Questions to Ask When Considering Adding Smart OCR Automated Data Capture Into Your Software

By February 19, 2018Blog

“Big data” is a hot-button issue in today’s business world. The rise of the internet and data processing technologies have given way to innovative ways of capturing, processing, storing, and using data to the advantage of your business. According to a report from Evans Data Corporation, more than six million developers worldwide are currently working on big data and advanced analytics projects.

Hiring employees for data entry has been commonplace for decades but comes with many downsides. It’s extremely time-consuming, expensive, and is prone to manual entry errors. With the range of options available to businesses today, many have turned toward optical character recognition (OCR) systems that can automatically detect, parse, and store valuable business data from a variety of file types and formats.

 

Why Smart OCR Automated Data Capture?

 

Whether you currently employ people in data entry positions or are looking to jumpstart your data capture processes entirely, smart OCR automated data capture can be a helpful addition to business processes. OCR technology can accurately process data from a wide variety of different fields and document types.

If your company currently has a lot of data that needs capturing, smart OCR automated data capture can help in several ways:

 

  • It’s cost-effective. Employing a data entry team is expensive. Between training, wages, and benefits, the process of entering the data could offset much of the return that you would receive from collecting it in the first place.
  • It’s accurate. While OCR systems are not infallible, they do provide a much higher level of accuracy than a data entry team.
  • Process any type of document. OCR systems aren’t constrained to certain file types. Being able to load any document into your system with confidence that the data will be accurately captured provides peace of mind and allows you to focus on other tasks.
  • There are several options. You could develop your own in-house OCR data capture system, or use a third-party system. Many third-party systems are able to integrate directly with popular software to provide reliable data capture in a variety of formats.

Any company that stores large amounts of data should look to OCR automated data capture systems to replace or supplement their current data entry team.

Should We Develop Our Own or Integrate a Third-Party System?

While it is possible for companies with extensive development resources to create their own OCR data capture solution, it will almost always be cheaper, faster, and less of a headache to choose a third-party system that is already available on the market. Here at Xtracta, we allow partners to license our technology so that they can seamlessly integrate it into their own systems, providing all of the benefits of developing a system in-house with none of the hassle or resource drain. Licensing allows you to use OCR solutions on a white label basis, ensuring a consistent brand experience for your employees and customers.

One big question that you must ask yourself when deciding which option to go with is how hard it would be to integrate a third-party OCR solution with your current software and processes. While many solutions will integrate seamlessly with popular software packages, custom software will present additional challenges and it may be best to consult directly with the OCR provider about the solution’s viability based on your needs.

How Quickly Does the Solution Deploy?

Speed is likely to be an important factor in your decision-making process. Once you decide on a solution, how long will it take to deploy? Days? Weeks? Every company has different needs and it’s important that you find an OCR data capture system that won’t interrupt your operations for too long. However, once your OCR system is up and running, it is much easier to catch up than it would be with manual data entry.

Is the Solution Customizable and Flexible?

Your company likely deals with dozens of different document types and several different software solutions, so it is critical that the OCR solution that you choose is able to handle your specific needs. What document types is the system able to process? What kind of outputs does it provide? Will it integrate seamlessly with your current software, or will extensive development be required? These are all important considerations to take into account before investing in OCR technology.

Conclusion

Any company that engages in manual data entry can benefit from a smart OCR system. They provide faster, more reliable data capture that is able to be integrated directly into your custom business software.