Featured Customer

Shapiro + Raj Gets Transcripts Back 300% Faster With Rev

"The biggest benefit we get from Rev is how easily we were able to integrate it with our very sophisticated qualitative data workflow. For us, it’s worth it to get transcripts on every project."

Brian Koch Headshot
Brian Koch
Director of Qualitative Analytics

Results With Rev

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7.7 Hours

average turnaround for files <60 minutes long
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75% Reduction

in turnaround time compared to other solutions
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1/2 The Cost

of traditional market research transcription firms

Results With Rev

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As Head of Post Production, Rodney oversees original video and podcast content. Each piece of content produced requires an accurate transcript. To keep pace with Spotify’s workflow, he must submit the transcripts quickly to production staff for editing.

About Shapiro + Raj

Shapiro + Raj helps its clients turn data into business outcomes.

Shapiro + Raj is the sixth-largest independent insights company in the U.S. With over 70 employees serving technology, healthcare, and other industries, it is an international leader in the marketing insights space. Far from being just a market research firm, Shapiro + Raj helps businesses strategize and develop action plans for growth. The firm is highly regarded for its investigative strategy, delivering insights and ideas to Fortune 500 and small business clients alike. By diving deep into the needs of consumers, Shapiro + Raj helps its clients turn data into business outcomes.

For Shapiro + Raj, keeping up with new technology and ever-changing research theory is crucial. Before adding transcripts to their workflow, Shapiro + Raj’s researchers relied on taking notes during and after their interviews to collect data for analysis. The firm’s management understood the note-taking process took up valuable time and often led to important insights being overlooked. To overcome these limitations, they knew they needed to solve three fundamental problems the note-taking method presented:

  • Text analytics tools cannot be used to identify patterns or trends in research unless notes perfectly mirror what a subject says 
  • Note-taking is a tedious task and takes up a lot of time that can be allocated to more valuable tasks
  • The notes researchers take are summaries of what’s being said and don’t always tell the full story, so it’s harder to uncover valuable insights in the future

This innovative company mindset is what led the firm to pursue transcription as a solution to their inefficient research interview process. This initiative was led by Shapiro + Raj’s Director of Qualitative Analytics, Brian Koch. He needed a partner that could integrate with the workflow of Shapiro + Raj’s 70+ employees while also keeping up with their interview volume. The only transcription solution capable of meeting these needs was Rev.

About Shapiro + Raj

Customer Challenges

Finding a partner that understands the research workflow

Before partnering with Rev, Brian’s team tested a number of transcription vendors. However, their processes were clunky and inefficient and didn’t integrate with Shapiro + Raj’s existing workflow. “We had to email them about the project, then we had to email them the media files and give them permission to view and download these giant files. They’d send us back the transcripts via email and we’d have to save them locally and convert them into a machine-readable format. It was quite a bit of work,” says Brian.

With Rev, researchers are able to upload their files to a secure platform and transcriptionists start working on them immediately. With a network of 30,000+ human transcriptionists, Rev transcribes hundreds of thousands of minutes every day while still maintaining high accuracy and industry-leading turnaround times. Using a proprietary marketplace and editing technology, Rev transcriptionists can also scale to any order volume without impacting turnaround. “The biggest benefit we get from Rev is how easily we were able to integrate it with our very sophisticated qualitative data workflow. A Rev transcript costs 50% less than a traditional market research transcription firm, plus gives all the wonderful benefits of machine-readable formatting and automation via the API. For us, it’s worth it to get transcripts on every project.” For Shapiro + Raj, these two benefits coupled with simple and transparent pricing made the choice a no brainer.

Brian and his team were so impressed with Rev’s speed and turnaround time, they decided to integrate with Rev’s API. The API lets Shapiro + Raj’s researchers order transcripts without ever having to log into the Rev platform. “That was really the game-changer for us, realizing that we could place transcript orders at will via the API.” The API also makes it easy for them to use transcripts within their other research tools. “We're able to have a research schedule in front of us, identify an audio file on our system, and then place an order with Rev right from that spreadsheet.” With Rev’s API, Brian and his team get accurate transcripts without adding extra steps into their workflow.

“It was hard on our staff to listen to all the interviews and taking thorough notes for each one. We wanted to find a way to shift some of that work off of them and onto a transcription partner.”


Using transcripts to improve the customer interview process

Now that Shapiro + Raj has a reliable transcription solution, they’re able to focus on improving the value they provide to their clients.

Part of the need for transcription came from a desire to gain deeper insights into clients’ data. “We wanted to get more into natural language processing (NLP) and text analytics. We realized that those tools are out there and they’re really designed to work with full conversations,” Brian explains. “Summary notes don't feed as well into those tools.” With transcripts, Shapiro + Raj was able to create a customized workflow that other tools aren’t built for. Brian’s team designed S+R AQuA™, a tool that uses transcripts to codify qualitative data, identify patterns, and draw objective conclusions from interviews.

Transcripts help researchers be more productive by removing inefficient steps from their jobs. “Our staff was really burdened by the idea of listening to all the interviews and taking thorough notes for each one,” explains Brian. Now, instead of spending countless hours taking notes, researchers at Shapiro + Raj can spend more time on activities with higher ROI.

Rev also helps Shapiro + Raj’s ROI because they need fewer resources to do the same amount of work. “Transcripts really help when you're doing telephone or video interviews. In those cases, you don't want to take notes live. It saves a lot of staff time because we don’t have to staff all of our interviews and can just get the data from the transcripts.” Transcripts are also useful for focus groups. “You have a lot of people talking and the conversations can distract our staff from taking detailed notes.” In both cases, transcripts enable researchers to spend more time engaging with participants and minimize the risk of missing crucial insights.

In an effort to change the way it collects and analyzes historical data, Shapiro + Raj is creating a database of transcripts. “When you write reports on your research, you're only focused on the needs of that project. So when a client comes to you a few months down the road and asks for you to examine historical data with a new focus, you might not have taken that focus into account,” says Brian. Creating a database of transcripts gives researchers a way to go back and revisit the data, often to uncover new insights. While a single transcript is unlikely to result in groundbreaking conclusions, a large volume of transcripts represents data that can be mined for trends. In effect, transcripts provide a means to conduct quantitative analysis of qualitative data.