There are many reasons why you may need to convert audio or video to text. You might require a written record of meetings, interviews, or other notable events.
As a business owner, you might be interested in engaging a transcription service rather than in-house solutions. First, you need to answer the question: is audio transcription worth it? Read on to discover the reasons why outsourcing audio transcription can benefit businesses of any size.
What is Audio Transcription?
Transcriptionists take audio or video recordings and transform them into written documents. Transcription may seem easy, but it's not. The transcription process is technical, complex, and time-consuming. Audio quality varies widely. In a field where accuracy is critical, a mistake-filled transcript could be disastrous.
Professional transcription services take the stress out of transcript production. Upload your source recording, set your guidelines, and let the experts handle it.
If you're wondering whether transcription services are suitable for you, here are seven benefits to outsourcing transcription.
1. Transcript Accuracy
General transcriptionists are not just typists; they are also researchers. Transcription requires exceptional accuracy to avoid errors. Especially in legal proceedings, verbatim transcripts are a necessity. You want someone with accurate typing skills, a good ear, and a keen eye for detail to produce a clean and precise record.
Professional transcribers know how to timestamp the transcript correctly and what to do if there is unintelligible content. Unless you work for a large company with a dedicated in-house transcription department, producing transcripts yourself isn't worth it.
2. Fast Turnaround Time
Depending on the length of your recording, you can usually get a professionally-produced and completed transcript in around 24 hours. Untrained personnel would be hard-pressed to meet such stringent deadlines.
3. Privacy and Security
Transcripts often contain sensitive information. Quality transcription services will require transcriptionists to sign a privacy or non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Using a professional transcription service ensures that your private data remains secure.
4. Knowledge and Experience
A considerable advantage of professional transcriptionists is their vast experience. Often, in highly specialized fields like medical or legal, your transcriptionist will have specific industry-based knowledge.
The benefit of experience goes beyond mere speed and typing accuracy. In vital matters such as healthcare or court transcriptions, the competence of terminology and jargon is critical.
Outsourcing transcription to a third-party company is cost-effective. Rather than maintaining an in-house team to do transcription by the hour, transcription companies often charge by recording length. The average cost is between $0.75-$1.50 per recording minute. In contrast, a privately-contracted transcriptionist charges between $15 and $30. While these rates seem costly, they are still more affordable than paying wages and benefits to keep a full or part-time transcriptionist on your staff.
Concerns over making content accessible to customers with disabilities have risen in recent years. By having a complete written record available, you can convert it into text-to-speech for visually impaired customers. If you choose to add video clips to your website, you will need to provide the written transcript or have the video captioned. Luckily, some of the same companies that offer transcription also create captions.
7. Easy Distribution of Materials
Audio files are challenging to manage. They take up valuable space on a computer or email server, and you also must split large files into manageable pieces before sending.
Cloud storage and access are options, but not when dealing with sensitive legal or medical records. If you handle such private client data, you have a legal and ethical obligation to ensure the security of that information.
The simplest way to manage data security and integrity is to maintain a written transcript. Then, you can send the transcript over secure channels and have confidence in its accessibility and privacy safeguards.
Having an accurate audio or video transcript does not replace the content, but it does enhance it in various ways. Having information transcribed professionally is a worthy investment in your business.
Unless you are part of a large corporation that keeps a transcription department in-house, using a transcription service is a budget-friendly alternative.
Professional transcripts are error-free, properly formatted, and efficiently delivered. When dealing with sensitive information, having the data transcribed professionally ensures accuracy, security and fulfills legal confidentiality obligations. While it might be tempting to attempt the task yourself to cut costs, the consequences or errors usually are not worth the risk.