Documentation has been parallel to human civilization. From cave paintings to hieroglyphs, and from bookkeeping to Optical Character Recognition (OCR), everything is an example of documentation.
With Electronic Document Management or EDM, the time taking documentation process moved on the computers. Although the technology had its own limitations, it was easier to store files into it. However, it was not an easy task to find the required information when needed. This was particularly the case with heavy-document-driven organizations.
Later on, organizations started uploading everything onto their cloud repository. While this saved room and space in the organization, it also helped them in searching documents faster for big firms.
Fast Forward to the World of IDP.
Before we dwell deeper on what problems does IDP solve, let's have a birds eye view of what it is. For the uninitiated, an IDP platform can help organizations categorize and verify their business critical data while helping them extract relevant information. It literally takes data at one end, processes it, and gives out sorted information within no time. With an IDP platform in place, businesses are able to automate their entire data extraction and validation feat.
In a nutshell, IDP is the pinnacle of document processing today. With that being said, let’s move on to understand the challenges in document processing.
Some Key Challenges in Document Processing
Every industry today practically runs on documentation. However, they identify with different use cases and complicated document structures.
Below are the most common challenges that scream for an IDP platform, regardless of the industry an organization belongs to.
- Large volumes of documents produced & processed daily.
- Incoherence in uploaded documents due to lack of standardized norms.
- Multiple fonts, structures, and formats for similar types of documents. Consistent document production because of service renewal or subscription.
- Global clients and different documentation for customer onboarding.
- Digital Invoices and receipts production at every spectrum of the trade.
- Unreliable and erroneous data entry by human operators.
All this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are ample other challenges that call for a smart document processing solution.
Peeping into Traditional Document Extraction Systems
It is impossible to talk about modern-day intelligent document processing without taking the traditional systems into account.
Manual extraction of data has been the first in the pipeline. It involved humans going through a piece of document. These human operators would scan the entire document to find relevant information. While the system carried on for decades, it always came with its limitations.
For instance, manual entry consumes time and money and requires a dedicated staff for the task. Apart from this, there are chances of human-induced errors while processing documents in bulk.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
OCR technology recognizes characters on a source document using the optical properties of the equipment and media. While it is a good choice for high-speed data entry, it has its own limitations. For instance, an OCR can only work with structured data. The quality of the document uploaded has to be good. Also, it requires an operator for the extraction and storage of data.
Intelligent Document Processing - What it can do for you?
An IDP is a single stop solution for all your document woes. From helping organizations detect possible frauds in no time to providing customers better services, an IDP platform can aid organizations across industries and domains.
Few capabilities that a state of the art IDP platform is loaded with are-
Not every human is a spelling bee wizard. With manual entry, the chances of error are almost unavoidable. IDPs can auto-correct spelling using Natural Language Processing(NLP). Also, contextual language processing can transcribe words from a poor-quality document and similar entries with different codings for different documents. For example, emp code., employee code, emp. Code., etc. each of these codes define the same data in multiple forms which is employee code, therefore, the data will be updated into the final database under employee code.
Accuracy in data entry is of utmost importance. While an OCR can give a good level of accuracy with structured documents, taking the path of manual entry can be even more difficult as it depends largely on human factors like fatigue, distraction, boredom, etc.
In contrast to this, an IDP platform can give an accuracy of almost 90 to 95 percent or even more with structured, semi-structured, and unstructured documents. It is highly scalable and can process millions of documents- without even asking for a coffee break.
3. Diverse Data Categorization
We all know that the biggest challenge with colossal amounts of data is the sheer diversity of data. It can be structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. An IDP platform takes care of the various formats of documents by segmenting documents to new indexes categorically and extracting relevant data out of it easily.
4. Seamless Integration and Compatibility Capabilities
Intelligent document processing platform can easily integrate with various systems. At times, it even takes less than an hour and is compatible with upstream/downstream applications like SAP, CRM, emails, messages, etc. Also, it can work great with legacy infrastructures.
5. Smart Insights
A fully loaded IDP platform can offer smart insights into business functions by leveraging tech capabilities like Artificial Intelligence. This can help decision owners get accurate recommendations with regards to factors like ROE/ROI. It can even help in strategic and proactive decision-making.
6. Multiple Industry Applications
IDP is not an industry agnostic solution. On the contrary, it is relevant to any heavily-document driven industry and can cater to different industries like healthcare, finance, e-commerce, automotive, etc. In a nutshell, an IDP platform is flexible enough to be molded as per the use case.
Document processing is a task that requires heavy lifting. It demands precious time and cost. Most organizations fail to realize that their manual, boring, and document heavy tasks can be automated via an IDP platform that can help organizations reduce their turnaround time while helping them reduce man power dependence and operational costs by a substantial amount.
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