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Qualitative transcription software

Upload and automatically transcribe your qualitative data. Pull in videos, audio, documents, presentations, and text through integrations or bulk upload. Start transcribing for free today.

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Uncover research patterns

Analyze your transcriptions by highlighting and tagging important moments or quotes across your qualitative data. Then segment and visualize your highlights and tags to uncover new patterns and themes.

Why use a transcription tool for research?

Using transcription services in qualitative research saves you time by finding specific data at any given moment without having to listen through thorough audio files. A command prompt can access what you're trying to find in record time instead of spending countless moments trying to get through the material.

Transcription services also give you accurate comments verbatim from your interviews and focus groups without you having to listen to the audio and then type them into a file. They’re there waiting for you to simply cut and paste from the transcription.

These services can help researchers have their data easily accessible and at their fingertips so that they can easily share it with team accounts, providing more collaboration among their team.

The benefits of using transcription when doing qualitative research are:

  • It relieves researchers from note taking and lets them focus on observing their subjects.

  • Researchers can become more involved with their data collection instead of worrying about getting everything into notes and files.

  • It helps researchers put the data in a narrative.

  • It gives data analysis an easier way to be shared.

  • It allows for easier pattern recognition.

  • Researchers can preserve data integrity and accuracy.

Qualitative research and transcription

When used for qualitative research, transcription is done to get a word-for-word account and is a highly technical task. Some researchers find it tedious, but it’s vital to a research project as it puts the data into a format that can be easier to share and analyze. Transcription allows the data to be kept accurate and without subconscious bias. 

When done manually, it’s a time-consuming project, but with transcription services, it can be imported into a QDA (qualitative data analysis) tool. These allow you to get precise quotes from the subjects and more readily use these quotes in the project. 

Transcription for qualitative research gives you better context in the findings and allows you to emphasize particular points that were made.

Qualitative data analysis (QDA)

Qualitative data analysis allows themes and patterns to emerge from organized and interpreted qualitative data. Taking these comments and thoughts and converting them into data that can be used to answer questions and offer solutions can help improve a business, a website, a product, and more. 

Using QDA can be quicker and easier when transcription services convert your raw research into a more easily accessible and searchable data format.

Overview of the best transcription software for researchers

The best transcription software for researchers should consider user-friendliness, advanced AI engines, customization, and many supported files and languages. 

Dovetail's audio and video transcription takes any video or audio recording, whether from interviews, sales calls, or usability tests, and turns it into a streamable format that is then transcribed with the latest in AI speech engines. Your raw qualitative data becomes a tagged, searchable format.

Some of the customization available with the software includes:

  • The ability to change and rename the speakers in the audio or video (The default Speaker 1 and 2 can be renamed for better data results.)

  • A custom thumbnail setting so that you can change what’s visible for your video thumbnail

  • The ability to split or merge monologues

  • The ability to import your own transcripts if needed

  • Subtitled video availability for easier sharing and accessibility (You can enable and disable this option with ease.)

  • A variety of keyboard shortcuts to control playback

For even more accessibility and ease of use, there are a variety of accepted formats, and many languages are available. Formats include mp4, mov, mpeg, avi, mp3, m4a, and wav files. 

Supported languages include Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Having a robust language available ties in well with the subtitle customization, offering the best accessibility for your project.

Better transcription software services should give you control over what you need from your data. From allowing you to customize speaker names and visuals to giving you tagged sections of the transcription to analyze and use, Dovetail's transcription frees up your research time and gives you better qualitative data analysis with that human touch. 

Save time, money, and resources by turning your focus away from mindless pausing and playback of your subjects while still getting the data you need.

How much can you save with transcription software?

With a qualitative research transcription service, you can save time, money, and resources. Dovetail's service allows you to save time since you no longer have to listen to audio, pause, and then type what was said. 

For an average person, it takes about four hours to transcribe approximately one hour of audio. Those stats are for clear audio and don't take into account people that may be involved in your research that are unintelligible and will need several passes to "hear" clearly.

Dovetail's pricing gives you monthly hours and a settings page in the service where you can easily check the number of available hours left and the number of hours you've used. Minutes with the transcription service reset every 30 days, so you're always able to continue projects and take on new ones.

Lastly, resources are better devoted to other aspects of the project than transcription. With state-of-the-art software availability, it’s one piece of the research puzzle that you and your team will not have to spend your efforts on, leaving more time to work on other data and creating more involved projects for your research assignments.


Is automated transcription as accurate as manual transcription?

Automated transcription software has made significant strides in accuracy. While it may not be 100% error-free, it offers qualitative researchers a reliable and time-efficient solution.

How do I choose the right software for my research needs?

Consider factors such as the software's accuracy, its ability to differentiate speakers, integration with analysis tools, ease of editing, and your budget when selecting the best fit for your research.

Can transcription software handle different accents and languages?

Many transcription software solutions have been trained to recognize various accents and languages, enhancing their versatility.

Are there any security concerns when using transcription software?

Opting for reputable software providers prioritizing data security is essential. Look for software that offers encryption and complies with privacy regulations.

How does automated transcription enhance the qualitative research process?

Automated transcription expedites the transcription process, enabling researchers to analyze data more quickly. It also reduces the likelihood of overlooking valuable insights due to time constraints.

Can I edit automated transcriptions?

Yes, transcription software allows for manual editing. This is particularly beneficial when accurately capturing specialized terminology or industry jargon.

Harvard Business Publishing
Royal Bank of Scotland
Zip Money
Universal Music
Intrepid Group
ZoCo Design
DoubleCheck Research
The Honeycomb Works
Hear Me Out
Meld Studios
Warner Music Group
Condé Nast
BCG Digital Ventures

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