Have you ever thought about the huge piles of paper documents you have kept at your workplace for years? Or, often, you wish to get an editable, digital document instead of a traditional paper document you can’t work with. You can scan the document and have its digital file, but it won’t be editable.
That’s when OCR technology shows up and makes your life easier.
This technology helps not just digitize paper documents but also improves overall business workflow.
OCR converts paper-based documents such as scanned paper, PDF files, and digital images into a searchable and editable format. Since it’s the best way to make data available to anyone at one click, every industry is leveraging OCR technology to make their businesses more streamlined.
According to an extensive report by Yell, Businesses can save $35000 every year by adopting AI-powered solutions to automate their current activities by 45%.
Do you think OCR might have something to offer your business?
Keep reading! — We’ll go behind the scenes to understand how it is wreaking benefits for every other business.
But before we get started, here’s a recap of OCR technology.
What is OCR, and How its Work?
OCR, an acronym for Optical Character Recognition, combined with other cutting-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning, enables the conversion of scanned images having hand-written and printed text into machine-encoded text.
A typical optical character recognition system works in three steps: image pre-processing, character recognition, and post-processing.
Moreover, progress in the machine learning (ML) domain has given a new impetus to OCR, significantly increasing the number of its applications.
With enough training data, you can apply OCR machine-learning algorithms to any real-world scenario that needs identification and text transformation. For example, receipts scanning, traffic sign recognition, license plate recognition, etc.
How is OCR Technology Gaining Grounds at the Business Level?
OCR application in business potentially transforms business workflows. It offers enormous benefits to various industries beyond generating digital versions of handwritten or printed text.
Here’s a list of Advantages of ocr technology in businesses:
1. OCR Brings in Automation
Today’s businesses run on data. Quick and safe data access is, however, a significant competitive advantage.
But what if your company’s data still resides in PDF or, even worse, paper documents? Would you spend all your precious time collecting data from these files manually? That’s not the right thing, obviously.
According to Goldman Sachs, the total costs of old-fashioned, paper-based invoice processing amounted to $2.7 trillion annually. An automated solution can lower these costs by at least 50%.
Now is the time to turn away from the tedious, manual process.
OCR’s biggest advantage is automation — it automates your long-due data entry tasks, ultimately eliminating the risk of human error. These minor errors might have serious consequences, especially for workflows and businesses dealing with sensitive data or those with heavy penalties for making errors, like financial services and pharmaceutical companies.
Adding AI-powered OCR into your business workflows peter out the risk posed by manual entry and makes workflows alot more efficient and scalable.
2. Improves Data Security
The lifespan of paper documents is very short. Also, once those hard copies are gone, it’s impossible to retrieve them.
The OCR technology, however, helps you meet your compliance requirements and knock out the risks that pose a threat to your business. — It protects your data and saves the information. Furthermore, it wipes out the risk of fraud, document tampering, and alteration.
3. Offers Easy Access
Typically, An employee spends 30% to 40% of their time looking for information kept in filing cabinets.
With OCR, everything is text-searchable. You can easily search any digital document within huge databases by entering the document name or reference number. It helps you instantly look up numbers, addresses, names, and other information whenever and wherever you need.
4. Provides Unlimited Storage
Storing in the cloud is the way to go if you want to have searchable documents. You can keep them for as long as you want.
It’s pointless to save your company’s crucial data in paper documents since they have more chances of getting stolen, misplaced, or damaged. Furthermore, paper documents need ample space, which costs additional money.
Besides converting textual data into digital format, OCR solves storage issues and saves your documents online for a lifetime.
5. Boosts your Productivity
Manual data entry is mind-numbing. Often, it can take its toll on your sanity and performance. However, you can replace these tiring manual processes with OCR since it offers automation.
As this technology is getting more advanced, investing your time and resources in an OCR system undoubtedly makes you more focused and productive at work, especially if you manage thousands of paper documents on a daily basis.
6. Trims your Cost
OCR reduces your business cost pressure.
Companies achieve a 31% cost reduction through intelligent automation solutions “On average.”
For instance, if you are a startup business, you won’t have to hire full-time employees to manage mountains of paperwork. You never have to rely on paper once documents have been scanned — so you save on printing, copying, and document distribution costs.
7. Reduced Errors
Manual data entry makes you dedicate big chunks of the day to processing files and documents that might be prone to errors. It’s easy for anyone to make typos, forget to mention crucial details, and misfile documents. However, OCR software spares your company from such ordeals.
On average, the accuracy rate of Optical Character Recognition solution is 98% – 99% measured at the page level.
Instead of manually labeling and indexing each document, OCR converts all documents without errors. It significantly cuts your time on paperwork and frees you up to focus on more priority tasks.
8. Supports Multiple Languages
Globalization makes information available in different languages. But capturing the nuances of foreign languages can be daunting. Nevertheless, modern, digital data-capturing tools like OCR can simplify these tasks in no time.
AI-powered OCR translates the text into multiple languages. It simply recognizes text in images, identifies the language, and converts it into another language according to your preferences.
A single OCR solution supports translation of 100+ languages.
9. Lower Turnaround Times
Often, much of the data is used repeatedly. Typing the same data over and over again makes the process incredibly tedious.
