A transcriptionist’s job doesn’t always start off as an easy one and like all other professions in the world; it takes loads of practice, dedication and hard work to actually become an ace transcriptionist. But what most self-help forums don’t tell you is that in order to become a highly skilled transcriptionist, you also need to work smart. As a reputable transcription agency, we’ve gathered a wealth of information along the way and it’s this experience that has helped our transcriptionists deliver the highest standards each time.
So, irrespective of whether you are just starting out, have a few projects under your belt or a veteran-
we hope that these tips will help make a difference in the way you work:
- Everybody has to start somewhere and during your years as a beginner, having multiple projects of a shorter duration on your resume is much more impressive than having just a handful of projects of a longer duration. Put simply it is better to have experience of different speakers on a variety of subjects. Whether you would prefer to be experienced in general transcription in different areas or specialise in one or two niche areas e.g. legal and medical, is a decision you need to make. What’s more important is that you have adequate knowledge about the subject matter you transcribe and also carry out relevant searches online to find the correct information.
- Ask any agency about the top two skills needed to become a great transcriptionist and ‘speed’ will without doubt be one and the other is accuracy. Yes, clients may want a transcript to be delivered in the space of an hour or two but which do you feel is better- delivering a highly flawed transcript and meeting the deadline or asking for an extension on the time and submitting a quality transcript? So, yes, if an impressive resume, good feedback and more work is what you want, then aim for accuracy and not speed. If you feel that a deadline is simply impossible to meet for example if the audio quality is poor or there are many participants, don’t hesitate to ask for an extension from the client as long as it’s fair and justified.
- Staying updated and keeping abreast of the latest developments in the field of transcription and of course, in your niche areas is very important.You’ll find plenty of great online forums which provide a good meeting ground for transcriptionists from all over the world and of course, for an exchangeof new ideas as well. Invest in the right books which you can refer to anytime you need to look up an abbreviation, understand a certain term used or simply to refer to.
- Many transcriptionists hesitate to invest in a pair of good quality head-phones and even in reliable transcription software. Yes, getting a good cheap deal online may make you smile now, but it most likely will not help you work efficiently.The quickest way to make a good decision you won’t regret in both cases is to talk to other transcriptionists and to do your bit of product review research as well. It’s likely that you will find conflicting reviews on the internet and that’s why you need to take time to do your reading thoroughly. But, in the end you’ll find that your efforts will pay off and let’s face it – you won’t be spending money unnecessarily either!
More tips coming your way next week!
(continuation of last week’s article)
- When you sit at your desk in the morning, it may seem like you have ample time to complete your transcripts, but by the time it’s afternoon, you may find that there’s still plenty of work left to be completed and not much time to do it either. One of the best ways to solve such a problem is to jot down your schedule for the day, week and month in a planner or work diary so that you take control of your time management. Besides, it also helps you meet any set deadline and also smooths out the entire work process as well.
- We agree that it does get difficult to remember what each abbreviation stands for, the details required for various transcription formats or even any specifications laid down by regular clients. How about using a notebook to jot down important information that you keep using time and again, for abbreviations, links, references and the like? When you are transcribing and listening to an audio file, your quick notes will be the reference tool you need.
- Let’s be honest – listening to an audio file and typing out each word that you hear can be difficult. As a transcriber, you don’t have to get all the matter absolutely correct first time typing, by proofing it and running the audio a second time against the document can ensure corrections are made. By using Auto Correct a typist can use abbreviations and short forms of long words and phrases which automatically replace. For instance, words like ‘collaborate ’ can be shortened to ‘clb’lse, ‘step-by-step ’ to ‘sbs’ and other difficult to type words which are tricky or use a lot of key. You don’t really need to adhere to a prepared format for such short forms- simply use what works best for you as long as a common word is not made from it i.e. ‘ate’ cannot be used for ‘at the end of the day’ as the word ate exists and would be replaced! In fact, the ‘Find and Replace’ option in Microsoft Word, also helps you edit whole documents in seconds. For example, if you hear a specific phrase which has been used countless times previously in the audio, but which is heard clearly to be different well into the audio, and you find the exact word online to confirm in context to make sure. Then you can put into Find the incorrect word and Replace with the correct word and it will show you how many replacements have been made! On a second run through you can check to ensure all the spelling and grammar and any Find and Replace have been done correctly.
- Don’t stress about those one or two words that appear barely audible and which don’t make any sense at all. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to figure out what the person is referring to, when you are half-way through your transcript. Constantly hitting pause, rewind and play to get a few words right can confuse you further. You’ll be in a better frame of mind to nail the missing words when it’s time to make further edits.
- Take breaks. We can’t emphasise this enough because you do need a breather at least every two hours or so just to de-clutter your mind and to refresh your senses. Besides, staring at a computer screen for long does cause eye-strain too and has been linked to decreased productivity at work.
