How Research And Data Analysis Projects Benefit From Qualitative Research Transcription Services 

Qualitative data analysis—using non-numerical data in research— is important, as not everything can be reduced to numbers alone. Unlike quantitative data, qualitative data is much more complex to collect, analyze, and use, making research focused on qualitative data techniques much more challenging and time-consuming. Fortunately, qualitative research transcription services can significantly reduce that burden and improve the overall process. 

In this article, you’ll learn how: 

  • Research projects employing qualitative data collection can reap the benefits of the transcription process. These benefits are not limited to academic research, though; businesses, legal entities, and healthcare organizations can take advantage of the full range of its services.
  • Transcription in qualitative studies requires absolute accuracy. There are way better options than using automated transcription for qualitative research, as AI solutions are inaccurate. 
  • Ditto Transcripts provides the most accurate and affordable research and academic transcription services. We guarantee 99% accuracy in all projects, different pricing options depending on your budget and needs, excellent customer service, and the highest security measures in the industry. 

What Is A Qualitative Research Transcription Service?

Qualitative research transcription converts spoken words or audio or video data into text format. 

There are five steps in the qualitative research transcription process:

  1. Researchers record an audio or video file as a part of their research and then send it to the audio transcription service. 
  2. The professional transcription solution provider listens to the spoken data, attempts to address audio quality issues whenever necessary, and accurately documents what was said. Depending on the type of transcription, the transcriber will either write it down (or type it) verbatim or clean up the transcript for better flow, aka intelligent verbatim transcription. (Note: Certain providers utilize automated transcription software or automated speech recognition services (ASR) in this process. While convenient, ASRs and other automated transcription tools provide less than satisfactory results, which will be discussed later).
  3. The transcript is edited to fit the required formatting guidelines. 
  4. A proofreader or transcription editor checks the transcript for errors. Each audio recording is meticulously reviewed. Highly technical or confidential records are given more time for proper handling, though not at the expense of all other audio recordings. This stringent process ensures the quality of the results and allows researchers to use every delivered transcript immediately. 
  5. Once the transcript is complete, it is returned to the client. With Ditto, the transcript is then archived in our secure cloud platform.

According to a recent article published in The International Journal Of Innovation In English Language Teaching And Research, “Transcription is a powerful act of data representation, analysis, and interpretation in such a way that it exerts considerable influence on how data are conceptualized.”

In other words, transcription is a socio-cognitive and process-oriented activity that involves critical, reflective, and attentive thoughts at both macro and micro levels. 

How Qualitative Data Transcription Services Can Help Other Fields

It’s a common misconception that research is strictly bracketed within academia. That is not the case; qualitative data transcription has many potential applications across multiple industries and fields of study. 

Here are some of the most prominent use cases: 


Studies in the medical field are not—and cannot—be limited to hard numbers alone. Qualitative data analysis can support patient care in hospitals and clinics throughout the United States and beyond. Through their inherent searchability features, medical professionals and researchers can easily use transcripts to help analyze patterns and insights in their patient population. 

Additionally, data from transcripts can support evidence-based practice by using patients’ perspectives and preferences. 

With a rich and easily accessed data source guiding the process, policy-makers and higher-ups can initiate well-informed developments and guideline enhancements to bring healthcare focus back squarely on patient experiences. 

Consumer Research And Marketing

Focus groups and customer interviews heavily rely on qualitative data. Transcription can improve qualitative data access and analysis by converting hundreds of audio or video recordings into easily organized and searched text formats. One plus one equals two. 

Research teams can go from the data recording straight to analysis with transcripts. With this, all the other steps in the research process can be given more time, enhancing the chances of actionable findings that can help marketing teams sell and promote their products and services. 

Any industry that operates heavily on human experiences can enjoy the advantages of qualitative research; the legal industry is no exception. 

Lawyers can save dozens of hours on case and strategy preparation with data transcription. 

Data sets can be measured and presented in different and valuable sub-sections, such as social dynamics, cultural contexts, behavioral patterns, and ethical considerations, which can only speed things along. 

Furthermore, legal professionals can access abridged or full recordings through prepared transcripts, depending on their needs. 

And it’s not just limited to lawyers and law firms. Qualitative transcription analysis can guide the creation or amendment of existing policies, regulations, guidelines, and laws through case interviews, observational research, or simple interviews. 

Different Applications Of Transcription In Qualitative Research

Transcription can benefit different types of data collection processes and analyses. Here are some of them:

In-depth InterviewsTranscribing or captioning one-on-one interviews to capture every part of the conversation for later analysis.
Focus GroupsTranscription of guided group discussions to capture the dynamic interplay of ideas and opinions.
Observational ResearchTranscribing field notes or audio of interactions and events in ethnographic studies or similar settings.
Academic ResearchUse of transcription in theses, dissertations, or research projects to examine complex social phenomena or theoretical concepts.
Case StudiesTranscribing interviews, meetings, and other interactions in detailed studies of individual or organizational subjects.
Market ResearchTranscribing focus groups, customer interviews, and user testing sessions to analyze consumer preferences and behaviors.
Healthcare and CounselingRecording and transcribing patient interviews, counseling sessions, and doctor-patient interactions to study health behaviors or treatment outcomes.
Legal Proceedings and DepositionsCreating accurate records of testimonies, depositions, and other legal proceedings.
Seminars and LecturesTranscribing content from seminars, workshops, and lectures to aid in creating resources for further study or publication.
Media and JournalismTranscribing interviews, documentaries, and news reports to analyze content or produce written materials based on spoken word content.

How To Get Qualitative Data Transcription

There are two ways to get a transcript: research assistants or commercial transcription companies. Let’s discover the pros and cons of each.

