OCR Software – what is it and why should I care?

Eliminate tedious manual data entry by leveraging OCR Technology

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a widely used term but many who are familiar with the term may not be familiar with what OCR actually does.  O.C.R. is a technology used to extract information from an electronic document image, whether originally in electronic format (such as image only PDF, TIF, etc.) or a scanned paper document. OCR technology reads through the imaged data – which comprises of a bunch of computer bits – and attempts to decipher the image data and re-represent the results into ASCII text output.  

While Optical Character Recognition software is indeed synonymous with data extraction capabilities, OCR actually only makes up a single component – albeit a vital component – of any well integrated, data and document capture solution. OCR technology is used for the extraction of machine-printed text and while data can be extracted from a document in many formats (check boxes or mark sense, radio buttons, barcodes or even handwritten text – there are actually many other formats that hold critical information – searchable PDF for example. Moreover, data and document capture solutions are additionally powered by smarts such as rules, patented technology or configuration services built into each solution to help the solution understand where optimally to extract information as well as validate the extracted data.   

Speed processes and increase data accuracy with Optical Character Recognition

AIIM.org recently published that just 17% of respondents could describe their offices as “paper-free” and 31% admitted their office is piled high with paper documents and manually based paper processes. Maybe this is difficult to believe, but 20% of the respondents report that their consumption of paper is still increasing.

Your organization can find immediate business process improvements and cost savings in your business processes simply by adding a data and document capture solution – helping to take paper and manual labor out of your existing business processes. Data and document capture solutions provide you with the following benefits:

  • Accelerated processes. Simply put, paper reduction and automation, data capture solutions speed processes
  • Improved service. Automating data and document capture through OCR software helps you ensure that your employees have the most up-to-date, accurate information and the right time and the right place- when they need it. 
  • Reduced costs. Optical character recognition software, as well as the other vital data and document capture counterparts, help organizations reduce manual labor in data entry and document handling thus lowering your organizations’s labor costs.

Achieve a competitive advantage

Solutions from IDT featuring Hyland OnBase, Brainware, AnyDoc and others combine OCR, ICR (intelligent character recognition), OMR (optical mark recognition) and barcode recognition technologies with intelligence built into each solution to provide flexible and accurate data capture solutions. But these solutions provide additional benefits than simply automated data and document capture capabilities:

  • OnBase has tight integrations with other ERP and line of business systems that help ensure the accurate data pulled from each document is shared immediately with all other business systems.

By managing content throughout its lifecycle and integrating with other systems in your information management strategy, OnBase form IDT gives your employees immediate access to the critical information that fuels your business. They also gain access to related documents and content directly from within OnBase, automatically indexed using information recognized by the OCR software (such as matching PO, Bill of Lading, Purchase Order, Change Orders, Correspondence and more).

Embracing OCR software and data and document capture solutions increases efficiency and accelerates processes across your organization. Data and document capture from IDT and Hyland is flexible and scalable to meet your business needs, with potential to be applied across a wide variety of business processes – including revenue generating activities such as Sales Order Processing. Wherever manual document sorting and data entry is occurring in your organization, free up employees devoted to those tasks and improve your processes by taking advantage of OCR technology from IDT and Hyland.

Contact us for more information about our OCR technology, Content Service Platform and ECM services!