What Big Data can tell us about the translation industry

The rapid adoption of cloud-based translation tools, which aggregate usage statistics across thousands of organizations and translators, is producing Big Data for the translation industry. With the help of this Big Data, we can benchmark productivity, identify industry trends, and train machine intelligence.

Text by Konstantin Dranch


What Big Data can tell us about the translation industry

Image: © yongyuan/istockphoto.com

Only five years ago, translation data was mostly isolated and siloed. Companies employed on-premises translation software that kept data locked away within the company, perhaps only shared at conferences. Moreover, comparing statistics such as translation speed and quality was difficult because globalization teams developed custom metrics and tracked performance in their own unique ways.

Cloud computing leads to Big Data

By the early 2010s, cloud translation tools started to gain prominence and user communities grew. Unlike their predecessors, cloud tools had central storage and aggregated data from many organizations and individual translators. They offered the same standard metrics to everyone, solving the problem of data inhomogeneity.

Initially, the cloud approach encountered severe resistance. Enterprises with secrets to protect and translation companies working with confidential ...