Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology has been around for almost a century. It’s a great solution for converting handwritten text or text image into machine readable digital format. This digitization solution automates the data extraction which further is used for data collection, processing and analysis. In today’s age, an increase in demand for digitization has fueled massive growth in almost every industry.
Compared to the legacy of OCR solutions, the modern version is much more powerful and efficient in recognizing and processing the data. All credit goes to machine learning that has extended its functionality converting the data into key-value pairs and tables that can be acted on by machines. Today, OCR is much more than just a digital character recognition technology. It now has plenty of use cases including the processing of invoices, handwritten documents, bank cheques, ID cards, forms, etc.
In this article, we will delve into some of the most fascinating OCR solutions being implemented in 2021, to improve services while ensuring up-to-date data with speed and accuracy.
Hasten Customer on-boarding Process
The On-boarding process is a common challenge for every industry. Identity verification, filling of application forms, and other related processes require manual data entry and data validation of each individual. With OCR and machine learning tools, the system can automatically capture, extract, validate, and customer data from the document. Moreover, it can also verify the signature of customers making any form of legal transaction. The software technology is real-time, cost-effective, fast, and provides much more accuracy than manual verification.
Intelligent Invoice Scanning
Conventional OCR technology was resource-based where data has to be mapped with fields manually. With AI / ML, the intelligent OCR technology can learn to identify the supplier invoices based on the layout and store the information in the database for future reference. It can also map the data with fields in each invoice to extract the only required value while ignoring unwanted data.
If the supplier sends a paper invoice then advanced OCR can recognize the layout of the invoice and extract required information accordingly.
If the supplier sends the electronic file (image of the invoice) then intelligent OCR scans the entire document and provides the same information as in the previous case.
Automatic License Plate Reading
For traffic management, security systems equipped with OCR technology are being used to instantly capture the license plate and convert it into machine-readable format to store the data. These data can further be used for access control, as well as the management of parking space. The system can automatically index hundreds of vehicles in parking space with little to no human intervention. Additionally, the system can also validate if the license plate is unauthorized and raise an alarm if any blacklisted license plate is identified.
Automatic Document Classification
Law firms, medical, and other professional enterprises are using OCR software for automatic document classification. The OCR software can organize and classify multiple documents based on the keyword, template, or any other predefined factor of the document. This has reduced the labor-intensive process where manual document classification was required to sort and classify a high volume of documents.
Institutions like large hospitals, colleges, and corporations can benefit greatly from this technology. The operator has to upload all the documents in a single folder, the system will automatically pick, classify and store them into a different folder based on the document type.
Information retrieval is another process that OCR technology has revolutionized. Retrieving data stored in non-digital/image format is a bigger task when you manually pick a document and search for the required data. With an OCR system in place, all paper and digital data that machines cannot read will be converted into a machine-readable format and stored back in the centralized directory.
Additionally, digital data stored in the cloud is more secure as compared to paper documents that can be stolen, misplaced, or get damaged with time. With cloud storage, companies can efficiently store sensitive data with controlled access and protect it from unauthorized access.
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