- Learn to strike a balance between your work life and personal life. This helps to ensure that your job stays challenging each day, your job interest remains undiminished and it also helps you give your best to your clients as well.
We hope our tips help you perform at your optimum in your workplace!
The world has indeed become a much smaller place and it’s certainly not uncommon for organisations to have a network of global connections which allows them to ensure that projects get completed seamlessly. Yes, if you aren’t really comfortable with the idea of giving any transcription work that you may have to a local agency, off shore transcription or even employing the services of a freelancer are definitely a good option to consider especially if you haven’t found a local agency that can work within your set budget.
However, here’s a word of caution: Cost may be the driving reason behind why you would rather look elsewhere for your transcription needs, but remember to factor in all the ‘unseen’ reasons as well before making a final decision –
- Does your offshore transcriptionist speak your language, understand the rhythms and flow of words etc?
- Is your transcriptionist familiar with the accents in which your audio files have been recorded? If she isn’t,then you will have to spend a few extra minutes pouring over transcripts for likely errors/misheard words or inaudible patches which were perfectly clear, just not understood.
- Is your transcriptionist familiar and adept with the terminology used in your audio files in the context of the interview? It doesn’t make sense hiring the services of a person who has only worked on legal transcripts if your audio files deal with management terminology.
- Can your transcriptionist be trusted to keep all your data confidential? Non-disclosure of details is a very serious concern that most organisations face especially when outsourcing such services.
Is hunting on the Internet for an offshore transcriptionist really worth it? Besides the likelihood of having to deal with inaccurate information and shoddy transcripts, you would also be wasting both your time and money. So it makes sense to entrust your precious data to the hands of a reputed agency like EQ Transcription Services Ltd. which has years of experience in the transcription business. We’ll not only do a great job with a remarkable turnaround time but even sign a non-disclosure agreement so that you can have 100% peace of mind always. So, why wait any longer? Give us a call today and let’s discuss your transcription needs.
Quite often, it becomes difficult to tell a myth and the truth apart. As a prospective client, chances are that you have heard about transcription services from your friends or from other business associates but you may also have a few questions to ask or doubts to clear. In this article, we talk about a few such myths or beliefs that are associated with transcription itself:
- Myth No 1: Who needs a transcriptionist or a transcription agency when you have free dictation or transcription software available on the Internet? The truth is that if such software and other applications were that successful and effective, there wouldn’t really be a need for agencies like ours or even for freelance transcriptionists. Although there is plenty of great software out there, you would have to try them at your own risk. Plus, don’t be surprised if your free software has trouble discerning accents or doesn’t play certain file types. Such hiccups and more are effectively erased when you hire a professional transcription services provider.
- Myth No 2: Transcription, data entry and typing are all the same thing. So it makes sense to hire one person who can do all three well. The truth is that transcription requires listening carefully to audio files and then typing out each word that is heard in a format such as MS Word or Notepad. Data entry requires working with number crunching and other data which involves the use of spreadsheets, records and other databases. Typing refers to any general activity which involves the use of one’s fingers and a keyboard. So, yes all three job profiles are definitely not the same although they may appear similar.
- Myth No 3: Anybody who can type fast can become a great transcriptionist. Sound typing skills are of course a wonderful skill for any transcriptionist to have, but that trait alone doesn’t make one a great transcriptionist. A professional and experienced transcriptionist would also be required to review the transcript thoroughly, proof-read and edit where necessary as well as have some familiarity with the subject matter too. Basic knowledge goes a long way in enabling one to make corrections as and where necessary. Most importantly, one also needs the patience and ability to listen in context which requires great concentration.
- Myth No 4: We have the best anti-virus software installed on all our office computers. Our data is 100% safe so we don’t need any of our files to be transcribed at all. Let’s be honest. In this age of technology, is any data that’s on a computer really ‘safe’? If a virus attack seems like a distant possibility, what about the chances of the servers crashing one day or a few important audio files getting deleted by mistake? These are just two examples of minor issues that do crop up in all organisations and which can seriously hamper smooth workflow. Why take a risk of this nature at all? It make sense to just stay safe by having ready to use transcripts of all your audio files instead. After all, you don’t have to worry about technology related concerns with an actual transcript copy.
Advertisements and general marketing do our world a whole lot of good, but when you’re swept by a wave of transcription agency ads all claiming to be the best, how do you make sense of it all? Statements like ‘We’re the best’. ‘Call us for a free quote’ and ‘We have the shortest turnaround time’ are just a few of the most commonly used phrases. Yes, do- it- yourself transcription software packages are today easily available on the Internet and if you don’t want to pay for such software, then with a little bit of Googling, you will find plenty of those too. So, is it worth really outsourcing your transcription requirements to an external agency? Of course, especially when you calculate your savings at the end of it. You have successfully avoided paying a year’s salary to a full time hired transcriptionist, you have also met all your deadlines with hours to spare and above all, you were handed error free transcripts too – all this and much more, for a low rate.
