Top 7 Intelligent Document Processing Solutions

intelligent document processing

Data is critical for businesses to be able to target their customers, make sales and gain valuable insights. 

Yet typically, 80% of a company’s data is what’s referred to as ‘dark’. This means it is trapped in emails, images, hard copies, and other unstructured formats, which, of course, makes it harder to extract and get actionable insights. 

The good news is organizations are increasingly embracing Intelligent Document Processing solutions as a way of extracting this data. 

But hang on, what is Intelligent Document Processing and how does this help? 

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) is an automated solution that captures information from messy, unstructured data and turns this into useable information. For example, capturing specific data from scanned forms, receipts, or bills and inputting this into a spreadsheet. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you get a better understanding of Intelligent Document Processing solutions and how they can support your business. To do this, we’re going to look at: 

  • Why you need Intelligent Document Processing solutions in your business 
  • The benefits of Intelligent Document Processing solutions 
  • Which are the best Intelligent Document Processing solutions 

So let’s get started.

Why you need IDP solutions in your business: The benefits  

At the center of Intelligent Document Processing is the concept of transformation and change. Modern businesses need to adapt to the sheer amount of data out there and IDP is one way to help them do this. 

With data only growing in importance, digital transformation is a must. This is why your business needs Intelligent Document Processing. 

Still not sold? 

Below, we’ve pulled together some of the key Intelligent Document Processing benefits. 

Cutting down on data processing time

One of the most obvious benefits of using IDP is that it can drastically reduce data processing time.

This would have traditionally required a human to manually extract and enter the data onto a computer before organizing/processing it. This was very time-consuming. 

Whereas now Intelligent Document Processing solutions make it possible to do in a matter of seconds, what could take a human minutes, if not hours.

Reducing operational costs 

As well as cutting down on data processing times, you can also save money by using IDP. 

Like we said above, Intelligent Document Processing solutions are much quicker than humans. Therefore, implementing these systems cut down on the time humans need to spend extracting data. 

This also means you might be able to reduce the number of employees needed and frees up the time of your existing staff to work on more important tasks.

Eliminate the risk of human error 

Sadly, human error accounts for too many mistakes within a business. It is also one of the biggest causes of data breaches and data security issues. 

As Intelligent Document Processing solutions eliminate the need for manual work, apart from dealing with any anomalies or issues, this can hugely reduce the risk of human error. 

This can help to increase the quality and reliability of your processed data.

Intelligent Document Processing is scalable

One of the greatest benefits of IDP is that it’s not just one fixed process. Instead, by combining the right Intelligent Document Processing solutions, you can scale up your systems to work across several departments and workflows. 

This means you can use IDP in many different ways across your business to make your processes as efficient as possible. 

For example, some Intelligent Document Processing use cases include expense management, automated data entry, claims handling, and auto filling online forms. Therefore, you might wish to apply IDP to some departments such as HR, accounting, and sales. 

IDP is compatible with everyday technology

Finally, you can integrate your Intelligent Document Processing solutions with your existing software and hardware. 

This means you don’t need to go out and buy new devices or tech to make these work. This makes the implementation of IDP solutions much easier.

The best Intelligent Document Processing solutions

Lots of the technology and solutions used in Intelligent Document Processing are nothing new. In fact, the actual tools and technology have been around for a while now. 

However, the combination of these tools into a single solution is new and has paved the way for extracting and classifying data in this innovative way. 

In a nutshell, you take document processing, add your chosen tools and this creates the Intelligent Document Processing solution you need. 

So to help you get a better idea of the tools that come together to make IDP possible, we’ve created a list of the best tools and solutions below and how these can be used within a business. These include: 

1. Document capture

First on our list is document capture. This solution is required for integrating with your scanning hardware to digitize hard copies of documents, that is, those in paper form. It is also used for digesting data from digital documents such as PDFs and text files. 

But because not all documents are in digital form, this solution is required to speed up the process of manually scanning in all these documents. 

2. Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tools are used to recognize both printed or handwritten text characters in a digital image that has been scanned from a paper document. 

OCR is achieved through hardware such as optical scanners or specialized circuit boards which are used to read the text and process this in the computer. 

To get the most accurate OCR, a layered approach is often taken by using multiple solutions. This produces the most accurate and reliable data. 

This also means that this solution can examine and translate handwritten text into useable digital data if more advanced methods of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are applied. This can be ideal for translating handwritten invoices, receipts, letters, application forms and more, into useable digital data.

3. Image processing 

Image processing is a subset of computer vision where an algorithm does some transformations on the image such as smoothing, sharpening, contrasting, stretching on the image. A computer vision system uses the image processing algorithms to try and perform emulation of vision at human scale. These solutions are important for preparing documents for both OCR and archiving. 

The Intelligent Document Processing solution pairs with these algorithms to create two digitized versions of a document. The first is optimized for machine-reading and the other is for on-screen viewing. 

This means as well as creating a version of the document that the computer can read and interpret; another version is created that humans can review in a Content Management Systems (CMS) or web interface, if they need access to the original document.

4. Classification solutions 

In most businesses, there is a need to deal with groups of documents all containing different types of information. For example, your Intelligent Document Processing solutions might have to deal with invoices, receipts, application forms, emails, scanned proof of ID and so much more. 

As such, classification solutions are needed to recognize documents that contain different information, so these can be organized, splitting and classified according to their content and even directed to the right department in your business. 

This is done by training these solutions through machine learning to recognize and categories these documents. 

5. Natural Language Processing 

Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that gives computers the ability to understand written and even spoken words in the same way that humans can. 

There is still a lot of work going into these types of Intelligent Document Processing solutions, but these are so important for helping IDP tools to not only understand the data but also the speaker or writer’s intentions and sentiments.

So as you can see, this is a very sophisticated part of computer science. And it is made possible through rule-based modeling of human language and machine learning. 

6. Extraction solutions 

To successfully extract the right data, AI extraction solutions must be trained to find and label the important information within a document. This requires a strong artificial understanding of the content through Natural Language Processing. 

This then allows the IDP solution to identify specific sections or data within a document. For example, specifically extracting elements such as names, dates, phone numbers, account numbers, etc. 

These can then be processed and input into the right place in a document, system, or spreadsheet. 

7. Data Validation solutions 

Intelligent Data Processing solutions are great for cutting time and costs by reducing the amount of manual labour required by humans. However, there are some expectations when humans may need to review the data themselves. 

Through data validation tools, IDP solutions can verify extracted data by leveraging external databases and pre-configured lexicons. 

Any data that doesn’t match or seems incorrect can then be flagged to be reviewed in person. 

The importance of choosing the top Intelligent Document Processing solutions

As you can see then, there are several benefits to using IDP solutions in your business. The key benefits include: 

  • Cutting down on data processing time and manual labour 
  • Reducing operational costs 
  • Reducing and possibly eliminating the risk of human error 
  • Scaling up on your Intelligent Document Processing

Keeping these benefits in mind, you can choose the IDP solutions that you believe are going to be most beneficial for your business. 

Consider the tools and solutions we’ve outlined above, and you can even find yourself an Intelligent Document Processing solution that integrates as many of these tools as possible. 

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