How to Overcome 3 Biggest Document Capture Hurdles
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Information is one of the most crucial resources for your organization. Though information is important, it is increasingly difficult to keep track of it, despite the number of tools available to help organize it.
With the help of ISSI, you can take control of your information to seamlessly process and extract data with efficiency.
In today’s world, business information can come from anywhere, at any time — in any form, and in increasingly high volumes. This perfect storm is compounded by the fact that for many years, capture was an afterthought for many organizations.
Some considered capture solely in terms of paper documents that needed to be archived rather than data which required extraction. Others thought of data capture as something you just needed to get done at some point after information enters the organization. Most organizations implemented capture in the context of one particular business process, forcing the capture solution to be customized each time it was added to a new area.
Now that information is coming in so fast, in so many different forms — and often in unstructured formats like contracts and emails — the old days of scan, store and retrieve no longer cut it. Manual data entry becomes even more of a problem when an increasing amount of data comes in every year. After all, you can’t expect the same number of staff to suddenly begin working twice as fast (and error free!) just because there is more work to do.
Now is the time to start taking data capture seriously and turn it into a competitive differentiator for your organization. Below, we will explore the three main hurdles that keep organizations from developing successful capture strategies:
1. Increased information volume
2. Expanded information variety
3. Disconnected business systems
Once we identify and understand these challenges we can target how to overcome them — and ultimately clarify what the right tool is for the job of turning information chaos into information control.
1. Increased Information Volume
As high volumes of documents enter your organization, the important information on those documents needs to make its way into the hands of those who need it. But how can your staff be expected to keep up with the continuously rising tide of documents while relying on manual reviews and data entry?
According to AIIM Research, organizations expect there to be an average of four times the volume of information coming into their organizations over the next two years.
Further complicating the matter, they anticipate more than 57 percent of that information will be unstructured (coming in through content like charts or word processor documents) or semistructured (like an invoice or a form). That’s content that is difficult for staff to quickly review and pull data from. This means it will take longer for information to kick off business processes and increases the likelihood of data entry errors. It also means that valuable staff members are spending even more time on lower-value manual data entry work. Without automation, the exponential growth of incoming data poses an extremely difficult — and expensive — challenge.
2. Expanded Information Variety
While many business processes already have automated functions built in to ensure critical tasks are accomplished in a timely manner, automation generally cannot be kicked off until the appropriate documents and data are entered into the workflow. This creates a particular challenge as data delivery evolves and organizations receive documents through a variety of delivery channels. Organizations are finding that processes simply cannot be automated until the unstructured information that fuels them exists in a machine-comprehensible form.
Many organizations have deployed some level of optical character recognition (OCR) technology to pull data from incoming documents to combat this problem. When used the right way, OCR tools can be very effective at reading text from scanned and electronic documents. However, on their own they are insufficient to process the multitude of structured and semistructured sources of information that flow in and out of organizations every day.
Overall process accuracy depends on more than just recognition of text within a document. Process accuracy relies upon recognition of document types — identifying the relevant fields within a document along with a host of additional variables. Additionally, standard OCR tools generally cannot read notes that are hand-written rather than typed.
Without an intelligent capture tool that can pull in documents — both hard copy and electronic — from all the necessary locations and easily identify and classify them, you end up with a process that still relies on manual review of each document to identify the appropriate information.
3. Disconnected Business Systems
Capturing data isn’t enough if it just sits in the capture solution. All that accomplishes is separating your information from the tools your staff use to complete tasks and run business processes every day.
Unfortunately, many organizations haven’t taken the step in their capture strategy to integrate their capture tool with their other line of business systems. This creates a silo of information that must be returned to repeatedly and data entry work that must be redone multiple times in multiple locations.
Integrations with core business systems help to validate information as it comes into your organization — so staff are not asked to provide the same data repeatedly and needlessly duplicate their efforts. Without integration, true automation cannot exist. Updated information cannot be pushed to your other systems, so you run the risk of staff working with out-of-date information until all the manual data entry work is completed.
For end-to-end process automation to exist, automation must begin as soon as documents enter your organization. It’s imperative that your solution has the appropriate integrations to your core line of business systems so that captured data can be routed correctly and leveraged for powering business processes.
Intelligent Capture: Creating the Automation You Need
The challenge that faces organizations like yours is clear: More information is coming into your organization from more locations and in more formats than ever before. You may not have a way to easily verify and update that data in your core business systems. Finding a way to overcome all of this and optimize your data capture processes may seem a little daunting.
Fortunately, there is a solution: Intelligent capture technology.
Intelligent capture solutions aim to automatically extract key data from any and all incoming information streams and use it to activate process flows. But how does intelligent capture overcome the specific capture hurdles we’ve discussed?
Increased Information Volume
Intelligent capture solutions can process unstructured and semi-structured information at the moment it enters your organization, without the need for human intervention. It also doesn’t require all of the information to be perfect. The right intelligent capture solution can understand when information is misspelled or slightly changed on incoming content and still make matches to core business systems.
Expanded Information Variety
A truly intelligent capture solution doesn’t stop at reading data. It employs advanced technology to drive higher accuracy through document classification, data extraction and validation processes – increasing the level of automation and reducing human touch points even further. Much like the human mind, intelligent capture tools use pattern recognition — not templates — to recognize and interpret information on page. Thanks to pattern recognition, an intelligent capture solution only needs to process a few sample pages to begin learning how to classify document types and find the required information on each page.
Disconnected Business Systems
The right intelligent capture tool helps you generate less duplicate information over time via powerful integration tools that allow it to connect with your other core systems. This allows an intelligent capture solution to automatically validate information as it arrives and update your other systems — without the need for manual tasks. An intelligent automation solution has the ability to kick off the capture process. It can automatically extract and validate the appropriate information from any source while sending it to the right place to kick off processes throughout your organization.
Get Started Today
In a world of information chaos, you need the right strategy to take control. With ISSI, using an intelligent capture solution empowers you to develop a capture strategy that goes beyond basic document scanning and actually improves efficiency and accuracy while cutting costs. Contact an expert today to get started.