OCR or Optical character recognition plays a very important role in process automation when transforming textual images such as printed and scanned materials into digital text.

Let’s see the benefits of OCR in Process Automation.

Why we need OCR in Process Automation

Certain processes in industries such as finance, healthcare, education, etc., may require manual form filling on a paper and reading printed documents as the initial steps and use those data for further processes.

For example, if you visit a clinic, you may fill out a form with your data, and the receptionist will manually enter details into their system before you see the doctor. This process has many issues that can be solved with OCR.

Improve Efficiency

Manually entering the data filled on a printed paper is a cumbersome process that requires hours of labor work. For example, if you are a tax and accountancy firm, having to go through all the receipts, purchase orders, and invoices is a time-consuming process that you could have used for more important tasks. OCR can solve this issue by converting all the scanned copies into digital text within a few seconds.

Reduce the Cost of Manual Handling

Manual data entry with hours of labor work also comes at a great cost. When you have a separate team for entering data, it costs a lot of money, especially when you combine all the resources required to maintain this team. However, you can cut all those costs when defining an automated process with OCR.

Enhance Accuracy

Many human errors can occur when entering data manually, and things can go wrong terribly. For example, when a patient fills a printed form with medical conditions and if the data entry person made a serious mistake when manually entering data into the system, this could have a life-threatening effect. OCR can be integrated into process automation to prevent these mistakes.

Stop Wasting Important Data

We all know that data analytics has become an essential component in end-to-end automation. Due to its limitations, data on printed materials and images can easily go waste. Using OCR, once we convert them into digital text, it is more useful as you can use it further for process automation and data analytics. Furthermore, Forrester reports, “On average, between 60% and 73% of all data within an enterprise goes unused for analytics”. This is a considerable amount of useful data waste.

Having all the benefits in mind, let’s look at an example.

Invoice Processing with OCR

This example shows a sample automated process of processing invoices for tax purposes. It shows how FlexRule® Advanced Decision Management Suite uses OCR as a part of the flow.
Once the invoices and statements are scanned as images or PDF files, they can be read and converted into digital text for further processing. No need to go through all the invoices and enter data manually.
Then these data can be used for calculations and data analytics, and finally, update the database and inform the outcome to the client.

Optical character recognition in process automation

This is an example of reading a scanned invoice and converting it into digital text. You can see that the GST (the tax) and the total amount are extracted, and they can be used for further calculations in the process.


OCR for High-Performing End-to-End Process Automation

In any process, manual data entry is one of the most cumbersome steps requiring more staff, resources, cost, and time. This delays the processes, and your customers may have to wait for the outcome frustratingly. At the same time, accuracy is highly important as the decisions made later depend on these data. Using OCR, you can extract accurate data from scanned materials and images in a short period using fewer resources.

Specifically, the OCR engine we have used, the FlexRule OCR, extends Google Tesseract. It is a library with improved accuracy, performance, and compatibility.

  • FlexRule OCR has a 99.8-100% accuracy as it uses machine learning
  • Support various types of image file formats such as PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, etc.
  • Low-resolution images processing with high accuracy
  • Transfer image to searchable PDF in seconds
  • Advanced inspections of paragraphs, lines, words, characters, etc.
  • Retrieve customized output omitting backlisted characters

Integrating OCR as a part of your business process automation can make it more efficient. That means you can save both money and time on data capturing and invest them in more useful areas in your business, helping you stay ahead of the competitors.

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Last updated September 2nd, 2022 at 09:29 am, Published April 14th, 2022 at 09:29 am