Businesses using OCR Leave 77% of Data Unprocessed According to AIIM Report
August 19, 2013 by Jennifer Cobb
Is paper going away? Not according to the latest market report from AIIM, the nonprofit industry association for information professionals. In fact, they report that while paper processes are declining in 41% of businesses, they are staying the same or increasing in 59% of businesses. In spite of the fact that paper use is holding steady or increasing, solutions for advanced data capture from paper are not being widely adopted, except by the largest and more resource-rich organizations. Why? Most of the existing automation solutions are expensive and difficult to adopt and maintain.
If paper causes slowdowns and delays for companies, why are organizations of all sizes across industries continuing to use paper-heavy workflows? As we have repeatedly heard from our customers, there are some things that are hard to replace with fully digital documents and workflows. According to the AIIM report, the number one reason is the persistent need for physical signatures on paper documents, particularly in customer-facing workflows (45%). Other concerns with introducing digital workflows include compromising legal admissibility (32%), the introduction of inflexible process workflows (32%) and the preference for writing notes and amendments on paper (31%).
According to the report, the organizational roles that find it most challenging to move to paperless workflows include operational staff, line of business managers and financial and legal staff. For these roles, paper remains a flexible and familiar option that they find difficult to leave behind.
Paper and Digital Workflows Need to Work Together
People like paper. And many organizations have established workflows that depend on paper. This preference butts up against the need many businesses have to reduce costs and friction by moving to digital workflows. How best to reconcile this preference for paper workflows with the need for digital processes? The AIIM report outlines the following “dream” capture scenario. In an ideal world, forms or invoices would be “scanned at the door,” the document type recognized and routed, the data captured and verified and entered into the transactional and storage systems of record.
This dream is far from a reality for most organizations. While 70% of organizations perform the initial scanning of documents, only 13% are extracting that data via OCR and processing it. The report states, “15% extract some data from the form, but use it only for routing and indexing, and 18% scan the form but then manually route it as a ‘flat image’ through the process. The remainder only scans for archive and this is mostly done at the end of the process.”
Point Solutions Offer a Partial Fix
Many forward-looking organizations have invested in addressing the data capture challenge, but primarily in discrete departments. For example, many organizations have a solution for capturing specific applications in finance (invoices) and HR (employee onboarding), but have not put in place more robust, multi-modal and distributed capture solutions that can work across departments and locations. One area lagging behind is the capture of form-based information from static electronic documents such as PDFs and faxes. The report recommends “consolidating around a standard capture platform feeding multiple applications [that will] allow the technology to be regularly updated in a single place.”
A Single, Self-Serve Platform to Automate Data Capture
Captricity offers an ideal solution for organizations seeking a single, secure, fast and accurate data capture platform that can work across departments and locations. Our SaaS solution is web-based, so there is no software to install or maintain, and documents can be stored, uploaded and processed from any location. Our groundbreaking approach to data capture mixes machine-learning and crowdsourcing to deliver double-entry quality results in a fraction of the time of manual entry. And we integrate with your workflow via Salesforce, Box and Dropbox or our custom API.