May 16, 2023
7 minutes

Improving translation quality through automated orchestration of quality evaluations

ContentQuo Team

Introducing an innovative automated approach to radically streamline how localization teams manage translation quality (LQA) at scale through the use of automated orchestration of linguistic quality evaluations.

Our translation industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with the translation service market size expanding by 40% during the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge is primarily attributable to the rapid expansion of global businesses and the increasing demand for professional translation services.

Furthermore, the massive scale of machine translation has emphasized the need for robust quality control processes.

This growth has led to a heightened focus on monitoring & improving translation quality to drive desired global business outcomes.

However, translation quality evaluation programs were traditionally quite burdensome for localization teams, requiring significant and continuous manual effort on project management, leading to many questioning their cost-effectiveness. One innovative approach to address this issue and revolutionize the way localization teams manage translation quality at scale is through the use of automated orchestration of translation quality evaluations.

What is automated orchestration of quality evaluations?

Automated orchestration of quality evaluations is a method that leverages language technology and localization QA tools to automate and streamline the linguistic quality assurance (LQA) process. By utilizing advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques, these tools can automatically prioritize translations for review based on customizable risk models, start regular evaluations on schedule, help stick to the allocated review budgets, and even make it easy to manage multiple translation quality programs running in parallel.

Automated orchestration of quality evaluations can be illustrated through a typical translation project workflow. Let’s say a global e-commerce company is launching a new brand and needs to translate its website content, product descriptions, and promotional materials into multiple languages. Due to limited budgets and timelines, however, human review can only be applied to 10% of all these new translations. Which 10% should they review?

In a traditional localization workflow, program managers either on the localization team or at their LSP would spend countless hours manually selecting & assigning the review tasks to linguists or downstream translation agencies, coordinate them, and manage feedback. Not only this is highly time-consuming for your localization program, but also has very considerable risk of human error: accidentally reviewing not very impactful content or content with low risk of errors. However, with automated orchestration of quality evaluations, the process is considerably simplified: such a system automatically prioritizes translations for review based on customizable quality risk models and schedules those reviews instead of the Project Managers doing so by hand!

Here’s how it works: Once the translations are completed in the Translation Management System, the automated orchestration module will stack-rank all the translations in order of decreasing quality risk, taking into account factors such as translation memory leverage, glossary term density, past quality scores of translators, and company’s strategic priorities for different content types. Based on the risk scoring results, the system will then automatically assign review vendor tasks (either in the TMS itself or in a dedicated LQA tool), ensuring that as many  high-priority translations meet the required quality standards as the budget allows.

The “required quality standards” are not fixed, either. For instance, high-priority translations, such as those related to legal or safety information, would always go to the front of the queue for quality reviews. Meanwhile, less critical translations could be skipped if there’s no sufficient budget this time, as the impact of any linguistic quality issues is significantly lower. A good automated orchestration system will always allow you to configure which criteria are more or less important for your localization quality risk model.

Benefits from automated orchestration of quality evaluations

By automating the orchestration of translation quality evaluations, localization teams get numerous advantages for their language quality program. Here are just some of them.

Reduced project management overhead

Automation reduces the need for manual intervention in the linguistic quality assessment process, leading to decreased project management costs and freeing up team’s valuable time for other tasks. This means that program managers can focus on more strategic aspects of quality management, such as stakeholder education, vendor training, and error prevention. Additionally, by automating repetitive tasks, teams can reduce the likelihood of errors and inconsistencies that can occur when targeting translation quality evaluations manually, resulting in a more efficient and streamlined process.

Furthermore, the reduced overhead also allows teams to scale their localization workloads more easily. As the volume of localized content increases, automation can help maintain efficiency and quality without the need for hiring additional team members. This scalability is particularly beneficial for localization teams that support businesses experiencing rapid growth or those that have been recently hit by massive downsizing events.

Higher ROI on LQA

By prioritizing translations based on risk models and orchestrating LQA accordingly, localization teams can ensure that their limited review budget is spent on content where it makes the biggest difference for the company, resulting in a higher return on investment. This targeted approach to review & quality assessment ensures that critical translations receive the appropriate level of scrutiny and resources, while less critical translations are still reviewed when resources remain.

