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We’re Cyber Essentials Certified!

Sterling Transcription recently completed the Cyber Essentials certification – a UK government backed scheme that helps protect against the most common internet-based threats. But what is cyber security and why is it necessary?

Ensuring Proper Protections Are In Place

In this day and age, most organisations rely heavily on the internet to store information, communicate with staff and clients and to allow access to internal networks. Unfortunately, this creates a risk for hackers and scammers to gain access to sensitive data.

Without proper protection systems in place, any company is vulnerable…”

Without proper protection systems in place, any company is vulnerable. As a transcription company, our clients trust us with personal information and confidential documents, and this is not something we take lightly.

Sterling Transcription is proud to be
Cyber Essentials certified.

Cyber Essentials addresses fundamental vulnerabilities and makes sure that the correct tools are being used to safeguard against the most common attacks such as phishing, hacking and password guessing. These kinds of threats are very simple but therefore pose a high risk, because they can be carried out by just about anyone.

Five Technical Controls Assessed

In order to complete the Cyber Essentials certification, five technical controls were assessed:

  • User Access Control – Admin should have different levels of access to other staff.
  • Firewalls and Internet Gateways – Firewalls are hardware or software that create a barrier between the private network and the outside world.
  • Malware Protection – Malware protection software defends against viruses that can steal private information.
  • Patch management – It is important to always keep up to date with the latest updates and patches so as any bugs are fixed before they become vulnerabilities.
  • Secure Configuration – The computers should be configured with specific settings, the standard settings aren’t always the best when it comes to cyber security.

Sterling Transcription demonstrated successful safeguarding using these controls.

Next Steps…ISO 27001

However, the internet is ever evolving, meaning what works today might not work tomorrow. For this reason, Sterling Transcription will be completing the ISO 27001 certification early next year, in 2020. ISO 27001 has a strong focus on maintenance, implementation and continual improvement of information systems.

So, while Cyber Essentials ensures the correct controls are set up and in place, ISO 27001 continually looks for ways to improve, and makes sure the existing controls stay relevant and are working as they should.

Cyber security is incredibly important to us and we hope that with the Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 accreditation, our clients will continue placing their trust in us.

If you would like to find out more about how Sterling Transcription’s Cyber Essentials certification benefits clients, contact us today.

Written by Cassandra Carse

Posted in Data Security | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Customising Your Transcript – How Sterling can produce a transcript that’s right for YOU!

Customising your transcript with our optional formatting and transcription styles that are guaranteed to save you time!

At Sterling Transcription we know each client has individual needs and one kind of transcript may not suit everyone. That’s why we offer a range of templates, formatting options and transcription styles, so you can customise your transcripts, and our services, to fit your needs.

From use in qualitative analysis to easy-to-read telephone interviews, from complex terminology to large focus group transcription, transcripts serve a range of different purposes, so why should they look exactly the same? You may need to quickly draw meaning for analysis or find your place in the middle of a recording, or maybe the inclusion of false starts, ums and ahs or non-verbal cues are CRITICAL to the interpretation of the text.

We understand the one-size-fits-all approach just isn’t suitable and want to work with you to create the best transcript for YOU!

Read on to learn which of how customising your transcript might save you time and make your life easier!


Speaker Identification

The standard Sterling transcript labels speakers by ‘Facilitator’ and ‘Interviewee’ or by gender when there are multiple interviewees . For one-on-one interviews this is perfectly fine, however for group interviews it can quickly become a tad confusing when reading the transcript.

Attributing dialogue to individual speakers can be a hassle. This is why we offer speaker identification. Let us do the grunt work for you!

You can choose to assign names, numbers or your own codes to each speaker. That way you can know straight away who has said what, without wasting your valuable time listening to the recording over and over. It also helps if you need to search for individual speakers and quickly draw information for analysis.

Example: Without Speaker Identification

Without Speaker ID Example
Without Speaker ID Example

Example: With Speaker Identification

With Speaker ID Example
With Speaker ID Example


On the other hand, if confidentiality is of utmost importance there is also the option to de-identify the transcript. You can choose to have any reference of the speaker’s name replaced with [de-identified], or furthermore any mention of businesses, places or all names.

