Why Focus Group Transcripts Are Invaluable for Businesses

Why Focus Group Transcripts Are Invaluable for Businesses
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Audio and video focus group interviews provide in-depth data that cannot be conveyed in words. When listening to the interviews, you can identify sarcasm, hesitations, and nuances that can change the meaning of what participants said. However, most researchers still prefer to have focus group conversations transcribed.

Transcription offers multiple benefits to the research market industry, including:

i) Finish your reports fast

Focus group interviews may involve multiple teams from different areas and can sometimes last for over an hour. When you want to write your report, it can be difficult to know which group provided the information you are looking for. If you are relying on video and audio content, this would mean listening or watching the interviews to find the information you need, which can take a considerable amount of time.

On the other hand, if the interviews have been transcribed, you can easily find the information you need by searching specific keywords in the text. If you are working on a PC, you can press CTRL-F, type the word that you are looking for in the transcription text, and then press Enter. In seconds, you will get the information you need for inclusion in your report.

ii) Include subjects' quotes

Research reports sometimes require quotes from focus group participants to reinforce or confirm a point. Watching or listening to an hour of an interview for additional quotes or findings for your market research report is time-consuming but, sometimes, necessary.

When the focus group discussions are pre-transcribed, you can cut and paste the verbatim comments you need for your report. This will save you time that you would have spent listening and pausing multiple times to get the information you need.

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iii) Provide clients with professional reports

Transcripts not only help you write more accurate reports quickly but can also be submitted as deliverables for your clients. Clients can refer to the reports regularly to identify key items of interest or circulate them among the staff that may have missed the focus group interviews.

Clients that are not present during the focus group interviews may miss important objectives of the study. The transcribed word-for-word content will put the clients at ease since everything discussed in the focus groups will be captured.

Types of Business Transcription Services

There are various types of transcription services that you can choose for your focus group research interview. For example, you can hire a transcription company to carry out “Intelligent Verbatim”. This is a middle-service transcription where the transcribers will determine which details and pauses in the interviews are necessary. With intelligent verbatim, the exact wording of the dialogue is recorded.

Another transcription option is “verbatim”. This service is recommended when you need to capture the nuances of the conversations. With verbatim transcription, every word and pause in the conversation is recorded in the report. For example, a report may have an entry such as [pause 7 sec] to indicate a pause of 7 seconds during the conversation. Verbatim transcription is expensive but offers illuminating details, especially for discourse analysis.


If you would like your focus group interviews transcribed, look for a transcription company that specifically works with research firms and offers the type of transcription you need. Moreover, it is advisable to choose a company whose transcribers are of your subjects’ native dialect.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed success at GMR for almost ten years now and has helped the company grow. Within two years of Beth managing GMR Transcription, it had doubled in sales and was named one of the OC Business Journal’s fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her husband and two kids.