6 Questions to Answer Before Undertaking a Document Classification Project
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Organizations handle overwhelming volumes of data; the right document classification software will intelligently and automatically capture and index physical documents for easy search and retrieval.
Document classification, also known as image classification, captures data directly from a scanned document, analyzing and indexing the content with intelligent automation technology before routing it to a digital repository.
ISSI offers three document classification tools: ABBYY and Brainware – online platforms – and AnyDoc, an application we install directly on a server you own. All three options are volume-based and customizable, with discounts for higher volumes of documents. The right technology for your team will depend on the type of classification project you are tackling, the number of documents, the size of your organization, and more.
Below are six questions to answer before choosing document classification software.
1. What is your goal?
Do you need a digital repository of your documents? Do you want to replace manual workflows with automation?
Typically, classifiers take a stream of documents and group them by document type before automatically sorting them into contracts, invoices, identification documents, correspondence, application forms, payments, and more, extracting key data and terms – or “metadata” – that will allow you to quickly search for documents later.
2. How many documents will you process each month?
Volume directly affects pricing, so you’ll want to carefully estimate not only the initial project, but the ongoing number of documents you anticipate processing each month. The cost of classification directly depends on volume and complexity of the documents and is typically estimated by cents per page.
3. What will you do with the documents once the classifier sorts them?
Do you need long term storage of the document images? Do you want to pull data from the images and use that for other processes?
Capturing data for the sake of having a digital repository is a great reason in itself and will provide a permanent record of documents. However, for more complex analysis, you will need to scope data extraction and validation. Classification software uses a combination of optical character recognition (OCR), intelligent character recognition (ICR), optical mark recognition (OMR), and more to identify and collect data.
4. How different are the documents you want to classify?
Classifiers work by comparing the overall appearance of the document, the text content of the document, or a combination of the two to determine what type of classification it requires. Classifiers will more easily sort documents that are visually distinct from each other; however, we can train classifiers to distinguish minor differences if needed.
5. How much automation is enough?
For any classification project, initial setup costs will include implementation and training time to achieve the highest level of accuracy. Depending on the type of project, the software will be tailored to accuracy and automation needs. Many systems now use learning models to improve accuracy and speed over time.
6. Do you want to outsource the work?
If you want to avoid the hassle of setting up and maintaining classification tools, you can outsource the work to a classification partner, such as ISSI. We will collect your incoming documents in digital or paper format, convert them as needed, analyze the data with our classification engine, and deliver the results to you in digital form – all for a fixed cost per page.
Easing Document Management Pains with a Partner
A document classification partner will ensure image quality, data accuracy and validation, and more, drastically reducing the need for exception handling or error correction. At ISSI, our team of industry veterans works closely with clients to implement custom classification solutions based on your budget, project scope, and document type.
Intelligent automation such as document classification transforms document management for faster, smarter workflows, eliminating opportunities for human error while cutting time-consuming – and costly – manual labor.