04 November 2010

100% Accuracy in Transcription: Realistic or ‘Pie in the Sky’?

So if a transcription services provider guarantees 100% accuracy, does this also mean the transcript will be 100% ‘complete’ with no inaudible words? Personally I think not and other transcription services providers agree.

Now I’m going to be realistic here and say that I cannot guarantee 100% accurate transcriptions with no inaudible words. This is by no means a reflection on my abilities as a transcription services provider or my quality control procedures as you will see from the example below.

What I am confident to guarantee however, is that I will work extremely hard on your behalf to ensure that your transcripts are as complete and accurate as possible.

There are too many factors to list here that could contribute to inaudible words in a transcript, the obvious one being background noise, and even with really clear recordings it is still possible and even likely that there may be the odd inaudible.

As an example, I have transcribed four interviews for one of my clients. The sound quality was very close to broadcast standard. The first three interview transcripts were 100% complete and accurate after a full proofread against the audio.

However, the fourth interview transcript had two or three inaudible words even after the proofread. This was due to the fact that the recording device was so sensitive it was picking up on background noise when the interviewee moved in his seat, which although very slight, was enough to obscure the word spoken at that precise moment.

So you see, even with fantastically clear audio there is still no guarantee that your transcription services provider will be able to catch every word. Therefore the transcript will not be 100% accurate and ‘complete’.

So if a transcription services provider guarantees 100% accuracy, do not assume that this means 100% complete.