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Transcription technology can be a serious ally in the struggle for compliance

By Contributor
Wed 23 Jun 2021

Article by VIQ Solutions Asia Pacific managing director Matthew Fowler.

Spoken words form a huge part of the intelligence and evidence captured by an insurer, yet data suggests that globally, as little as 15% of transcripts are digitised. This means that a large volume of potential data is never actually converted into a meaningful format, or that recordings are still being stored and played back manually when required.

Searching through a recording to find specific information is both time-consuming and inefficient. Once that recording becomes transcribed, finding information is much faster and easier. If that recording happens to be both transcribed and digitised, then finding and ‘unlocking’ information within it becomes as simple as entering a search word.

This has a major impact on staying compliant – across a number of industries, but particularly among highly regulated sectors such as finance and insurance. Accurately recording testimonies, interviews and hearings, then making that information searchable and infinitely more available means that information-gathering processes are more thorough and all recorded information is readily accessible.

For field workers and other insurance professionals gathering statements either at the scene of an incident or at an off-site meeting, the ability to not only record, but also have that recording automatically transcribed, allows them to have a reliable, accurate and instantly searchable document to include with case notes, and that way ensure that no information from that meeting is overlooked or unavailable.

The process for transcribing and digitising audio recordings was once fairly time-consuming and complex, which has traditionally been a barrier to higher adoption rates. However, modern advancements in technology now allow for a mobile application to record audio, which is then transcribed digitally using powerful Artificial-Intelligence (AI) tools.

In a sensitive environment such as an insurance agency, the fidelity of documents is also of paramount importance. Digitising an audio transcript with modern solutions such as those mentioned above also creates an audit trail for that document, which allows for tracing of its lineage and any human intervention that may have occurred between the time of recording and the present.

Using the document’s metadata, a precise audit trail is created which will show exactly who has opened a document, or made edits – as well as when, how long they were in the document for, and so forth. This adds layers of visibility to the document which provide solid evidence of its history and therefore aid in compliance with regulations around document security and trust. 

Should the organisation have a Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution in place, that will further increase governance around who can access and alter a digitised transcription. Similar to physical access control, a PAM system creates virtual barriers between sensitive documents and users, allowing different users to access information depending on the access rights they have been assigned.

Cloud-based storage means that an employee can safely and securely access a file from anywhere, with encrypted access protocols ensuring that only trusted employees can download the file.

Governance around secure storage of data also becomes easier with a digitised file. Rather than paper archives or storage of a standard audio file, a digitised file can have several layers of virtual security placed upon it, which secures at both the user side as well as the storage side, and gives an accurate record of who has had access to the file.

A mobile tool that allows field officers to instantly record and transcribe verbal meetings and situations provides convenience as well as raising governance and compliance. The capability of opening an application on their smartphone and recording a conversation has been in use for a few years now and is common practice. However, the convenience and efficiency of having an accurate transcription waiting for them when they get home or back to an office cannot be understated.

Not only does it provide a visual record of the conversation that took place, but the immediacy of the process also allows an employee to remain fully focused on the task – either to act upon the information as soon as they sit down at a computer, or add it to a workflow. This negates the chance of omitting information, losing focus while they wait for a digital transcript to arrive, or taking several hours to sit down, listen to the recording and take notes once they return to an office environment.

Rapid access to a digitised transcript also helps with compliance in cases where evidence or information needs to be called upon in a hurry. Should an external regulator require that information, it can be made available quickly and efficiently, helping the organisation meet its compliance obligations.

Further to this, it becomes easier to search for that specific information once requested by regulatory bodies, as well as drill-down and provide specifics about when something may have been said, and to whom.

Over and above the fact that information can be made available to regulators in a hurry, the data collected can also be used to build up a much more thorough case for an incident, or even activated to analyse things such as behavioural patterns over the course of many cases.

If an organisation can turn transcribed recordings into data, then it is able to develop deep insights into operational matters. This analysis has the potential to uncover patterns that may expose areas of risk, find efficiencies and more.

Compliance relies on transparency, and a trusted solution that adds speed, efficiency and accuracy to the process of accurately recording and reporting on a case makes the entire process of information gathering more transparent.

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