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The What and Why of the Global Survey of the Language Services and Technology Market
Posted by Vijayalaxmi Hegde on March 31, 2014  in the following blogs: Market Data
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Common Sense Advisory’s annual study of the language services and technology market is now in its 10th year. In this blog post, we’d like to explain what the survey is about and why it’s important to the industry – and to you. 

What is the survey about?
Each year, more than 1,000 LSPs from across the globe take the survey. The survey is open to any LSP with two or more employees and is not restricted to our clients or prospects. We send out the survey mailer to more than 28,000 LSPs from our database and also spread the word through social media. 

We value the time and interest of each survey respondent and send them a complimentary report of must-have data valued at US$1,000. This 80-page report includes among other things, data on the size of the market, projected growth rates, global and regional rankings, financial benchmarks for LSPs, and year-to-year comparison of statistically significant changes in the market over the past three years.

There are two parts to the survey: market sizing and rankings. 
  1. The market sizing part consists of four sections: revenue information, language technology, language services, and market characteristics. The last section is optional, while the other three contain many mandatory questions. 
  2. The ranking is completely optional. If your company wants to be considered for regional or global rankings, we need information about the number of full-time employees and offices, and your company’s revenue for the last two financial years. See Figure to know what information CSA publishes in a ranking. This year, we added questions that will allow us to rank LSPs by vertical and service. These questions were in response to popular demand by small and large LSPs.

Figure: Information that Common Sense Advisory publishes in rankings

Here’s a checklist of information that you’ll be required to mandatorily provide. So, have these at hand before taking the survey:
  • Revenue ranges for the last two financial years and estimated revenue range for the current one
  • Number of active clients
  • Revenue percentage split of language services and technology
  • Revenue percentage split of the different services that make up language services and technology
  • Revenue percentage split from different verticals
While we respect each company’s decision to participate or not in the survey, you should know that you’ll not be able to complete the survey without providing data such as the above. This data is critical to market sizing and helps companies in benchmarking their own performance.  

Please note that we don’t ask for exact revenue figures unless, of course, a company wants to enter a ranking. Common Sense Advisory treats all responses as highly confidential information. We aggregate the data of all respondents to estimate the size of the market and its growth year over year. To further assure you about the confidentiality of the information you provide, we offer to sign non-disclosure agreements, if your company asks for it. 
Why is the survey important to the industry? 
  • The survey is the basis of the annual market sizing report that we publish. This report plays a very important role in bringing visibility to an industry that’s critical to global business services. We estimate the size of the entire market and of each service that makes up the industry, such as translation, localization, website globalization, transcreation, etc.
  • It helps identify important trends in the market: Which services are growing the fastest? How is the market doing vis-à-vis the larger global economic scenario? What is the market sentiment?
  • It helps buyers identify the LSPs by region or vertical. 
Lastly, as Common Sense Advisory is not associated with any language service provider, buyer of translation services, or tech vendor, data from the survey is not biased towards any industry stakeholder. It is an independent, objective overview of the supply side of the market. This position gives our data reliability – a critical trait for market research.  

Click here to take the survey today and contribute to the industry you’re proudly a part of. 

Correction Notice: This post was amended at 8.50 am EDT on 18 April 2013 to change the number of years that Common Sense Advisory has conducted the annual study of the language services and technology market. It should be 10, instead of nine as originally published.


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