Perspectives: Lessons from the new TAUS Translation Technology Landscape Report

Attila Görög
Multilingual January/February 2017
Columns and Commentary

The current TAUS Translation Technology Landscape Report published in October 2016 is a total remake of a previous edition with the same title published by TAUS in 2013. That previous, 70-page work covering the global translation technology sector has now been completely updated and extended. The raison d'être of this latest edition is the emergence of several new trends and technologies. Yet the report is not complete, and of course it cannot be. The landscape is ever-changing with many technology startups coming and going. So, a number of tools are missing from this report and it is probably better this way. The technologies that count are there....

In all the trends described in the report, data plays an important role. We are becoming more and more data-driven. There are many data points to be harvested and analyzed in various stages of the translation process. The 82 translation technologies profiled in the report potentially record time spent on segments, keystrokes, edits, error annotations, time stamps and so on — all the information needed to create meaningful reports. Still, the translation industry is lagging behind when it comes to making intelligent use of the collected data. Other industries (such as the travel industry) made the switch to data-driven decision making a decade ago. In our industry, using dashboards to monitor every single data point in the translation supply chain is a privilege of the few. Apart from some large enterprises, most buyers and vendors of translation services still use intuition or rely on very limited data sets to make business decisions.

The questions that occur now are how to aggregate the collected data, how to interpret the results and how to improve and even try to automate various processes based on this data. This new trend unavoidably leads to dashboards, benchmarking and machine learning....