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Phonetic Indexing – A Better Approach than Speech Recognition?

February 21, 2014 by Morgan Pulitzer - Last Updated: June 05, 2019

Phonetic Indexing by Business Case

When comparing speech recognition and keyword targeting – in which the software program is designed to transcribe entire sentences as an array of words – and phonetic indexing, you should start with how you will be using speech analytics technology. For instance, if you want an easy way to monitor the occurrence of certain keywords to score call center agents, you may want to consider phonetic indexing.

The phonetic indexing technique is easy to manage and implement. Entrepreneurs can make use of audio indexing according to their needs. A speech indexing algorithm is designed on simple computation techniques for calculating the number of times a particular word is used. However, the list of keywords can be different for different organizations.

How Phonetic Indexing Works?

Unlike a solution that uses speech recognition, phonetic indexing technology does not perform keyword spotting. Rather, a phonetics-based speech analytics solution scans your recordings and uses the original audio files to identify the string of phonemes (the smallest units of sound that make up language) matching the custom search criteria.

Phonetic indexing operates in two phases:

Phase I- Track Indexing

In this phase, the original speech of the caller is modified to match the accent, pitch, and pronunciation of the track which is stored in the indexing database. This is a built-in feature, and requires no additional hardware. The phase of indexing also includes noise filtration, unwanted signals suppression, improvement of signal-to-noise ratio and frequency matching. The indexed track contains the original words of the caller but sounds completely different.

Phase II- Keywords Spotting

The indexed tracked is then scanned to compute the occurrences of identified keywords. This allows users to identify most frequently encountered issues, and also search for specific product mentions, competitor mentions, and much more. There is a look up table stored in the database of indexing algorithm. The words in this table are stored according to the needs of the user.

The software program is designed to compare the indexed speech with the words present in the look up table. The end result of the scanning tells the number of times a word is found in the audio recording, and the audio player used in the CallFinder dashboard, for example, displays exactly where within the call each particular keyword or phrase occurs.

Phonetic Indexing vs. Speech Recognition

When comparing phonetic indexing to speech recognition, it is important to note that each has advantages. It really depends on what how you want to use the speech analytics technology.

Here are some of the advantages of phonetic indexing if you think this might be the right technology to use for your purposes:

  • The algorithm of phone indexing is only designed to perform mathematical computations, making it an efficient way to create scorecards.
  • Phonetic indexing doesn’t need a lot of maintenance because it uses only phonemes, which would only require modifying the keywords list with the changing business needs.
  • The technique is extremely flexible and can be used by every organization.
  • It is easy to use and there is no need for technical assistance to implement this software program.*
  • Updates to the searchable vocabulary are made according to the most frequently used words and phrases by consumers, and can be made at any time, and searches can then run on historical recordings, as well as new inbound call recordings.

*Note about implementation: While phonetic indexing software is easy to use, it is good to look for a vendor who offers onboarding assistance, especially when setting up your keyword library according to the needs of your business.

CallFinder’s cloud-based speech analytics solution comes with MyAnalyst support services. With our managed client support, you will be assigned a designated CallFinder Specialist works with you through the implementation process to help you build search phrases and scorecards to meet your business objectives.

Contact us to schedule a live demo of CallFinder’s affordable, flexible, powerful solution today!

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