Example: De-identification

De-identification Example
De-identification Example

Line & Paragraph Numbering

Adding numbering to your transcript makes it easy to find your place and take notes as you analyse the transcript. Customise your transcript by customising the line numbering however you like – every line, paragraph or every 20 lines, it’s up to you!


Line Numbering Example
Line Numbering Example


We also offer timestamping, which helps enormously if you want to listen to the recording while reading the transcript. Although after a lot of practice I can now eyeball one minute’s worth of words, for others it can often take a long time to find your place in the middle of a recording. Adding in timestamps, whether it’s every minute or every five, can save a lot of time and frustration on your behalf.


Time Stamps Example
Timestamping Example

Transcription Style

Intelligent Verbatim

Intelligent Verbatim is the standard transcription style that 90% of our clients’ request. Typists don’t include filler words such as ‘um’, ‘you know’ and ‘like’. False sentence starts and repetition are removed and non-verbal cues are only added if they clearly change the meaning of a speaker’s words.

For example [laughs] will be inserted if the speaker has made a joke that might not translate through text. This makes the final product clear, concise and most importantly; easy to read. Customising your transript by applying this style suits most researchers where linguistic analysis is not required.


Intelligent Verbatim Example
Intelligent Verbatim Example

Strict Verbatim

Strict Verbatim adds in all the things intelligent verbatim leaves out. It is essentially an exact transcription of what is said – false starts, repetition and filler words included. Grammatically incorrect idiosyncrasies are typed as said by the speaker.


Strict Verbatim Example
Strict Verbatim Example

Conversational Analysis

Conversational Analysis is transcribed using Strict Verbatim, however it also includes all non-verbal cues such as [laughs], [coughs] and symbols to denote pauses, pace and tone. Customising your transcript using this style of transcription suits qualitative researchers whose analysis derives meaning from the non-verbal cues and how something is said not just what is said.

Read more about conversational analysis here.


Conversational Analysis Example
Conversational Analysis Example


Nvivo, Leximanicer & ATLAS.ti

These templates have been designed to work perfectly with qualitative analysis software. If you are planning on using Nvivo, Leximanicer or ATLAS.ti, it is highly recommended that your transcript be completed on one of these templates to prevent formatting and compatibility issues. This way you can easily load your transcript into the programs without having to fiddle around with it beforehand.

Our basic template is perfect for most interviews. The headers and footers on our standard templates are removed along with our logo for a seamless upload into qualitative analysis software.

Headings Simple
As with Basic, our Heading Simple template removes headers and footers. It also uses Microsoft Word’s headings function for speaker labels.

Headings Questions
Using a pre-set list of interview questions you give us, this template is laid out accordingly also using the headings function. The headings templates are flexible and individualised, we are happy to adapt transcripts to suit your needs.

This format is only compatible with versions NVivo8 and later. All speaker turns are time-coded and formatted for an easy import into NVivo. Once imported, the transcript will automatically synchronise with the original video or audio recording of the interview or focus group, meaning you can watch the video and see the transcript scrolling in sync, or click on any turn in the transcript to bring up the relevant section in the video.

Use your own template

If you have a specific template you would like your audio transcribed in, we’re more than happy to accommodate you. This way you can have everything laid out just how you like it when you receive the transcript. No need to spend your time formatting the document in Word.

If you would like to know more about customising your transcripts to suit your specific needs, talk with us! We’re just a phone call away – FREEPHONE 0800 910 1410.

Written by Cassandra Carse.

Posted in Focus Groups, Interviews, Qualitative Research, Research Transcription | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sterling Transcription and GDPR – Your Privacy is our Top Priority

The introduction of GDPR has given Sterling Transcription an opportunity to fine tune and improve even further our controls on client information and security.

Sterling Transcription continues to provide professional and high quality transcription services to our clients, and right now, you can be assured that we are GDPR ready and we are GDPR compliant.

Sterling Transcription and GDPR is an opportunity for continuous improvement

Your privacy is our top priority. 

We have always kept strict confidentiality of user data, and we continue to keep client confidentiality and security front and centre when improving our strong and secure systems.

We believe in continuous improvement, and our recent documents and procedures updates reflect this effort.

