Companies are using manual processes for Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification, contracts, patient reports, order forms and insurance claims. For them, the paperless work environment is still a dream whilst digitisation is getting on.
Document processing technology has been around for a long time ago, it serves a single purpose or sticks to a certain document like invoice processing. Paper documents received by banks, healthcare providers and insurance companies are stuck anywhere in the document bundle. Not only this, documents in different templates from different vendors, with non-standard field signatures, with photographs, legal-sized or letter sized and rent orientation also stuck.
What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?
OCR is the procedure that converts image-to-text into a machine-readable format. For example, if an employee scans a receipt or a form, the software saves the process as an image file. Employees can’t use any text editor to edit, explore or word count in the image file.
OCR struggles with distortions and non-standard document formats that lead to inaccuracies that hit productivity poorly and hinder straight-through processing rates. It captures just analogue and singular moments that can’t be copied, shared, saved or archived to the cloud.
The information can’t be reassembled or broken down into pieces to build new stories and metadata is completely lost at this moment, as it were.
Companies are looking for ways to capture metadata and have the potential to reach a paperless world through intelligent automation with OCR. That enables organisations to use end-to-end processing and capture through recognition to validation, classification, verification and integration with EHR, ERP, SCM, CMS and core platforms.
How to Get Started with OCR?
OCR is a very useful way to process diverse documents like PDFs, photocopies, images, handwritten documents, grainy photographs and faxes with end-to-end encryption. The OCR technology identifies field extraction of relevant data like customer name and country. Moreover, systems also recognise them through different categories like rule, content and image-based.
Verification can also be done manually and IDP implementation changes the whole scenario of departments. There are strategies that organisations can utilise to ensure the successful implementation of advanced techniques.
What is Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)?
ICR is the most advanced way of optical character recognition. It is used to extract and interpret all types of information from scanned forms and documents like IDs, invoices and contracts. It uses computer algorithms to process and recognise letters or numbers and scanned images.
By using machine learning and natural language processing, it has the potential to cope with unstructured documents and those areas, where the information is not always in the same order or layout. Whereas OCR turns a scanned invoice into an undifferentiated character stream, ICR has the potential to identify which characters represent the company name, date and amount.
How to Get Started with ICR?
Getting started with ICR requires hands-on training for CFOs and business analysts to understand this. Employees that take part in document verification require training on how they can assist. Although it will open them for more skilful tasks or duties.
Due to these challenges, a clear and concise structure is needed to implement ICR successfully. It means structured and unstructured change management and IT or business functions alignment are crucial.
ICR initiatives will be needed to align with automation which requires collaboration between the automation centre of excellence and the central data capture team. It will be helpful to embed IR in the automation as this can streamline cross-linking.
To monitor and measure the ICR solution’s effectiveness, KPIs will be needed to proactively define, identify and revise through the progress of implementation. Some of the best practices are providing robust skilful training with historical documents. Not only this validating the correctness of data labels that are used to train the models with documents available to train the model.
Major Difference Between OCR and ICR
ICR is a part of OCR but the major difference is usually not set up to identify handwriting. It usually scans the paper and typed documents that turn into texts so they can be categorised and searched easily.
OCR-scanned texts can easily be copied and pasted while on the other hand, while ICR technology focuses on printed or handwritten materials that use more complex fonts.
How OCR and ICR Help Large Organisations?
ICR and OCR help large organisations in diverse ways:
Improve Data Accuracy and Fast Entry Speed
Manual data entry is labour-intensive, prone to human error and costly. ICR and OCR support companies by digitising data sources and eliminating manual data entry bases.
Businesses rely on high paperwork volume and scanning helps them to increase productivity and saves time.
For Example, invoices and bills entered into workflow automation provide an instant pipeline from receipt to digital delivery to the required departments.
Physical documents can be damaged or lost, and an OCR and ICR offer a digital backup that takes a required space. The digital information can search quickly versus manually searching the documents in the storage area.