Every business relies on data from all types of sources—whether it’s emails, forms, PDFs, invoices, or others. A recent IT Chronicles study found that around 2 quintillion bytes of data a day is generated across all industries. And with so much data, it takes a lot of manual effort to process it. Manual data entry and sorting can take up the time your staff needs to focus on more strategic initiatives. Plus, humans are error prone and one slip of a finger on a keyboard could have costly implications.
Technology like OCR and intelligent document processing can help eliminate the manual data processing on your team’s plate, and each solution has its own benefits. Below we examine the differences between OCR and IDP, and how each can be utilized to get more from the data in your organization.
What is OCR?
Optical character recognition—or OCR as it’s best known—is a technology that can read, extract, and convert images such as jpeg, png, pdf, bitmap, tiff file, or more, into text for electronic automation and importation. When used with an automation solution like robotic process automation (RPA), it can effectively process your organization’s structured data, eliminating manual data entry and reducing errors.
Structured data is easy to search, analyze, and group together. It’s the type of data most people are typically used to working with. Think of this as data that’s easily stored in an Excel file—easily organized, highly standardized. While OCR is great for helping tackle your to-do list, it has its limitations when data falls outside this easy-to-define category—and where more critical thinking is involved.
What is Intelligent Document Processing?
Intelligent document processing—also known as IDP—is the combination of OCR, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning. IDP takes OCR from a magnifying glass to a microscope. With a powerful combination of technologies that utilizes OCR, it can mimic cognitive abilities like classifying, separating, and extracting data from documents to automatically process unstructured data.
Unstructured data is qualitative and often difficult to interpret and analyze because it doesn’t follow a pre-defined structure—and it accounts for 80 percent of data within an organization. This type of data is typically found in emails, photos, audio files, social media posts, blogs, videos, and more. That’s why AI and machine learning are necessary to help extract meaning from this type of data so your business can leverage it in ways traditional data analysis tools like OCR can’t.
And if your company relies heavily on scanning, IDP can enhance the quality of scanned documents with features like auto de-speckling of images, low-to-aggressive clean-up, auto-alignment, and other features that help eliminate issues that traditionally impact standalone OCR.
Where Can I Put OCR and IDP to Work?
Intelligent document processing is great for any process involving high volumes of structured and unstructured data. Here are just a couple key business processes that benefit most from IDP, that can help you see fast ROI:
IDP can accelerate mortgage and loan processing to significantly enhance the lending process. Reduce the time from application to close by doing away with manual processing by routing forms and data automatically through your LOS and other critical systems. Take out the complexity of the mortgage process while decreasing potential errors, and ensuring customers receive the best experience possible.
Give invoice processing a boost with IDP and free your accounts payable team from data entry, chasing down invoices, and manually matching POs. IDP automatically processes and routes invoices—no matter the source—to cut down on costly errors like vendor over charges, lost or misplaced invoices, and late payments.
Better Handle Documents and Data with Automate
Ready to take your data processing to the next level? Turn to Automate. Automate’s RPA solution features robust OCR capabilities to read, extract, and convert your data. With the addition of the Google Tesseract OCR engine, get even more accurate OCR capabilities, plus support for over 25+ languages.
And to really turn up the heat to capture and extract complex document data with IDP, turn to Automate Intelligent Capture (AIC). Enhance the power of OCR with the ability to easily capture both structured and unstructured data. AIC captures documents and forms as they arrive—whether from a scanner, email, or monitored folder—and automatically sorts the data based on patterns, appearances, and text for intelligent extraction.
Right out of the box, AIC helps organizations process 70 percent of documents without human interaction. And in just weeks of machine learning, automation is at more than 95 percent field-level accuracy. By leveraging the best in OCR, AI, and machine learning, your organization can stop working harder to handle all your critical data—and start working smarter.
See What's Possible with OCR and IDP at Your Organization
Request a live demo of Automate Intelligent Capture to speak with an expert about your organization’s unique needs and see how OCR and IDP can help.