Using Data to Show Localization ROI – Webinar Highlights

welocalize May 11, 2021

How do you measure the impact and effectiveness of your localization program? That’s the million (or billion) dollar question. The answer lies in the data – and how you represent it in a meaningful way to be able to measure performance and make better business decisions.  

Welocalize’s webinar ‘Using Data to Show Localization ROI’, is a discussion expertly led by Rucha L.Sheth, Analyst, Nimdzi Insights, Emma Keane, Localization Manager, Balsam Brands, and Patricia DoestHead of Localization, Preply. These experts share their experiences and thoughts on how they use data to measure and improve localization programs.  

Click here to view the on-demand webinar.

Localization programs can generate multiple data sources and turning that data into information and presenting it in a way that key executive stakeholders can understand is key to demonstrating the truly amazing value and ROI of localization.  

Regardless of company size, scale, or localization maturity, this is a common discussion within the language services industry, and the popularity of this discussion shows how important it is to share challenges and insights. 

Here are some of the key discussion points shared on ‘Using Data to Show Localization ROI: 

Measure the value of localization, not the effort 

If you’re not generating data to measuring the right KPIs, you can’t demonstrate success. Traditional KPIs such as turnaround time shows how localization is operating, but it doesn’t indicate its impact on the business. 

The true impact of localization is more about enhanced customer experience and making a product more inclusive than just adding a languagelocale or a new market.  

“Maintain good data hygiene, align metrics with the business goals and share with the stakeholders regularly. The KPIs need to always link back to business goals, and it is vital to collect relevant metrics from other stakeholders and teams such as marketing, as each function measures its own performance, which is closely linked with the localization program. ” Rucha L. Sheth, Analyst, Nimdzi


In setting up the KPI ecosystem, the first step is to define three to five meaningful and relevant KPIs to track as per the business goals. Then define the measurement, the method to collect and track data, the baseline data for comparison and normalization of that data. Finally, define the rollout and maintenance of this metrics program. Consider the systems and tools to use, sharing of data, collecting stakeholder’s input. 

What data matters?

Stakeholders outside of localization don’t necessarily understand (or care) about specific language data. What data to gather depends on the overall objective of the company. If your company is set on growth, then that’s the dataset you focus on and where you set your KPIs. For example, for a web-based or eCommerce company, that will be traffic and conversion rates. 

“As an e-commerce company, we look at web traffic year-on-year. We take a long-term view and we look at data trends. The bigger picture is the really important piece. Which SEO do we need to make more investment in? What potential new markets could we look at going to? What regions are searching for our product that we don’t have a web store in? This goes beyond localization metrics and you have to collaborate with other cross-functional teams to collate and understand this data. You can then identify what levers we can all pull to move the dial.” Emma Keane, Localization Manager, Balsam Brands


Drive meaningful user research

Collating data from research can help brands understand how they can better interact with customers. Many localization teams only have localization data, which won’t contribute to improving the overall customer experience. Conducting user research is not a core job of the localization team but the rewards can be significant to the overall business.

“Quality is very strongly linked to what customers think of the product. What are their trust levels when they visit the website? What does the assumption of good content quality do for user behavior? We worked with research teams to structure questionnaires and collected direct feedback from our users. It gave us interesting findings in terms of preference for tone, and formal use versus informal use. It triggered conversations about the quality of our languages and how they impact user behavior and action.” Patricia Doest, Head of Localization, Preply

Talk to your partners and stakeholders 

Moving away from traditional ‘source vs target’ metrics and using data looking at longer-term business goals can help measure the impact of localization. This means working with stakeholders and teams outside of localization – marketing, research, product development, customer support – to name a few. You can then start to get into user engagement and customer experience, which are cross-functional activities that are not localization-centric. 

“All of your key stakeholders are most likely very data-focused. They would be only too happy to talk to you about their metrics. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel actually at all. Just go and talk to your partners, and you’ll get something really great out of it.” Emma KeaneLocalization ManagerBalsam Brands  

“People love talking about their own metrics! They love to talk about how they go about analyzing performance, and what they do. There’s a lot of dependency on other teams to get what you need. You have to make clear to those teams what you need it for. You can also help them improve their metrics.” Patricia DoestHead of Localization, Preply 


You might also like Welocalize webinar, Time to See Language as an Investment (And Not a Cost). 

For more global insights, you can view all our on-demand webinarshere.