We’ve updated our Privacy Policy and our Terms and Conditions.  Here’s a brief summary of the updates we’ve made:

  • More control over your information.  We’ve made it easier and more flexible for you to control the information you provide us.  Our new policies explain that you have control over your personal information and how it is collected, used, and shared.
  • More details on how we use your information.  We are always working to improve our service delivery, and the updates to our policies describe in more detail what information we collect and why we need it.
  • More user-friendly language.  We’ve used clearer language, headings, and paragraphs which allow you to search important information more easily.

The new privacy policy took effect on 25 May 2018.  If you have any questions or concerns about Sterling Transcription or our updated Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, please feel free to contact our Data Protection Officer at

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Clever Typing Tools for Transcriptionists

Clever transcriptionists use clever typing tools.  We’ve done a bit of a survey to find out which tools our top transcriptionists use in their daily workflow.  You may be surprised by some of the results!

Clever Typing Tools for Transcriptionists


Clever Typing Tool #1: Text Expanders

Okay, so text expanders aren’t for everyone; after all, they take a bit of time to set up, and are a little bit like coding, right?  Wrong!  Text expanders can seriously reduce the time it takes to type, especially if you’re typing repetitive phrases.  With a few short strokes a whole phrase or paragraph is inserted into the text.

Text expanders are great for creating all sorts of shortcuts in the daily typing routine.  Consider company addresses and boilerplate paragraphs, client names and businesses, commonly used sentences and canned email responses, or fixing common typos and entering the date and time.

Many transcriptionists who use text expanders comment that while they aren’t the fastest keyboard operators, their work output increases markedly with the use of text expanders.  By conducting a quick Google search you’ll find many popular text expanders; some are free, and others are subscription-based.  Give them a go, you might be pleasantly surprised!

 Clever Typing Tool #2: Transcription Foot Pedals

It’s rare to find a seasoned typist who doesn’t use a transcription foot pedal; however if you’re new to transcription, you may not even know that these handy devices exist!

A transcription foot pedal is a mechanical device which sits on the floor at your feet, connected to the computer, usually via a USB cable (wireless ones also exist).

Typists use transcription software to configure transcription foot pedals.  Depressing the pedals enables the typist to control the audio with their feet.  This means that the typist no longer needs to take their hands off the keyboard whenever they need to control and playback audio.

Transcription foot pedals save typists time at the keyboard, are easy to use, robust and readily available for purchase online.  Some top brands include Olympus, Philips, and Alto Edge.  Pedals vary according to price and whether they can be configured using third-party transcription software*.

If you are committed to taking up transcription work it is well worth investing in a transcription foot pedal.

Clever Typing Tool #3: Transcription Software

Transcription software is specialised audio and video playback software, distinguished from other playback software by two features: the ability to configure particular transcription foot pedals, and playback of specific audio format types commonly used in dictation.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing transcription software.  Some proprietary audio and video formats are best played in their brand-specific software.  This is why many typists have at least two or three different transcription software apps at their disposal.

Another determining factor is whether the typist is using a foot pedal which can be configured using specific transcription software.  Typists who transcribe for many different clients often choose transcription software which can “read” most common audio and video formats.  Many typists who contract to Sterling use the very popular and versatile Express Scribe Professional transcription software, produced by NCH.

In-house typists or transcriptionists who type exclusively for one client tend to use the same brand transcription software as the hardware used by dictators in the office, for consistency and compatibility.

Clever Typing Tool #4: Audio File Converter Software Apps

Despite the best of plans, typists who transcribe for multiple clients will invariably encounter an audio or video format which can’t be read in their existing transcription software.  This is when audio and video file converter apps become handy transcription tools.

Audio and video converter apps (and some transcription software apps) convert the file into a more “readable” format, which can then be played in transcription software.

Popular converters include Switch, Goldwave and iTunes, and many transcription software can also convert a small number of audio formats (for example, Olympus ODMS transcription software can convert .ds2, .dss, .wav and .wma audio files to .pcm files).

Many audio and video converter software apps are free, but beware of inadvertently downloading nasty “extras” if you download from a disreputable site.

Clever Typing Tool #5: The Perfect Headset

One of the most debated and enduring topics amongst our typing contractors and office staff is which headset is best for transcription.  This is because choosing a headset is truly subjective.

