Why General Purpose OCR Isn't Enough
Let's check out why general purpose OCR isn't enough and as well as how OCR document scanning just scratches the surface.
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Generic OCR programs are adequate for simple text scooping and editing. For example, with Microsoft OneNote, you can import a PDF or JPEG image and use the OCR tool to output text. After that, you're on your own. General purpose OCR lacks the tools for your business to take full advantage of the tremendous labor-saving and machine learning capabilities that full-powered OCR provides. You need OCR that scales to your needs and is specific for your business context.
Think of OCR as a data collection tool. Your organization relies on both ends of the data spectrum: input and usable output. That data is the foundation of just about everything your business does. The challenge is to find a way to collect more and leverage it for business intelligence, marketing, and growth. Capturing that data is where the best OCR solutions can be of tremendous help.
Data Is Falling Through the Cracks
Over time, you have learned to capture, enter, and use the data you need to keep your operation running. Product/service orders go to invoices, and invoices migrate to shipping. Customer satisfaction after the shipping process is a logical result of capitalizing of good data management. Satisfied customers translate to repeat business, up-selling, and positive testimonials.
Think about everything you do between data entry and output. In the flurry of paperwork (either physical or digital), valuable information is bypassed and neglected. Product orders are sources for detecting trends in customer behavior and preferences.
Invoices and payment records speak volumes about customer behavior and more. With data analytics fed by OCR scans, you can track the life cycle of your product from the time it arrives on the warehouse shelf to when it is in the customer's hands. Everything in between that cycle and documented on your invoices and payment records are data points. Are you capturing them? Fully capable OCR can enable you to capture and move that data to leverage business intelligence, track inventory and customer demographics so you can better serve your customers.
OCR Document Scanning Just Scratches the Surface
There are other capabilities business-focused OCR solutions can do, which generic OCR platforms cannot. Those capabilities include streamlining administrative tasks that you may be spending hours doing and never thought about automating with OCR.
For example, you could scan security badge data into your automated employee records. Or you could transfer OCR scanned W4s direct to your accounting software. You cannot do either with generic OCR platforms. Those advanced OCR uses, as well as others — receipts, business cards, credit cards, ID badges and more.
Get on Board With Other Industries Who Value Labor Savings
Finally, a piece in The Startup encapsulates how fully capable OCR is being employed across the business spectrum. For example, banks scan and process checks without human intervention. The healthcare industry has employed OCR as an adjunct to its data entry sources. AI is joining with OCR technology to bypass the onerous and error-prone drudgery of data entry — to save labor, space, and in the case of the legal industry, more than a few trees.
Published at DZone with permission of David Hoffman, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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