The curse - getting the data into your systems from documents you receive, both paper and electronic that you can't control. Data on these documents drive your organization. Get the data into your systems and into the right hands quickly and correctly. Move the document into a Content Management system for access across your organization and retention. The cure - Automated data and document capture.
Paper documents that arrive by mail such as invoices and orders. Documents that are electronically received through emails and their attachments, again invoices and orders are prime examples. Documents that require a physical signature before they’re complete like bill-of-ladings and customer acceptance documents. Electronic documents such as spreadsheets and PDFs. These are just a small sample of some of documents that ASC has helped our customers automate.
Keeping in mind that the goal is to find and recover the data from the document, here’s a primer on data capture. First of all documents fall into one of two distinct categories, structured and unstructured. A structured document has the same data in the same place every the time. An unstructured document on the other hand will have specific data that we’re looking for but it may be in different place from document to the next document. Consider an invoice. We know we’d like to find vendor information, invoice date and number, purchase order reference and line-item detail. Consider that no two of your vendors have this information in the same place. In the case of line-items on an invoice it may vary from invoice to invoice from a single vendor.
The next steps are to extract the data from the document, validate rules specified by your business processes and verify that the data is correct.
Extraction happens through a process called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). With structured forms specific areas are interrogated for specific data. With unstructured forms the entire document is OCR’d and data is found using established criteria.
Verification is a process where if the OCR engine is not certain of the data it will prompt an operator to look at the questionable character. Is it an “a” or an “o” or did the form move and the character was printed on a line of the form problems are resolved.
Finally rules are applied to the data. Examples may be, is there a quantity, or is the date in the proper format. Data may also be checked against databases. A common example being, is there a purchase order? Data may also brought back from the database and added to the data extracted from the document.
The extracted data is ready to be imported into your production systems. The document images are ready to be imported into your Content Management system. Our customers have increased data accuracy and saved time compared to manual data entry processes. Talk to ASC to see how we can help you with this technology inside of your organization.
If you’re interested or would just like to learn more about Automated Data Capture please let us know. Just click the Contact Us at the top of the screen and lets talk.