Multiple interviews? Try a transcription grid


Some of my clients, especially the market researchers, send me sets of interviews to transcribe in which they ask a number of different interviewees an identical set of questions.

An easier way to handle these, in terms of not having to shuffle through multiple documents to extract the answers, is to put them into a transcription grid.  It’s done as a spreadsheet, with one question per row in the first column and the interviewees’ names or IDs across the top row.  The first column and row are then fixed in place, so they don’t move when you scroll through the rest of the spreadsheet, and then all the responses are typed into the spreadsheet cells, making it easy to look at the whole interview for one respondent by reading downwards or all respondents’ answers to a single question by reading across.  If the interviewer asks a follow-up question or speaks to clarify something, it goes in the response cell [in square brackets to differentiate it from the answer].

So if you’ve been banging your head against the screen juggling multiple Word documents, why not try a grid instead?