Automation saves you time. So does OCR.
With this smart data capture technology, you can get rid of manual processes, automate your daily document management, and save up to 80% of your time.
Moreover, Optical Character Recognition is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to the process of filling out forms. OCR recognizes information within documents and saves that information, which you can use later to expedite filling out forms or sending emails.
10. Better Customer Service
With OCR, You can quickly access and retrieve customers’ information and solve their queries Asap. It reduces the waiting time for the customers, ultimately ensuring a satisfying customer experience.
Popular Industry-Wise Use Cases for OCR Technology
OCR has genuinely been a game-changing innovation. From processing legal documents like power of attorney to license plate identification, OCR makes life easier by digitizing everything.
OCR in Healthcare
Thousands of medical records and claims are processed every year, manually creating mountains of paper documents. This work is further exacerbated if records are incorrect, missing, or damaged.
OCR helps the healthcare sector go paperless — It speeds up the process of filing and accessing medical records, prescriptions, pharmacy records, or any other medical document. This data-capturing technology has significantly reduced manual processes and errors, offering easy and quick access to healthcare information.
The results of a survey in 2020 show that 90% of large healthcare organizations have incorporated AI solutions to automate daily processes. — Statista
Pharmaceutical companies can leverage OCR too.
OCR-based systems allow you to scan medical prescriptions and import them to check the availability of a particular medicine in the pharmacy database.
It brings about benefits for Patients, doctors, and every other working in the healthcare sector.
By going paperless with OCR, healthcare workers can:
- Work remotely and submit data online for healthcare claims processing.
- Share data quickly and smoothly
- Serve patients’ needs better, offering them simplified access to their medical history
- Create scannable PDF documents for all records
- Auto Cataloging and indexing the scanned documents
OCR in Financial Services and Banking
If you look a few years back, you know just how many business days it took for even simple bank transactions.
It took at least 5 to 6 business days – that’s too much for a basic transaction.
But now everything is instant, and OCR has played a major role in making everything lightning fast.
OCR has paved the way for modern banking and financial services – simplifying the documents to be managed, archived, and audited.
Before OCR, manual backlogs and huge paper-based transactions slowed everything down. Resources were kept busy meanwhile, financial organizations lost valuable hours performing basic tasks like cashing a cheque or processing a bank statement.
Fast-forward to 2022 — you don’t need a dedicated employee to enter details from a cheque into a digital system. OCR scans the cheque from A to Z and identifies various sections, for instance, the serial code of a cheque, account number, amount, and signature. After recognizing these sections, OCR inputs the data into their dedicated column in the specific account located in the bank’s system.
There’s simply no end to OCR’s benefits, including:
- OCR mobile apps for banking
- Invoice scanning
- KYC (Know your customer) automation
- Capture sensitive information such as mortgage applications and payslips.
OCR in Education
Gen-Z loves to read and listen to the book during a walk or lunch. OCR allows you to easily convert physical books into audio – you can listen to them whenever you want.
Optical character recognition’s “scan” functionality lets you upload and edit paper-based notes, handouts, or books.
Moreover, It helps students overcome their inefficiency in reading by converting complex images into simple text. Besides helping students, OCR is a great assistant for teachers.
It enables teachers to convert their course material and lectures into a digital format and distribute to students easily.
OCR in Security and Law Enforcement
Fraud teams at financial institutions have certainly had their hands full.
The number of threats and their sophistication level has been steadily on the rise, with a 52.2% global increase in digital fraudd. Also, fraudulent activities cost banks billions annually, making fraud mitigation a priority.
OCR capabilities are a tipping point for security purposes.
It immediately helps security and fraud teams augment their data collections with timely, actionable intelligence. For example, intelligent OCR technology enables cyber threat teams to proactively identify fraudulent activities within illicit communities and actively be leveraged across the deep and dark web.
Brazil’s Idwall uses an amalgam of cutting-edge machine learning, AI, and OCR technology to automate the onboarding process via its face match, background check, risk analysis, and ID validation to help companies avoid fraud.
Law enforcement agencies worldwide view OCR as a robust tool that reduces crime, boosts police efficiency, and augments safety measures.
For instance, camera-equipped Patrol cars constantly scan the vehicles’ license plates. This scanning identifies stolen vehicles, vehicles used in crimes, and vehicles without necessary insurance.
OCR systems can detect the entry and exit of vehicles in parking lots and charge you according to the time you park via accounts or credit cards.
Using optical character recognition, you can accurately scan driver’s licenses and all forms of IDs in seconds with mobile devices. Moreover, other data like vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and other serial numbers are easy to transpose. The OCR’s smart data capturing ability to scan the long numbers minify errors.
OCR has matured a lot over the past years.
It went from a simple analyzer that could recognize just a handful of fonts to a robust conversion tool that read anything printed. OCR’s incredible evolution enables it to do more than just scan and convert text — such as serving the visually impaired with TTS (text-to-speech).
Now it is at the forefront of digitization, making the planet paper-free.
You can count in on today’s OCR. It is accurate and stable but needs a little human intervention while being used.
The advantages of OCR technology in business are innumerable, though. If you want to leverage data-extracting and data-capturing technologies for your business, Get in touch with our experts.