Moreover, by continuously monitoring and adjusting which translated content is being reviewed based on actual quality scores and other metrics, teams can further optimize their localization processes and outcomes. This ongoing improvement cycle can lead to better translations over time, as translators (and reviewers!) learn from past mistakes and incorporate best practices. As a result, localization can achieve a higher ROI for their translation quality investments, using their budget to drive increased customer satisfaction and improved global brand perception.

Increased impact from LQA

Automated quality program management makes it easy to run multiple LQA programs in parallel with minimal staffing, so that localization teams in larger businesses as well as large LSPs can continuously improve the quality of their translations and their vendor performance in a cost-effective way, leading to better localization outcomes and a more positive user & customer experience. This ongoing quality evaluation process can help identify patterns and trends across languages and suppliers, enabling teams responsible for quality to address these issues proactively and implement targeted training or process improvements.

In addition, automated LQA orchestration can facilitate more effective collaboration between translators, reviewers, and other stakeholders in the localization process. By analyzing real-time quality metrics, localization leaders can ensure that all parties are working towards the same quality goals, are aware of any issues that need to be addressed, and make constant progress. This increased transparency can lead to better decision-making and more efficient workflows, ultimately resulting in a higher overall impact from LQA efforts.

Better budget control

Automated translation quality management tools can help teams monitor and control their LQA budgets more effectively, ensuring that costs are kept in check. By leveraging automatic management of review costs, localization leaders can rest assured they are not going to overspend. This level of financial control can be especially beneficial for teams with tight localization budgets or those looking to optimize their translation review spend.

Additionally, automation can help teams “quality-proof” potential cost-saving opportunities, such as utilizing machine translation for less critical content. By continuously monitoring and analyzing the quality impact of translation budget reduction initiatives, localization can minimize the risk of reputational damage and stakeholder dissatisfaction from inadequate quality, while delivering much needed cost savings.

Faster translation feedback loops

Automation can facilitate better communication between translators, reviewers, and program managers, streamlining the feedback process and leading to more accurate and consistent translations faster. By providing a centralized platform for collaboration, automated LQA platforms can help ensure that all stakeholders have access to all the information they need to continuously deliver multilingual content with the right quality, such as quality scorecards, trends reports, and rebuttal & arbitration feedback.

Furthermore, these solutions can help significantly speed up the feedback loop by eliminating any waiting time that is inherent to all manually managed processes when data has to move between the multiple companies in the localization supply chain. This faster feedback can then be used to inform future linguistic decisions, helping teams continuously shape their localized content to deliver better outcomes for the company’s business and customers. By fostering better collaboration and communication, automated LQA orchestration can ultimately lead to more impactful localization.

Integration with existing tools

Some translation quality management systems, such as ContentQuo Plan, can easily connect to all major Translation Management Systems, allowing localization teams to retain their current technology infrastructure and minimize change management costs. This seamless integration allows them to maintain their existing workflows and best practices while enjoying the benefits of risk-based automated orchestration of quality evaluations and other advanced language quality assessment techniques.

Moreover, integrating translation quality management tools with an existing TMS can help improve the overall efficiency of the localization process. For example, by automatically importing translation project metrics such as volumes and costs, these tools through their visual reporting features can provide localization managers with access to the most up-to-date and accurate analytics and help them make important decisions. Even key Machine Translation metrics such as Edit Distance can be automatically monitored and visualized in this way - if your TMS shares that kind of information, that is!

Embracing the future of translation quality management

By adopting automated orchestration of language quality evaluations in their localization workflows, teams can ensure that they are consistently delivering the right quality of translations while optimizing their resources and processes. As the translation industry continues to evolve, adopting advanced localization automation and innovative approaches to translation quality management will be essential for localization leaders looking to deliver the best possible experiences for their companies’ global customers even in the era of layoffs, reduced budget, and inevitable advance of Large Language Models into global content operations.

If you’re interested in taking your translation quality management strategy to the next level, you might want to check out ContentQuo Plan, a translation quality management system that automates and streamlines the LQA process for localization teams of all sizes.

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