If the average typing contractor wears a headset for a minimum of four to five hours at a time (a rough rule of thumb is that one hour of audio takes four hours to transcribe), then that’s a long time to have something uncomfortable perched on your head.

If you wear glasses, have sensitive ears or neck, are conscious of not wanting “hat hair”, have difficult audio to transcribe, are working in a noisy environment, or simply want to be comfortable when transcribing, then you need to consider the following:

  • Connection method (Bluetooth or tethered, USB or 3.5mm audio jack?)
  • Weight, size and comfort of fit,
  • Noise-cancellation and adjustable microphone boom, and
  • Style (in-ear, buds, over-the-head, or under-the-chin).

Many Sterling office staff use over-the-head headsets, like gaming headsets, because they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time and cut out much of the surrounding office noise.

Whether it’s the perfect headset or latest whizzbang text expander app, versatile foot pedal and transcription software, or free online audio converter app, clever transcriptionists use these transcription tools because they save time and make their work easier.  Works smarter with any or all of these clever transcription tools – top transcriptionists across the world swear by them!

For information on Sterling Transcription please contact us today!

*Note: At the end of 2016 Olympus released two transcription foot pedals which can be used with many third-party software, named the RS-28H and the RS-31H foot pedals (or foot switches); however the majority of typists continue to choose transcription foot pedals which are the same brand as their transcription software. 

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Research Transcription – Five Key Questions Every Researcher Should Ask

The process of converting the recordings of focus groups and interviews into written transcripts is called research transcription.

Every researcher who embarks on a research project and uses focus groups and interviews to collect data will need their recordings transcribed to produce research transcription.

While some researchers prefer to transcribe the audio themselves, for most researchers this option is simply not feasible.

Instead, researchers seek out reputable transcription companies to provide them with high quality written transcripts of their recordings, which are then used in the research analysis and evaluation process.

For first-time researchers, this process can be quite daunting.  There are many transcription variants which must be considered which if overlooked or not applied correctly, can negatively impact on the research data.

Research transcription - five key questions every researcher should ask

Following are five key questions every researcher should ask their transcription company, before embarking on the transcription journey.

Question 1: Can you supply me with transcripts in the style I need?

The most common style for research transcription is Intelligent Verbatim (standard style).  Intelligent Verbatim transcription style accurately captures everything spoken by participants, but for readability purposes omits false starts, repetitions and excessive use of filler words such as “um”, “you know” and “like”.

Intelligent Verbatim is the default style used by most transcription companies and the style requested by the majority of researchers.

Less common transcription styles are Strict Verbatim and Conversational Analysis.  Researchers who are undertaking basic linguistic analysis or analysis of various paralinguistic and nonverbal communication will request one of these styles.

Both styles are applied using strict rules, precisely structured formatting and often require full sound checking, and therefore incur surcharges to accommodate the highly specialised and complex nature of each style.

If you require either of these specialised styles, make sure to ask your transcription company for accurate pricing and appropriate turnaround options.

Question 2: Can you provide me with transcripts typed in a specific format? 

Many researchers are happy to have their transcripts typed into the default template provided by their transcription company.  However for researchers who are using qualitative analysis software, such as Atlas.ti, NVivo or MAXQDA, formatting really does matter.  Transcripts must be typed in a format which is easily imported into the software, for data analysis.

If you know which qualitative analysis software you will be using, make sure you find out what the formatting requirements are for that software, and let your transcription company know.

Many transcription companies have experience with formatting for qualitative analysis software, and may be able to provide you with further information.

Question 3: How do you ensure highly accurate transcripts are produced?

It may seem obvious, but accuracy of the transcript is absolutely essential in ensuring the data you receive can be properly analysed and evaluated.  Research transcripts must be accurate accounts of the activity, free from grammatical and typing errors, and conform to specific needs as articulated by you, the researcher,  at the beginning of the project.

Make sure you ask your transcription company for details on their quality assurance process.  One way of checking that a quality assurance process is in place and adhered to is asking whether the transcription company is ISO:9001 certified.

