexa after the initial interaction and this should give you an idea of what to expect. 

Again, if you don’t want to spend time working on the transcript yourself, then you need to opt for human transcription services. While these are more expensive, there are different options and you should be able to find one to suit your budget. You can also choose based on what type of requirements you have and how detailed you need the transcript to be. 

Transcription services offer you different options

There are a variety of different transcription options that you can consider.

Full-Verbatim is the most expensive and most detailed option. As mentioned, with this possibility, every detail is recorded and included in the transcript. Stops, starts, erms, ers, repeated words and much more will all be part of the final product. 

It does take a lot of time and effort so it is always going to cost you more and there is some debate as to whether it’s necessary. Ultimately, this may only be relevant where a word for word copy is crucial, like legal proceedings. 

Verbatim provides a similar level of detail but the insignificant moments are cut out. What you receive is a cleaner transcript that is easier to read and quicker to digest. If you want to make sure that your transcript is neat and tidy without the insignificant details that are often present, this is certainly going to be the best choice. It does still provide the full word for word meaning of the recording. This is typically considered the industry standard and if you don’t ask for something specific it’s likely that this is what you’ll receive. 

Detailed notes are another option. This increases the editing further by removing chit chat and other tangents that are not relevant. They are edited to be to the point and provide on-topic info. Interview questions will typically be summarised and any rambling will be slimmed down. Again, this is a cheaper option as they are easier and faster to produce. You get a cleaner transcript for less money. 

Once you have decided on the type of transcript you want, think about what extras you need. Extras include a fast turnaround, audio quality, speaker identification, accents and timestamps. Typically, you will pay a base price per minute for recording which will increase depending on the extras you want or need. 

Transcription services save time

It’s important to be aware that writing your own transcript will take time, effort and a significant number of work hours. The more accurate you need the transcript to be, the more time it will take. While ASR is useful, it’s not quite at the level where you can completely rely on it. 

This might change in the future but right now, you’re going to have to bare with completing corrections and making edits. If you do opt to avoid writing your own transcript, you will be able to focus on other tasks and increase productivity in your business. 

It’s worth noting turnaround times can differ depending on the service you choose as well. It is possible to pay more and get a transcript delivered fast within twelve hours. However, if you want to save money, you can plan ahead. Prepare for a short wait for your transcript and you will cut the cost down considerably. 

Consider what your priorities are in getting a transcript

While writing your own transcript is an option, getting a professional or even using as ASR as a backup could be beneficial. It will certainly improve efficiency levels and free up more of your time. 

Think carefully and you may find the benefits far exceed the cost of paying an expert. With the support of a pro, you can make sure that your transcript does provide the resource you need. 


We hope this article about outsourcing your transcripts has been useful! To learn more about transcription services, transcription variations and service rates, our Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services can give you the information you need. 

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