IIeX Amsterdam 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series – David Abbott – Take Note

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews David Abbott, Commercial Director and Head of Product Management at Take Note.

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Take Note


IIeX, we are live on the show floor. How is the event going for you?


It’s my first time here. It’s been a great event, great talks, and great to meet so many of our customers and co-suppliers in the industry. Yes, it’s been a strong event for us.


Where are you guys based?


In London. Yes, by London Bridge.


My guest today is David Abbot, with Take Notes?


Take Note.


I love that. Tell me about Take Note.


We’re a transcription business. It’s called Take Note because, originally, a couple of ladies, our founders, started up on their own, taking more professional notes, at meetings, particularly market research meetings which meant the moderator, or whoever was leading the meeting, could fully focus on having the best meeting possible and expect a professional transcript afterward.


That’s brilliant.


That’s growing and we still do a lot of that. That’s still a growing business for us, but the larger part of our business is now transcription and particularly where it’s market research transcription. We specialize heavily in there. Focus groups tend to be too complicated for a less quality-driven service, and a couple of our friends in the business at the moment are monitoring speech-recognition. Every time I tell people what I do, they say, “Oh, what about speech recognition?” I’ll talk about that a bit in a moment. The other theme, especially with video becoming so prominent now is that video and audio are the right ways to create the best content or discussion, essentially, and with video facial recognition, et cetera. They’re not always the best way for people to digest the content, because they might want to skim-read through.

If you create a one-hour video, for instance, the person knows they’ve got to invest an hour in consuming that. Whereas, with our transcripts, you can go very quickly, go to the part that you want to. Or, the five minutes you’ve got now, you can skim-read maybe 20 minutes of audio. That’s a big thing for us. We’re working with market researchers and brands, not only on their research content but on their internal comms. Customer insights is a big area for internal comms, getting everybody on board, et cetera. They’re starting to create more podcasts, more videos. As I say, that’s the right way to create them. Might not be the most engaging way to digest them for everybody around the business.


That’s really interesting that you’re moving, not just in research but it sounds like you get a much broader footprint inside of the corporation.


Yes, absolutely. It’s from talking to customer insight teams about their pains and their challenges. It’s the age-old one with customer insights of everyone around the old stakeholders, understanding what they do. That’s where that corporate piece came in as well.


You do the actual transcription piece of it. Do you then have a system for saving/retrieving that type of relevant information? It seems like you could almost apply some machine learning or AI or something fancy to that at a corporate level because you’re the keeper of the conversations.


Absolutely. At the moment, they are all in our secure portal. With Beta security, we make that number one priority, closely followed by customer service. If you want us to provide transcripts, you upload to our portal. You don’t email any of your data anywhere. Then, once we’ve completed the transcript for you, it’s human transcription, but they also work within our portal. You just get sent a link, so you have to log back in, hence the security, et cetera. In a way, we are a library of everything that you’ve had transcribed. A very feasible “Next step” is how we combine that with other content you might have and become a repository for everything good you’re creating at the moment.


Somebody wants to get in contact with you at Take Note, how do they get in contact with you, David.


Yes, straight to our website, TakeNoteTyping.com. They can contact me directly. I am david@takenotetyping.com. It would be great to hear from people, as there’s a lot happening in the space. A lot of the conversations we’re having are security-lead at the moment, but the human transcription in our industry is still absolutely vital, because, with speech recognition, for instance, the challenge, always, with speech recognition has been, “Can it correctly identify what’s being said?” Then you throw regional accents into that, and it stops doing that, at any level. In the service we provide, it’s about what we don’t include.

When people change their thought path, and they don’t want the original line that they started talking because they superseded it themselves, we can clean the transcript. We take that out, order ums and ahs and kind ofs and all of those things that people don’t like hearing themselves saying. Again, we take them all out with the transcripts. You get all of the meaningful stuff.


Right. It’s a lot of value add that’s happening in the post-processing of that transcript that creates a better and deliverable for the customer, more usable.


Yes. Quicker to use, more efficient for research. We’re at that part in the supply chain between gathering the content if you liked during the groups, et cetera, and making some insights out of those. We can save hours giving the cleanest transcription at that point in the process. Yes, absolutely.


My guest today has been David Abbot with Take Note. David, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thanks, Jamin. Thank you.