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Document Processing in 2023: What are Your Options?

April 21 2023

3 min read

There’s no shortage of automation solutions on the market, making it difficult to find the right solution that will add value to your organization. To successfully unlock the power of intelligent automation, business leaders need to focus on integrated AI solutions that streamline critical business processes and increase operational agility.

To kick off your evaluation, we dive into three of the most common automation solutions for document-centric processes below.

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)

Intelligent Document Processing software captures data from documents (e.g. text, PDFs, scanned images, emails), categorizing and extracting relevant data for further processing using artificial intelligence.

IDP is a better fit for some use cases than others. Here are a few considerations to take into account when exploring IDP solutions.

IDP is great when:

  • You want to process volumes of documents with greater speed and accuracy than OCR
  • You need to process more complex documents, such as low quality mobile captures or those that include messy handwriting
  • You want to provide non-technical business users with new skills, such as familiarity with artificial intelligence.

Be careful when:

  • IDP vendors claim 100% automation or accuracy out of the box
  • Vendors won’t discuss their underlying technology or allow you to test their offering in the real world: Many vendors claim to offer a “plug in anywhere” solution or to use open source AI, but for long-term returns, proprietary technology delivers greater accuracy and automation
  • Vendor offerings don’t account for human input: Look for an IDP solution designed for seamless human-machine collaboration, with built-in quality checks that learns over time and has a friendly UI

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Optical Character Recognition converts scanned images into machine-encoded text, typically transcribing it character by character. It uses rules or template-based extraction, which requires users to train the system for each template type.

As with IDP, there are some considerations to take into account with OCR before taking the plunge.

OCR works great when:

  • You have standard, high quality documents to transcribe (e.g. machine-printed text, consistent handwriting in boxes, fields for extraction in the same location across pages)

But tends to struggle when:

  • Processing documents with handwriting or documents with poor image quality (scan lines, low resolution, etc…)
  • Handling documents with unstructured layouts or documents that are highly variable in nature, such as invoices
  • Adding new use cases, which can take several weeks (or longer) depending on complexity

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation provisions software agents known as “bots” to imitate human interactions with software systems, complete repetitive tasks, and act either in concert with humans (attended RPA) or mostly autonomously (unattended RPA).

Apply RPA when:

  • You have structured, text-based inputs and outputs with clearly defined, repeatable manual steps to execute a particular business application
  • You have simple to moderately complex processes that are stable, mature, and documented

Be mindful when:

  • You’re dealing with unstructured document data, such as images and PDFs: RPA relies on complementary technologies to classify and extract data from documents
  • You want to automate more complex workflows: RPA automates processes as they exist today without taking into account whether the underlying process is flawed
  • You wish to avoid add-on services like implementation or tying up resources in ongoing technical maintenance

The future of Document Processing Automation

Today’s business landscape demands a more advanced solution that can tackle the complex nature of modern-day processes. IDP provides just that, with its ability to handle a wide range of document types, extract data accurately and quickly, and reduce the need for manual data entry.

When it comes to IDP, Hyperscience is the most flexible intelligent automation platform for document processing and post-extraction data management, enabling organizations to improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue growth, and reduce costs.

To learn more about our Intelligent Document Processing solution, check out a demo of the Hyperscience Platform.