A great many aspects of a great many businesses boil down to finding data on pieces of paper. Sometimes a great many pieces of paper.
Paying an invoice, processing a medical claim, fulfilling a magazine order, approving a building permit.
Someone looks at paper, finds the amount, the procedure code, the title, the signature, whatever, and, usually, in our IT driven world, puts that data in to some kind of computer system to move along the business process.
Anyone who performs those tasks in any significant volume wants a magic bucket: Dump all that paper into a hopper, where it is automatically identified and sorted, the needed information is located and it is handed off to the business systems without the person needing to lay hands or eyes on it again.
Company managers want the same magic bucket so that their staff can focus on higher level tasks.
For some processes, we are pretty close to having that magic bucket already.
Intelligent document classification and extraction systems, from companies such as Kofax and ABBYY combine several technologies, such as OCR, image processing, and statistical analysis into software which can classify a scanned image based on its layout or content, locate data based on keywords and positional relationships, or data format patterns, and extract and validate that data by applying programmed business rules or integrating with other business data systems.
Now, to make the process truly as hands-off as a magic bucket, the documents being processed need to fit within a fairly narrow band of factors and requirements.
But the technologies can be applied in some degree to many processes, involving even the most widely variant documents, and can effect a great improvement in productivity and data accuracy.
And it’s only getting better. New versions of these systems coming in the near future promise even more automation and intelligence.
And further down the road, advances in natural language processing and big data analysis are likely to bring the magic bucket closer to reality.
Contact us to learn more about DCA's intelligent data extraction solutions