Document Processing: Why and How to Automate
How to replace human validation with automation and intelligent document processing
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When it comes to winning the race for speed and efficiency, manual document processing is still the Achilles' heel of many organizations. You may have the most sophisticated automatic business process in place, but if you still need human intervention to validate your documents, you’ll always lag behind.
It’s just like the story of the rabbit and the turtle. The rabbit was in good shape to win the race but decided it was a good time to take a nap, allowing the turtle to surpass him. Now think of processes: to submit an expense and get a refund, for example, most steps are automatic, but the validation is still done with human intervention, which will slow the whole process down--that’s the rabbit nap in the story. I know, mind-blowing.
What I mean is you’re only as fast as the slowest denominator. If document processing is dependent on human validation, it will delay the processing time and the response to the user. As a result, this will negatively impact productivity, the costs will increase, and customer satisfaction will decrease.
That’s where document processing automation comes in.
Time for a Change: Document Processing Automation
We all know we’re in the age of digital disruption, but paper-based forms won’t go away any time soon. They’re too well-established in organizations to simply be eliminated in the short term. So, the companies that find a better way--the most effective and smooth way-- to handle them will have a competitive advantage.
And I’m not just talking about speed. Manual document processing implies going over each document, checking the fields, analyzing the information, and making some kind of a decision. That absorbs resources that could be focused on more strategic or impactful projects for business, and it’s prone to error, which may mislead you to make the wrong business decision.
The good news is that today there is technology that allows companies to process paper-based documents in a more digital and efficient way, to support quicker and more accurate information retrieval from paper documents.
Intelligent Document Processing Solutions: Introducing OutSystems AI Document Processor
If you don’t know OutSystems, it is a full-stack platform that allows developers to work on the several layers of an application, from the front-end and logic layers to the business process and data layers. It also allows developers to extend the platform capabilities with any kind of integration, including REST, SOAP, open API, cloud services, enterprise systems, databases, and the over 3,300 components available in the OutSystems Forge.
Amongst these thousands of components, our AI team has recently launched the AI Document Processor. This component, which you can download right here, allows you to extract key information from physical documents and get all their data online. You can simply upload your documents and automatically extract the most important information from them and easily access them anywhere.
The Document Processor component essentially performs two tasks:
- Form recognizer: this is a tailored service that identifies and extracts text, key/value pairs, and table data from form documents. It's a custom service that generates and uses a model trained with a few sample documents.
- Receipt analysis: this is a pre-built receipt API that identifies and extracts key information on sales receipts, such as the time and date of the transaction, merchant information, amount of taxes, totals, and more, with no training required.
When and How to Use the Document Processor: An Everyday Example
You can use this intelligent document processing component with the most common document formats and types and in any business use case and industry where you need to digitalize your documents’ content. The component will retain the text as a list and as a JSON file.
To give you an example, picture a payment approval process. Depending on the type of transaction, you want it to go to the HR department or to IT, and, based on that, a different process will start. To see how easily you can build a solution that supports this use case, take a look at the demo in How to Automate Document Processing with AI Tech Talk.
With the help of my colleague Majd Hadi, we show you how easy you can build a full scenario, end-to-end app using Document Processor and how quickly you can extract any information from any PDF and automatically start a process.
You can also experience the component right here.
Ready to Go Digital?
No matter which industry you’re in, I’m sure document processing is an important part of your back-office functions. And finding the best approach to handle it efficiently can be the key to gain a competitive advantage. Here are some of the benefits you can reap from implementing the AI Document Processor:
- Avoid human intervention: with the AI Document Processor, you no longer have to manually extract data, analyze and validate documents, reducing the risk of human error and improving customer satisfaction;
- Increase speed: by replacing human interaction, you’re able to accelerate the time it used to take you to perform the same task, positively impacting the overall business process speed;
- Format and type: the AI Document Processor can be tailored to specific documents, formats, types that are needed in different business use cases and industries. This component supports JPG, PNG, PDF (text-based or scanned), and TIFF formats.
In addition to this, you can complement the AI Document Processor with two other OutSystems components that will help you analyze the content and take your experience to the next level:
- Language Analysis: after extracting the text from your document, the Language Analysis performs multiple operations involving text analysis, including key phrase detection, sentiment analysis, language detection, spell check, and speech-to-text transcription.
- Language Understanding: this component allows you to capture the entities and intents, particularly with free text fields. You can personalize it to your industry and specific customer scenarios.
To learn more about these three components, don’t miss my TechTalk, How to Automate Document Processing with AI.
Published at DZone with permission of Diogo Mendes. See the original article here.
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