October 6, 2023

History to Modern Era: The Evolution of Intelligent Document Processing

This article takes a historical journey through the evolution of document processing, culminating in the emergence of IDP and its impact on modern businesses.

In the fast-paced world of modern business, the handling and processing of documents have evolved significantly over time. From manual data entry to the advent of digitization and now the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the journey of document processing has been marked by technological advancements that have transformed how organizations manage information.  

One such remarkable transformation is the rise of Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), a cutting-edge technology that leverages AI to automate the extraction and processing of data from documents.  

Manual Document Handling: An Era of Laborious Processes

In the early days of business, document processing was a laborious and time-consuming task. Records were handwritten or typed, and information had to be manually extracted and entered into systems. This manual approach was not only prone to errors but also hindered the efficiency of businesses as they grappled with growing volumes of paperwork.

Read more: Is Month End Reconciliation of Payroll Records Possible with Automation?


Advent of Digitization: Transforming Paper to Digital

The digitization revolution in the latter half of the 20th century brought about a significant transformation. Physical documents were converted into digital formats, making storage and retrieval more convenient. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology emerged, allowing computers to recognize and convert printed text into machine-readable data. This marked a pivotal point in document processing, as it reduced the need for manual data entry and enabled keyword searches within documents.


Rise of Automation: Streamlining Workflows

With the rise of automation in the late 20th century, businesses began to explore ways to streamline their document processing workflows. Workflow automation tools were developed, enabling the creation of predefined processes for document routing, approval, and archiving. While this reduced the manual intervention required, it primarily focused on process automation rather than intelligent data extraction.


Understanding IDP

The modern era witnessed the convergence of artificial intelligence and document processing, giving birth to Intelligent Document Processing (IDP). IDP takes automation to the next level by incorporating AI and machine learning techniques to comprehend and interpret unstructured data within documents.

Learn more: How to Fetch Data from Invoices and Upload it to Downstream Applications?


Data Extraction and Interpretation

IDP employs techniques like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to analyze and extract relevant data from documents such as invoices, contracts, and forms. This enables businesses to automate the extraction of key information, like names, dates, amounts, and more, with remarkable accuracy.


Benefits of IDP

The benefits of IDP are manifold. Firstly, it significantly reduces processing time, allowing businesses to handle large volumes of documents swiftly. Secondly, IDP minimizes errors associated with manual data entry, thus enhancing data accuracy. Thirdly, by automating routine tasks, IDP frees up human resources for more strategic and value-added activities.


Integration with Business Systems: Enhancing Efficiency

One of the key strengths of IDP lies in its seamless integration with existing business systems. APIs and connectors allow IDP solutions to communicate with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and other software. This integration enhances the efficiency of processes by automating data entry, validation, and updating across multiple systems.


Challenges of Traditional Processing

Historically, document processing raised concerns about data security and compliance. Traditional methods of handling sensitive information posed risks of unauthorized access, loss, or damage to documents. Compliance with regulations like GDPR and HIPAA was a constant challenge.


IDP's Contribution

IDP addresses these challenges through its advanced security features. Encrypted data transmission and storage, access controls, and audit trails ensure that sensitive information remains secure throughout the processing cycle. Additionally, IDP's accuracy and consistency contribute to compliance by reducing the likelihood of errors in data handling.


Real-world Applications of IDP


  • Financial Sector

In the financial sector, IDP has revolutionized processes such as invoice processing, loan application verification, and fraud detection. By automating these tasks, financial institutions can expedite customer interactions, mitigate risks, and enhance regulatory compliance.


  • Healthcare Industry

IDP finds applications in healthcare for automating medical record digitization, insurance claims processing, and patient data extraction. This accelerates administrative tasks, reduces errors, and allows medical professionals to focus more on patient care.


  • Legal Domain

Legal documents, contracts, and agreements can be complex to process manually. IDP simplifies legal document management by extracting critical clauses, dates, and parties involved, thus aiding lawyers in legal research, due diligence, and contract analysis.

Explore more: Leverage Flows SDK to help build Workflows integrating VisionERA Platform


The Path Forward: Future Trends and Considerations

As IDP continues to evolve, there are several trends that are likely to shape its future. Enhanced cognitive capabilities through AI will enable IDP to comprehend context and semantics, leading to even more accurate data extraction. Additionally, the integration of robotic process automation (RPA) with IDP will create end-to-end automated workflows, further boosting operational efficiency.



The journey from manual document handling to the era of Intelligent Document Processing has been remarkable. IDP represents a significant leap in efficiency, accuracy, and security for modern businesses. As organizations increasingly recognize the transformative power of IDP, they are better equipped to navigate the challenges of data management and harness the opportunities presented by the digital age. The evolution continues, and with IDP at the helm, businesses are poised to achieve greater heights of productivity and innovation.


FAQs on Evolution of IDP


1. What is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)?

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) refers to the use of advanced technologies like machine learning and natural language processing to automate the extraction, classification, and processing of information from unstructured documents, such as invoices, contracts, and forms, improving efficiency and accuracy.


2. How has IDP evolved over time?

IDP has evolved from basic Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to sophisticated AI-driven solutions. Early OCR systems could only recognize text, while modern IDP systems comprehend context, apply machine learning to adapt, and handle diverse document types. This evolution has led to higher automation rates and reduced errors.


3. What benefits does the evolution of IDP offer?

The evolution of IDP results in enhanced accuracy, reduced manual intervention, and faster processing of documents. It enables organizations to streamline workflows, improve compliance, and allocate human resources more efficiently. Additionally, by learning from data, IDP systems continuously improve their performance over time.


AmyGB.ai is an AI research company that builds Intelligent Document Processing software to solve real world problems using advanced technology such as Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. Using proprietary AI technology with zero third-party dependency, AmyGB.ai’s products are set to revolutionize document heavy business processes by streamlining multiple channels so as to deliver end-to-end process automation. They aim to move towards a paper free, efficient and intelligent process. In addition, whether you're looking for a custom AI IDP application or seeking to integrate IDP solutions into your existing systems, AmyGB.ai has the experience and expertise to help you achieve your goals.

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