Square9by Lauren Ford, Square 9 Softworks

It’s no surprise that the science of data processing is constantly evolving. There will always be a need to improve the way information is analyzed and without the proper resources, high volumes of unorganized data fail to enable effective decisions.

Most of the information we receive presents the promise of critical insight. But how is that determined? The data alone isn’t enough. It needs to be compiled, analyzed and ultimately transformed into usable information - data that shapes insight.

Designed to extract, validate and classify high volumes of multi-formatted documents, capture automation technology converts business content into valuable, actionable information, driving business efficiency by delivering a greater level of intelligence. Automated data capture eliminates unnecessary manual entry, creating a streamlined path for increased organizational efficiency from extraction to archiving.

• Capture. Employee time adds up. Automating the data capture process delivers the flexibility to gather document information from virtually any source, without manually hunting it down. Capture documents from your multifunctional printer, scanner, email server or even a watched network directory. Scanned capture enables office equipment to function as a production device where separation, extraction and classification is available through an easy to use interface. Through the use of advanced capture technology in conjunction with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the possibilities for extracting data are limitless, from scanned images to emails with their attachments, printed reports and more.

• Document Classification. Automatically classify documents while they are being captured with forms recognition technology. An extended functionality of capture automation, document classification increases the speed of template based data extraction by automatically identifying the document being processed through predefined attributes. This intelligent OCR applies the correct template for data extraction and identification, as a unique handprint of the document is created and the template is saved for future documents of the same layout. During the transformation of that data, the capture solutions can then automatically extract the necessary data properties and name the record for routing and archiving.

• Data Extraction. When processing documents like vendor invoices or purchase orders, the ability to extract columns of data is an absolute necessity. Capture automation solutions extract high value information off documents through an array of powerful tools including OCR, bar code recognition, database lookups and more. These types of extraction allow for automated filing and sharing data with other programs including ERP or accounting applications. The transformation of tabular data from an image to text allows for the sharing of product descriptions, price, quantities, etc., eliminating repetitive data entry. Simply define dynamic table extraction rules and the solution does the work.

• Validation. Checking the integrity of information before it is released is critical for efficient process automation, especially when repurposing extracted information. Gain confidence in your data. Capture automation solutions provide OCR reporting and validation checks including data type mismatches, to ensure information is valid and accurate. With capture automation tools, document format is automatically checked and any predefined properties are enforced. Records that meet the established standard can be automatically released to the next step while documents that do not are held for validation and editing, providing a visual interpretation of extracted data to enhance quality assurance.

• Route. No one should have to spend time on a manual process that could be easily automated. By automating capture processes, documents are automatically routed to a network location, existing or new folder based on extracted data. With automated email notifications, users are kept in the loop upon their arrival. High value data mined from documents can be shared across the enterprise and the applications used most, feeding the engine of process automation. Simply place documents in the feeder and select a process from the touch panel of the device. It’s just that easy. In addition to a file share, documents can release to an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution for further workflow actions or archival.

Data capture technology adjusts to the needs of production environments for streamlined processing. Whether capturing a few thousand pages a month or hundreds of thousands, users can increase productivity and add functionality in a cost-effective way.

Improve the timeliness and availability of your business information with automated capture functionality, reducing acquisition costs, ongoing support costs and training expenses for both ECM and document capture.

Lauren Ford
Square 9 Softworks

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of The Imaging Channel.