Having Your Assistants Do It

On the face of it, having your research assistants transcribe qualitative data may seem easy and cost-efficient. However, before going down that route, it’s important to consider that transcription is time-consuming. Generally, it takes a professional transcriptionist three to four hours to transcribe one audio hour. 

Note the use of the word professional here. That means that particular transcriptionist comes with years of skills and experience in transcribing audio. They’ve had time to develop a standard transcription template and workflow to do things faster. 

Your assistants, skilled as they might be in your field, are likely not at the professional transcriptionist level. Instead of saving time, you’ll most likely lose more time, which doesn’t help researchers. Besides, wouldn’t you rather have them work on something more important, like overseeing the collection and data analysis process? 

Outsource Transcription To The Pros

Qualitative or even quantitative research can take massive amounts of time and effort. However, the role of transcription in qualitative research methods is an overall positive addition. So, should you add hours upon hours of transcription projects to your workload just to reap the benefits? 

Of course not. You can hire a professional transcription service to get all the advantages. A+ if you can get an accurate, professional, yet affordable provider, like Ditto Transcripts. 

Why Not Get AI To Do Audio Transcription?

Artificial intelligence is a great blessing to researchers around the world. With it, pattern recognition, predictive analysis, experimental procedure automation, research data optimization, and enhanced simulation are undoubtedly faster. 

Perceptive readers might notice that transcription is ostensibly absent on this list. Why is that? 

That’s because current research puts the accuracy rate of speech recognition and AI transcription at 86%. 86% accuracy may be fine for taking notes or setting up reminders—anything that doesn’t require professional or procedural use. 

However, 86% accuracy is simply unacceptable for research projects. Don’t believe it? 

Many universities have already banned the use of transcription companies that use AI.

If you don’t agree, consider this: would you trust any type of research data if there is a 14% chance that it is completely and utterly wrong?  UMass certainly doesn’t- and neither does this CNET reporter.

I mean, here’s a shortlist of the consequences of inaccurate qualitative research transcripts. 

  • Misinterpretation of Data
  • Loss of Credibility
  • Ethical Implications
  • Flawed Analysis and Results
  • Resource Wastage
  • Publication and Dissemination Issues
  • Legal Consequences
  • Impact on Future Research
  • Damage to Participant Relationships
  • Compromised Decision Making

AI transcription work is at the mercy of background noise, overlapping speakers, different accents and dialects, and poor audio file quality. It cannot identify nuance and utilize context to create a more accurate verbatim transcription — things that come naturally to experienced human transcription services. 

That’s why I always say humans are better at understanding humans. Ditto Transcripts offers 100% human-powered, U.S.-based transcription for any research, academic, or interview transcription requirements, and we guarantee 99% accuracy every time. 

Benefits Of Transcription For Qualitative Data Analysis

Research objectives and the nature of the data may change, yet the benefits of transcription are of great importance to all researchers. 

Accurate Transcription Process

Qualitative research may require a deeper immersion in the data. Professional transcription services offer high accuracy in converting spoken words into written text. Accurate transcripts ensure researchers have a reliable text representation of their audio or video data, which can be used in manual analysis or through computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. 

Having inaccurate transcripts, meanwhile, can inflate workloads and negatively impact productivity. Speaking of which—

Enhanced Analysis

As mentioned earlier, transcripts make it easier to perform qualitative analysis techniques such as coding, thematic analysis, or discourse analysis. Researchers can easily read through collected data transcripts, annotate them, and identify patterns and themes. Depending on the research, the data from transcripts can also be fed through advanced analysis tools like AI to reduce working time. 

Ease of Sharing and Collaboration

Sure, multi-gigabyte interview videos for academic research can be stored in flash drives or uploaded to the internet for sharing. Unfortunately, even with the fastest internet speeds, uploading still takes time. Transcripts, however, only take up a literal fraction of the space, which means they can be easily stored and accessed. 

That’s why transcribed data is easier to share with team members, advisors, or other stakeholders involved in the research. Furthermore, it facilitates collaboration, as research members can review, annotate, and comment on the same text document—something that could only be done face-to-face back in the day. 

Reduces Work Time

Conducting qualitative research represents a significant commitment to time. 

Using transcription services, researchers can save valuable time and focus on data collection and analysis—arguably the most critical aspects of any project. 

Ensuring Security And Privacy

Transcription services will have unprecedented access to your research data and methodology, so you need to be able to trust them with both the accuracy of transcription and the security of your information. Look for providers that offer high-quality encryption, elevated user access management, scaled network redundancy, VPN integration, and compliance with various regulatory bodies to protect your qualitative research data. And yes, Ditto checks all the boxes.

Looking For Accurate, High-Quality Transcripts? Look No Further Than Ditto

The significance of transcription for qualitative researchers worldwide cannot be understated. However, this all depends on choosing the right transcription service. 

So, here are the top considerations when looking through the types of data transcription service providers out there—and how Ditto meets and exceeds all requirements. 

ConsiderationHow Ditto Measures Up Against The Competition
AccuracyDitto offers 99.9% accuracy for qualitative data transcription services
ConfidentialityOur security measures are CJIS, FINRA, and HIPAA compliant, ensuring full safety and confidentiality
ExperienceDitto has provided qualitative transcription in varying fields since 2010.
Turnaround TimeIn a hurry? Get your transcripts in 24 hours or less for rush projects
TranscriptionistsWe only work with the best human US-based transcriptionists in the market. We don’t allow AI (or any other omniscient beings, for that matter) in our process. 
CostEnjoy our competitive pricing without compromising on quality. We also offer more economical options if you’re on a tight budget.
Customer SupportContact us for anything you need, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can

With Ditto, you’re getting your money’s worth. Check out our website’s many examples of satisfied customers, and get the best manual transcription services today. 

Ditto Transcripts is a HIPAA, FINRA, and CJIS-compliant Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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