Moving towards a fully* automated workflow for market research survey translation

*almost…

 

We all know the brilliant Staples office supply ads featuring an Easy Button that promotes a one-click solution for ordering. The promotion was so successful that Staples actually sold Easy Buttons as a novelty gift. Can there be an Easy Button for ordering market research translations? The answer is yes and we’re almost there…

Automating survey translation ordering and delivery for faster turnarounds

We do a lot of survey translation for some of the largest MR and consumer brand companies in the world. The expectation is always ‘we need it yesterday’ because their client is impatiently waiting for it and results are often time sensitive. As a result, we are constantly refining our processes and workflows to create a positive black box experience for our clients:

send a survey> get a quote> give a go-ahead> receive translations> get invoiced, all with a few clicks.

The goal is that the only humans to touch this process are the initial translators and the translation reviewers. And there can be no compromise in quality. We’re getting close this as a reality.

Systems talking to each other without human interference

This is not the much hyped AI story, a story that should make people skeptical most of the time. This is basically the application of APIs and connectors- application programming interfaces that allow software systems to share data, regardless of physical location or time zone. Your survey creation platform likely has an API that our software can connect with via a…connector. We’re building connectors for all the major platforms and our own API so those without one can connect to us. It should be as simple as a control in the platform that says:

  1. Order Translation
  2. Select Languages
  3. Comment Translation checkboxes: Yes/No/Machine Translation Only
  4. Input Timeframe
  5. Send

The files are sent, our systems analyze them, enter them into translation memory, generate an automated quote based on word count and language(s), and send quote to you. You approve the quote (another click) and the survey is sent to the appropriate linguist/translator (native speaker, subject matter expert, i.e. someone with survey experience). They translate in the system and it is sent to the review translator who reviews for accuracy and clarity in the context of the language. They return it to the system and it shows up in your delivery platform, ready to go.

This is a work in progress but we’re almost there

We have a vested interest in making this happen and our development team and linguists are working to make it happen. Ultimately it will introduce efficiencies into our processes while offering our research customers a seamless experience with faster turnaround and price advantages. The goal is to remove the translation project management from your responsibility, without compromising quality. We see the way clearly and we’re pretty far down that road.

Read our Overview on Entering Global Markets
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