ISO:9001 certification is an internationally recognised quality management system standard, which outlines the requirements an organisation must maintain in their quality management system.  Transcription companies which service the research sector should be ISO:9001 certified.

Question 4: How will you meet my Ethics Standards requirements?

An essential requirement for every researcher is ensuring that ethical standards as outlined by the research or funding body are adhered to.  The safety, security and confidentiality of all stakeholders, and the data which is gathered, is paramount.

Ask for your transcription company’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy policies.  These policies spell out the steps taken to ensure the confidentiality, privacy and security of the data, at each stage of the transcription process.

Some research projects may require specialised and specific confidentiality, privacy and security measures.  In these instances researchers are provided with specific ethics standards which must be met, which are then passed onto the transcription company to co-sign.

Most transcription companies are happy to co-sign such documents, but do need to thoroughly review the agreement, before signing, to ensure compliance is possible.

Question 5: Will your turnaround options suit my research requirements?

The types of research and ways the research is funded varies greatly across the sector.  Variables which can determine turnaround include the quantity, length, and number of speakers in each audio file, and when the research project needs to be completed.

Many transcription companies offer considerable flexibility in their turnaround options, and will accommodate most individual requirements.  If you have tight deadlines it is advisable to speak with your transcription company as soon as possible, to ascertain what your expectations are, and what the transcription company can deliver.

Research Transcription Explained

Converting recorded audio into written and accurate research transcripts is an essential element of every piece of research which draws data from focus groups and interviews.

By asking these five key questions you, as a researcher, will be better informed as to the type of research transcription you require, be fully versed in the language of research transcription and so better able to communicate your needs to your transcription company, and ultimately obtain superior transcripts which meet your individual research needs.

Researchers, by asking these five key questions about research transcription you will be better informed, know the language, and get the results you want.

Do you need more information?  Contact Sterling Transcription today.

Posted in Better Audio, Focus Groups, Qualitative Research, Research Transcription, Transcription | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Tip for Clients: Keep your Web Browser Up-to-date

Updating your web browser is important.  Keeping your internet browser up-to-date saves you time, keeps you and your data safer, and opens up more opportunities for how you use online technology across multiple platforms and devices (desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone).

Update Your Web Browser

Running older versions of a web browser can cause problems with web pages not loading properly, and may impede safe logging on to your favourite websites.

Updating your web browser is easy, and it’s free!

To check if you are running the latest version of your browser go to your browser settings and check for updates. If you need step-by-step assistance to update to the latest version of your browser, run a Google search, “How to update my internet browser”.

Remember, updating your web browser is free, and it’s easy to do. Update yours today!

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5 Keyboard Shortcuts For Daily Use

A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys, which pressed simultaneously, executes a particular computer function more efficiently, and without the use of a mouse.  Keyboard shortcuts are used daily by most people who use computers.

Different keyboard shortcuts are used for different purposes.  Gamers have a strong suite of keyboard shortcuts in their arsenal which help speed up their reaction times when engaging in online gaming.

Researchers use keyboard shortcuts to assist in efficient retrieval of specific information from complex, diverse and word-dense sources.

Some medical professionals program the button functions on their hand-held microphones to mimic keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcuts are Useful and Save Time

Keyboard shortcuts are as plentiful as they are useful.  Listed below are five useful keyboard shortcuts which I use daily.  I hope you find them useful also.


Windows: Ctrl + F

Mac: Cmd + F

This is the function that opens a Find window in most applications, or finds items in a document.

You don’t even have to type in the whole word, just the first few letters.  All words which start with the letters typed in the Find box are highlighted in the document or on the webpage.


Windows: Ctrl + S

MAC: Cmd + S

It’s self-explanatory, Ctrl + S saves your work.  If you’ve ever been the victim of an accidentally deleted file, you’ll value the importance of this little keyboard shortcut function.


Windows: Ctrl + Z, Ctrl + Y

Mac: Cmd + Z, Cmd + Shift + Z

Ctrl Z is the Undo Last Action function.  This function undoes the previous command.  To reverse the Undo command in Mac, press Command + Shift + Z to Redo.  In Windows applications just press Ctrl + Y to Redo.

In some apps you can undo and redo multiple commands.  Undoing the last five or ten commands becomes easy and accurate.


