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Key Translation KPIs for Your Project

Key Translation KPIs for Your Project

In the intricate world of translation, managing moving parts and ensuring linguistic accuracy is akin to a delicate dance. Amidst this, the term localization testing becomes crucial, embodying precision in linguistic and cultural alignment. A centralized platform enhances transparency, paving the way for improved project oversight. This article explores the pivotal role of translation KPIs—from quality to cost. Whether sourced internally or externally, tracking specific KPIs is paramount for refining the localization process. In a realm where metrics balance between the measurable and the subjective, KPIs emerge as vital tools, enabling organizations to assess, adjust, and ensure each translation project unfolds with precision and purpose.

Why Focus on KPIs?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) act as a navigational tool steering businesses toward tangible goals and enhanced value. In the realm of Translation Management Systems, exemplified by platforms, an abundance of data is easily accessible, posing the possibility of being overwhelming. The crucial step is to sift through this abundance and pinpoint the specific key metrics that matter.

By focusing on the right KPIs, a localization team can delve deeper into the translation process, gauging efficiency, cost implications, and avenues for optimization. These metrics act as beacons, providing clarity amid the data deluge and steering businesses toward a more streamlined and effective translation strategy.

Translation KPIs

Creating meaningful Translation KPIs involves following the SMART framework, guaranteeing they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. This challenge in translation extends to evaluating both the process and outcomes. Focus areas, including Translation Management, Quality, and Outcome, enable a concise assessment of success.

1. Measuring the Process

Efficiently evaluating the translation and localization process involves tracking vital Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Turnaround time, cost-per-word, throughput rate, and right-first-time quality percentage offer insights into speed and accuracy. Additional metrics, including reviews needed, error rates, milestone adherence, and customer satisfaction, contribute to a comprehensive assessment. Industry standards like ISO 171000 provide a foundation, but customizing metrics based on project needs is essential. Efficiency, beyond speed and cost, requires defining criteria for project quality upfront to derive meaningful insights from measurements.

2. Number of Words & Segments Translated

In the realm of translation, our second Key Performance Indicator (KPI) sheds light on the number of words and segments translated, offering strategic insights into cost estimation and resource allocation. This particular KPI allows a meticulous examination by measuring the translation word count multiplied by the translator’s rate. The data gleaned provides valuable perspectives on project costs, considering variables such as language pair, translator, project, file format, translation memory, and department.

Through the lens of Translation KPIs, this metric facilitates the identification of top-performing translators for specific content, understanding resource-intensive translation types, and optimizing the allocation of the right number and profile of translators to projects. In essence, the integration of Translation KPIs ensures a precision-driven approach to cost-effectiveness and strategic resource management in translation endeavors.


3. Number of Words in Translation Memories

A crucial Translation Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the quantification of words in your translation memory or glossary. As these repositories expand, a direct correlation emerges – the larger they are, the less time required for translations.
This KPI, essential for translation project management, brings forth numerous advantages:

  1. Company-Approved Terms: Ensure translations incorporate company-approved terms.
  2. Brand Consistency: Foster better brand consistency and adherence.
  3. Text Consistency: Guarantee uniformity among similar texts and topics.
  4. Translation Quality: Develop higher-quality translations.
  5. Eliminate Redundancy: Avoid translating the same segment twice.

Particularly beneficial for technical texts like user manuals, instruction manuals, parts catalogs, manufacturing guidelines, and case studies, translation memories become invaluable. These texts often contain repetitive language, making translation memories an efficient tool. By leveraging glossaries, you optimize both time and budget.

Through the lens of Translation KPIs, improvements in quality resulting from glossaries can be tracked. This analytical approach allows the identification of areas needing enhancement and pinpoints which memories contribute most effectively to superior results.

4. Translation Actions

Within the translation landscape, Translation Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) extend beyond metrics to unveil crucial insights into translation actions. Embedded within a Translation Management System (TMS), an activity log proves instrumental in addressing key queries:

In the realm of translation activities, these KPIs serve as a lens, enabling:

  1. Workflow Understanding: Gaining insights into translator workflows.
  2. Bottleneck Identification: Recognizing and mitigating obstacles to efficiency.
  3. Issue Tracking: Identifying and tracking frequently encountered issues.
  4. Guideline Clarity: Crafting clearer guidelines based on observed actions.
  5. Process Optimization: Enhancing overall efficiency by streamlining translation processes.

In essence, through the meticulous examination of Translation KPIs, organizations can refine guidelines, pinpoint areas for improvement, and foster more streamlined and efficient translation workflows.

5. Translation Outcomes

Evaluating the success of translation projects is integral, and incorporating translation KPIs is essential to align with overarching business objectives. The assessment of translation outcomes involves probing critical questions to gauge efficacy and quality:

  1. Customer Acquisition: Are translations contributing to the acquisition of new customers?
  2. Revenue Impact: How much has revenue increased because of translations?
  3. Brand Engagement: Is there an improvement in brand engagement?
  4. Multilingual Training: Has the effectiveness of training for multilingual employees improved?
  5. To measure these outcomes effectively, tracking various data points is imperative, linking back to translation goals:
  6. Site Traffic and Language Engagement: Monitor site traffic on different pages and languages.
  7. Keyword Rankings: Assess keyword rankings for different pages and languages.
  8. Regional Impact: Evaluate click-through rates and revenue from different regions.
  9. Cost Efficiency: Measure translation costs reduced through the use of translation software.

Integrating a computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool with content management systems that provide analytics data facilitates the seamless tracking of these critical translation KPIs and ensures linguistic quality assurance.

Bekir Diri
Bekir Diri

Bekir Diri, founder of Atlas Localization, studied at Trakya University, Department of Translation and Interpretation. He gained industry experience with his MA in Translation Studies in Istanbul 29 Mayis University, with his thesis titled “Turkish Issues in Game, Mobile Application and Web Localization”, while also improving himself in the field. He also lectures about Translation Technologies, Project Management and Localization in Istanbul 29 Mayis University.

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