We understand that most potential clients do face a serious dilemma when hunting for the right transcription agency. We’ll address the most common concerns in this two part article, which will act as a guide in enabling you to make a better decision:
- Outsourcing from another country: The Internet is replete with many freelancers and part-time transcriptionists from other countries who take up projects and deliver transcripts within a pre-decided time frame. Although this may work out cheaper in your favour, most freelancers who work in other countries also face a problem with understanding spoken English and European accents. The inability to clearly understand what is being said on an audio file will translate into other errors while typing out the transcript. That being said, there are also plenty of online freelancer platforms which will help finding a more cost-efficient transcriptionist easier. If you decide to go ahead with one, it’s better to begin with a small assignment that enables you to check his or her skills.
- Outsourcing locally: Outsourcing any work to a local agency has so many advantages. You don’t have to worry about any ‘accent problems’ and it’s easier to get in touch with the agency directly for just about anything. In fact, this also enables the agency to serve you better and much more promptly! Google any location specific keywords, check the newspaper for local listings or scan the phone directory. You’ll be certain to come across a few agencies who can understand your industry and requirements well.
No organization or enterprise anywhere in the world can function on a daily basis without the reassuring power of finance to back it up. When you deal with vast amounts of financial data on a daily or weekly basis, wouldn’t it be an added comfort to have all such data transcribed for you? That’s where Financial Transcription comes in!
The simple definition of this term would be ‘creating quality transcripts dealing with financial data from a number of audio recordings or files.’ In short, financial transcription does not simply deal with transcribing each recorded word. On the other hand, transcriptionists can actually create a range of documents for you such as analysis reports and company reports based on the data submitted.
This kind of transcription is highly beneficial for those who are in the trading or finance sector although it also benefits firms in other non-related sectors for various reasons. Clients such as merchant banks, regulatory bodies, trading firms, investment agencies, mutual funds firms, advisory bodies, investment counselors, finance advisers, schools and even finance related websites stand to gain the most from financial transcription. Likewise, corporate organizations and other firms can use such financial transcripts to discuss the actual financial health of the firm at business meetings, seminars, annual meets and so on. In fact, transcribing financial data for a minimum of 3 years allows you to compare and analyse much better than if you had the data for just one year.
Creating a good quality and error free financial transcript requires plenty of knowledge about financial terms, the ability to deal with large amounts of data and to make sense of it as well as sharp presence of mind. After all, switching one or two digits here and there could result in an entirely different interpretation!
With EQ Transcription Services however, you won’t have to worry about whether the analysis of the finance transcript you are given is accurate or if you need to scrutinize the data again for anomalies. We’ve got years of experience in the field of transcription itself and we’ll ensure that only our best number crunching enthusiasts are put to work on your files. And yes, it goes without saying that we do not leak out any of your confidential data in any manner or sell any details to third parties. So why wait to get your data audio files transcribed? We’re just an email away!
Transcripts are a fantastic way to maintain records of interviews, discussions, seminars, training sessions and of other discourses. Unlike a pen drive which can store vast amounts of data but which is still susceptible to a sudden virus attack, a copy of a transcribed audio or video file is something you can refer to anytime you like. So what’s holding you back from hiring a reputed transcription agency like ours to make your work life that much easier? Is it perhaps a concern that the jargon or terminology used in your field of work is something that not many transcriptionists may be comfortable with? Let us lay your worries to rest.
Technical Transcription, which relies heavily on the use of specific technical terminology or jargon, is quite popular with organizations in the IT sector, market research agencies, public relations & advertising agencies as well as with firms in the healthcare sector. Technical transcription requires a thorough knowledge of the most commonly used terms, abbreviations and other language aspects that are best associated with these respective industries. A basic understanding of accents is also very helpful in this regard.
Many firms maintain audio and video recordings of any event held like of workshops, seminars, exhibitions, product launches and even of training sessions. However, getting such recordings transcribed could help in reaching a larger audience and in cases where transcripts are uploaded to websites; they can also enable better search-engine rankings. Even if better online visibility is not the motive, transcripts undoubtedly open the door to better communication and exchange of ideas.
At EQ Transcription Services, only transcriptionists who understand your field of business are allowed to transcribe your files. Besides helping to ensure that our quality of work is uncompromised, you get the satisfaction of knowing that your files are in the safest hands. And of course, all your data is kept confidential always. Give EQ Transcription a buzz today and we’ll help you sort out all your transcription needs.