6 Key Questions for Finding an OCR Strategy that Fits Your Business

The words OCR

Businesses thrive when they have access to the data they need to make decisions and complete tasks, but far too often, that data is stuck in paper, PDFs, and other formats that prevent processes from being automated.

Optical character recognition (OCR) bridges the gap between paper and automation by transforming the data from these documents into computer-legible text. 

This opens up endless possibilities for using this information, such as automatically indexing documents in an Enterprise content management (ECM) solution, tracking financial information with an enterprise resource management (ERP) application, or even sending customer data to a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

While OCR technology can be incredibly effective at fueling your organization with the data it needs, OCR still needs a proper implementation strategy to be effective. Below is an excerpt from our expert OCR guide highlighting 6 key questions to ask yourself when determining an OCR strategy. Interested in learning more? Download Your Guide to Mastering OCR.

Finding an OCR Strategy that Works

OCR is a highly effective tool, but like all tools, it needs to be used correctly. Determining the needs of your business through these key questions can ultimately help guide your implementation strategy in the right direction and ensure you’re getting the most out of your solution.

1 Who or what department has control of the document format and layout?

Unusual fonts, special characters, words within logos and images, and other elements of a document’s layout can all affect capture accuracy. Are the documents you plan to capture created internally or by vendors, customers, and other businesses? If you can control how your documents will be laid out, you may not need to implement as many measures to ensure accuracy.

2 What is your business’s expected capture volume?

High volumes of documents need to be captured more quickly to keep up with demand. This affects the type of advanced capture you will need and could also affect accuracy. It is important to note that OCR is typically 99.7% accurate, and 0.3% of 1000 documents, for example, is much more noticeable than 0.3% of 100.

3 Is any of the data to be captured time sensitive?

If documents need to be captured and indexed quickly, it leaves less time to ensure the data is 100% accurate. This means that factors that affect capture accuracy need to be carefully considered, and an implementation strategy that limits the need for quality assurance may be ideal.

4 How accurately does this data need to be captured?

As discussed above, not all captured index fields need to be 100% accurate. A solid quality assurance strategy for validating accuracy will change depending on the level of accuracy needed. Infrequently referenced documents, for instance, can be captured with far fewer validity checks as employees can simply use another index field to find them and correct the accuracy thereafter.

5 Does your business have a pure data source to leverage?

For documents that require 100% accuracy, one way to reduce reliance on OCR is to capture one key field and pull the other information from a pure data source. This can be any line of business application where you are sure data is accurate.

6 How often will documents need to be retrieved?

If documents won’t be retrieved very often, then 100% capture accuracy is likely not required. In these cases, inaccurate indexing will still only happen about 0.3% of the time. In those events, another indexed field can be used to find the document, and the improperly indexed field can be promptly corrected.

By answering these questions, you will certainly have a better understanding of your OCR needs and can implement a solution that better serves your organization.

How We Can Help!

Square 9 is an award-winning provider of digital solutions that take the paper out of paperwork. With innovative approaches to document capture, enterprise content management, web forms, and workflow automation, we provide next-level service and support to ensure you get the most out of your solution. To find out more about optical character recognition and other solutions that we offer, contact us.

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