Windows: Ctrl + X

Mac: Cmd + X

Ctrl X is the Cut function and although similar in use to Undo, is extremely useful when wanting to quickly cut whole sections of a document.  Used in conjunction with Paste, the Cut function makes fast editing a breeze.

Select the paragraph or section you wish to cut.  Click Ctrl X to cut the selected section and paste it somewhere else, or simply discard it.


Windows: Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V

Mac: Cmd + C and Cmd + V

Similar to the Cut function, Ctrl C is the Copy function and Ctrl V is the Paste function.  Copy the selected item to the Clipboard and paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app.

These five keyboard shortcuts are just a few of the many useful shortcuts available for daily use.  If you have some useful keyboard shortcuts you’d like to share with other Sterling Transcription clients, please add a comment.

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5 Ways Medical Typists Can Help You

Medical typists are integral to the smooth and efficient operation of the healthcare industry.  Medical typists are transcription specialists who have a deep understanding of dictated medical language and terminology.  They respond to the specific and specialised transcription needs of the medical profession.

Doctors and specialists dictate their reports and medical typists transcribe these reports.  This means the medical typist needs to listen, discern, and then type the medical dictations into formalised medical reporting.

Medical Professionals Need Medical Typists

If you are considering outsourcing medical transcription services it is important to consider the five key ways medical typists can help you and your practice.

1. Medical Typists Know Medical Terminology

A medical typist can convert the doctor or specialist’s recorded dictations into a standardised, accurate, concise, and timely medical report.  They are very knowledgeable in medical terminology, including most medical specialties, language, grammar, specific formatting requirements, and relevant word processing programmes.

Medical Typists Provide Accurate Medical Records

2. Medical Typists Provide Accurate Medical Records

For any medical professional or medical practice maintaining accurate medical records is essential in delivering excellence in patient care and meeting legislative and other regulatory requirements.

Medical typists and medical transcription services are highly experienced in providing accurate medical records.  This means that the practitioner is able to focus on delivering consistently high quality patient care, rather than worrying about maintaining administrative responsibilities outside their scope.

3. Medical Typists Provide Exceptional Proofreading Services

Despite the rollout of voice recognition software across the healthcare industry, the need for experienced and skilled medical typists remains.   Even at its best, software-generated text will contain errors that need to be corrected by people who have the language skills, specialised knowledge and understanding of the health industry.  In these circumstances it is the medical typist who provides exceptional proofreading services to the medical professional, ensuring the accuracy of the completed report.

Medical Typists Provide Exceptional Proofreading Services

4. Medical Typists Are There For Staffing Emergencies

The reality is; the report must get to the patient or referred doctor, even when you’re short-staffed.  This is where a medical typist can stand in at short notice, and lighten the work load.

Many healthcare professionals and practices find outsourcing their medical transcription needs particularly helpful during holiday periods, when regular staff are unavailable.

5. Medical Typists Help Practices Reduce Their Capital Investment

When you choose to outsource your medical transcription you no longer have to worry about the expenses involved in maintaining equipment to support transcription.  Even if you choose to partially outsource your medical transcription, this can still be a great way to reduce costs.

Are you thinking about outsourcing your medical transcription?  Speak with the Sterling Transcription team now (enquire online or call FREEPHONE 0800 910 1410) and find out how our professional services can be tailored to meet your specific medical transcription needs.

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How Leading Corporations Get Accurate Finance Season Records

Accurate finance season records are critical to leading corporations because they provide precise and impartial records of important financial events.

These events assist investors, analysts, the media, and other interested parties to transparently assess the company’s value.  This is a critical factor when communicating with shareholders and other stakeholders.

Read on to find out how Sterling Transcription helps leading corporations meet their legal and corporate governance responsibilities by providing accurate finance season records.

Finance Reporting across the Globe, accurate finance season records

What are finance season records?

Finance season records are accurate transcripts of public media events held by banks, venture capital firms and other financing entities.  Finance season records are produced by highly specialised transcriptionists.  The audio of the event is recorded, usually via a webcast, is typed by an experienced transcriptionist, and a transcript of the meeting is produced and made available for public perusal.

Information contained within finance season records will include the date and time of the event, the agenda, the names of speakers and their position in the company, and what the speakers said.

