definition ocr

What is OCR?

A desk full of documents stacked on top of each other, a mountain of receipts and invoices to process and analyze, employees who waste considerable time manually entering the data necessary for this or that task… Fortunately, those days are over!

New technologies have emerged that make it possible to automate the most repetitive processes, particularly for data extraction and entry. This time-consuming and redundant task can now be automated.

Optical character recognition, or OCR for the most English-speaking people, is a technology automating the extraction of data thanks to the joint work of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (deep learning).

Have you not yet automated your company’s document processing? This article will help you discover what the technology OCR, the benefits you can get from it and how to choose the best supplier.

What exactly is OCR?

OCR is therefore a technology for automating document processing processes in business. In other words, it is entrusting a computer and an AI with the possibility of processing a document: extracting previously configured information.

This technology is based on machine learning. That is to say that the computer is constantly evolving and learning in order to always maintain maximum speed and level of precision.

OCR is very easy to use and can be implemented in all professional software. Its use allows you to extract the data present on all documents. For example, automatically extract information from an ID card to speed up your customer check-in process. OCR technology is adaptable to all sectors of activity.

The benefits of OCR

Regardless of your industry, using text recognition and data extraction software will greatly improve your document management. Discover a non-exhaustive list of the benefits you can derive from using OCR software.

  • Reduction of errors : reduce the error rate with precise and automated software. Based on machine learning, the software is constantly learning. So, entrust the extraction of your data to an increasingly precise computer.
  • Reduction in time spent processing data : much less time is spent on this task thanks to the computer which is responsible for the execution. OCR software is much faster and more efficient. Information is extracted within 1 to 5 seconds.
  • Improved employee performance : who can devote themselves to tasks more stimulating and important to the core business than manual data entry. Automating this process frees up significant time that your employees can devote to actions more important to your business.
  • Increased income : less time spent processing documents means the possibility of processing more and more quickly. Thus, employees are more focused on higher value-added tasks.
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Choosing the right OCR software provider, yes, but how?

OCR is effective on any type of document from which data must be extracted, whether it is a receipt, an invoice, a CV.

Before taking advantage of the benefits of OCR, it is advisable to take stock of your needs. A good inventory will make it easier for you to find the supplier.

Define your needs, study the different suppliers… Here are some steps to follow to help you implement automation within your company:

  • Definition of needs
  • Employee survey
  • Market analysis
  • Calculation of return on investment
  • Finally, the testing and evaluation stage

Define your needs

Establish your needs, short and long term. What tasks should be automated, what types of documents are processed in the majority? Also establish the budget allocated to this new approach.

Survey your employees

Observe current events in your company. For each repetitive task, study the information to extract, the time spent on it and the moments prone to error.

Analyze the OCR market

Type OCR into your search engine and you will find a plethora of offers. Not all of them will necessarily suit you. Analyze the different offers and the operations of each supplier.

Calculate the return on investment

Once a limited choice of potential suppliers has been made, calculate, based on the price and the solution offered, the supplier that best suits your needs. Which one sticks best to the initial budget, which offers the most appropriate solution?

Testing and evaluation

After building your ROI, you have probably chosen your OCR provider. First of all, ask to test the solution and make sure you have good support. A good provider not only provides a software solution but also assists with its installation and supports you throughout the process.

Find your OCR provider

Using OCR software greatly improves your work process. Documents are processed faster and more accurately. This will allow you to process more documents and thus increase your productivity and activity.

Before you get started, take stock of your business’s needs. The goal is to allow you to identify what you are looking for in terms of suppliers and solutions.

Adopting OCR technology within your company is therefore the right thing to do!