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Reasons Why Market Researchers Use Summary Transcription

By 30th July 2020May 26th, 2021No Comments
Transcription Services

As we all know, when COVID-19 descended upon the UK in March 2020, necessity called for the rapid transition to working from home.  Our fantastic IT industry leapt into action and within no time at all, researchers found themselves sitting in front of a screen instead of a person, learning to navigate the new worlds of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts, in order to conduct their face to face interviews and focus groups.

The human transcription services industry faced the reality that with an uncertain future, researchers may be attracted to the outwardly cheap and fast transcription option of automatic speech recognition (ASR) that cloud based systems offer, with their integrated voice to text software producing automated transcripts almost instantaneously.

And many in fact did give it a try.   But they quickly discovered that ASR struggles to reach accuracy rates higher than 80%, even under ideal recording conditions and it looks, well, “a garbled mess”, “unusable” and “takes more time to tidy it up than it would to transcribe it”.  Time costs money and so a realisation has grown that using voice to text software can be a false economy if you need an accurate, well presented transcript of your interview or focus group.

What’s the Answer?

Market researchers increasingly need a half-way house for their Zoom groups and depths, between intelligent verbatim transcription, which produces a more costly but comprehensive transcript, and taking their own notes, which leaves them unable to concentrate fully on the discussion.   The answer?  A summary transcript produced by a professional transcription services company.

What is a Summary Transcription?

A summary of a verbatim transcription provides a more concise read, whilst still capturing the relevant, quality data needed for analysis.  Dialogue is still transcribed and some verbatim quotes are included, but repetition, non-relevant discussion is omitted and some sentences edited.

What’s The Difference?

Below is a sentence taken from an intelligent verbatim transcript:

“I’m 31 years of age.  I am currently employed working in a department store, in what can be at times quite a stressful job.  And, on the side of my employment, I’m also studying for a master’s in Environmental Science at a Russell Group university, which again brings additional stresses and time constraints.  I’m constantly trying to balance my life and I suppose, in what little spare time I have, I like to try and keep active, so I also play football and run half-marathons.” 

Here is the summary:

“I’m 31.  I am employed in a department store, in what can be quite a stressful job.  Additionally, I’m studying for a master’s in Environmental Science at a Russell Group university, which brings additional stresses and time constraints.  I’m constantly trying to balance my life and in my little spare time, I keep active, I play football and run half-marathons.” 

What benefits does it give the researcher?

We asked a market researcher for the benefits of summary transcription service:

It’s fast, fairly priced and brings the benefit of the human ear;
Summary transcripts bring forward the salient conversation/interview points;
A professional transcript that provides great theming of key topics;
It removes off-topic conversations;
A summary assists with fast analysis for reporting and questionnaire design;
An affordable transcription service that enables client budgets and deadlines to be met more easily.

Live Zoom Transcription

With client expectations growing and deadlines becoming tighter, an additional service option is your focus group or interview to be transcribed live by a human transcription service.

Provide the discussion guide beforehand and your high quality data can be captured by a live Zoom transcriptionist as it happens, producing a clearly presented, well thought out transcript by a professional who has actually listened to the discussion as it happened and understands what you need.

Transcribe It is the UK’s longest established transcription services provider [established 1992].   We’re highly experienced in the provision of strict verbatim transcription to the academic sector. 

Please give us a call on 01992 445411 or use our contact form and we’ll discuss how we can help you with your UK transcription needs.

Alternatively, you can email us your transcription enquiry at and we’ll be in touch with a quote!