Finance season records may also include reference to PowerPoint presentations or other slides shown at the event.  Often these slides include financial forecasting, operational performance, any major development updates, production and sales reports, and other key information which impacts on the financial progress of the company.

Why are finance season records so important?

Accurate records help financing entities evaluate their performance, support business decisions and satisfy external reporting requirements.  Critical to this is transparency – accurate finance season records assist financing entities to show transparency in all decisions.

How can I obtain accurate finance season records of my financing entity’s media event?

Contact Sterling Transcription.  We will discuss with you how we obtain a recording of your important financial event so we can provide accurate transcripts of your finance season records.   We are currently taking bookings, so phone or email us today to discuss.

For further information on the services we provide to leading financial entities, click here.

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Facilitating Focus Groups?  Recording great audio is ESSENTIAL for accurate and timely analysis.

Researchers across the world run focus groups to capture rich data for analysis.  One of the keys to running successful focus groups is recording great audio.

It is only by recording great audio that an accurate and timely transcript of the focus group session can be produced, for analysis.  Recording great audio consistently is easy if you follow a few key rules.

RULE ONE: Use a Good Quality Digital Recorder

This is a must.  It doesn’t matter how well you run the focus group or how prepared you are, if you don’t use a good quality digital recorder you simply won’t capture great audio, and you and your focus group participants’ time will have been wasted.

Buy or hire a good quality digital recorder, and learn how to operate it before you record your focus group sessions.  Make sure the recorder records in a recommended format, such as .mp3, .wma, .wav, .dss or .ds2.  Know where the pause button is, have the recorder on the highest quality setting, and ensure the recorder is fully charged.

We recommend you also have a backup power source, such as replacement batteries or an AC adapter, on hand.

Sterling Transcription recommends Olympus DM-901 with ME-33 mics to record focus groupsThere are a number of high quality digital recorders available which won’t break the bank.  The Olympus DM-901 is recommended for recording focus groups and meetings, and can comfortably accommodate recording 8-10 voices.

If you wish to record larger numbers, consider boosting the recording capacity of the DM-901 with external microphones, such as the Olympus ME-33 boundary layer microphones, which can be daisy chained to the recorder.

Sterling Transcription recommends recording large groups with Philips DPM8900 Conference Recording Kit.

For university researchers and market research companies who need a robust, flexible and more portable solution, consider the Philips DPM8900 Conference Recorder Kit.  This top of the range recording solution is pricey, but well worth the money if you need to transport your recording equipment regularly.

The DPM8900 comes with a high quality digital recorder, four exceptional quality boundary layer microphones, a cradle, dictation software and remote control, which all fits snugly and safely in the sturdy metal case, provided.

RULE TWO: Consider the Recording Environment

Choosing a recording environment which is comfortable for all participants, removed from unnecessary distractions and appropriate for the session is essential.  Consider the size of the venue and avoid places with intrusive background noise, such as public chatter, loud air conditioning or heating units, radios or loudspeaker announcements, and high volume traffic.

Be prepared and set up the space prior to commencing recording, ensuring tables and chairs are well-positioned, and participants are equidistant from the recording device.

Reduce unwanted interruptions by closing the doors when recording is about to progress, and to ensure privacy and confidentiality of participants during the session.  If appropriate, put a sign on the door – “meeting in progress”.

RULE THREE: Follow Standard Meeting Protocols

Of course, once you have acquired a good quality recorder and your recording environment is set up, you still need to facilitate the session well to ensure capture of good quality audio.

As well as being prepared according to your research topic, consider how you wish participants to interact with each other.  Overspeaking, where participants talk over the top of each other, is very common, but very disruptive and can lead to difficult-to-hear audio, and therefore difficulty in transcribing the audio accurately.  Minimise this human response by asking participants to speak one at a time, respecting each and every one’s contribution to the session.

Recording great audio can at first seem a daunting task, but by considering these three rules and adapting them to suit your own particular needs, you will find recording great audio actually very easy.

For more information on recording great audio please contact the Sterling Transcription team for assistance and advice.

Posted in Better Audio, Focus Groups, Interviews, Research Transcription, Transcription | Leave a comment