By now you’ve probably heard much about OCR. What it is, what it does and why your business needs it. When you search ‘optical character recognition’ online, beyond sponsored listings and Wikipedia entries, you’ll find links, services that enable you to convert a pdf to a Word image, basic descriptions and blogs with ‘surface level’ content there’s not a whole lot to grab your attention.
However, the most you search, the further down the rabbit hole you’ll fall. Unless you’re well-schooled in the tech or already use it to some degree, it can be easy to become puzzled. Zonal extraction, line item OCR, algorithms, automation, artificial intelligence, one word or phrase seems to demand a thesaurus search. Then another. Then another. Then another. Until you become confused over what anything is!
Let’s take a different approach, one that’s especially useful for novices. He goes, OCR exists. It scans documents, like receipts or driver’s licences’ and converts what they say into a digital file that can then be uploaded to the cloud.
Tabscanner has the world’s most accurate receipt OCR API technology
The best OCR can recognise global languages and characters. Not only that it completes line item data extraction with 98% accuracy. And it’s here to stay.
Okay, you’ve got it. Let’s look briefly at some of the ways that OCR technology is already and will change our lives in the coming years – and the benefits that we’ll all be able to enjoy.
Reduce Labour Costs
Traditionally, if you need to calculate expenses you need a bookkeeper or accountant sitting behind a computer, putting amounts into a spreadsheet. This costs businesses money. Not only are you paying for their expertise but having one or a whole team of employees just sitting in an office will cost you money. Equipment, heating, lighting etc.
OCR, especially line item OCR is a proficient way of processing expenses. Receipts can be scanned, and expenses automatically tallied – and it can even be done remotely. Tabscanner line item receipt scanner API has mobile compatibility. Point, click a picture, pull into the software, save to the cloud.
Aid Disaster Recovery
Let’s imagine for a moment that your office suffers a disaster. Let’s say the computer network goes down. You move and the removal company loses valuable paperwork. Lightning strikes the premises. Can you recover paper or document files saved to a hard drive? Probably not.
Digitising and storing data on secure servers, such as the cloud is the safest way to protect your data from being lost through an act of God or something that you simply couldn’t predict or wasn’t your fault.
Safe and Secure Storage
Think that important or private information is safe in a filing cabinet with a little key? Think again. This may have been the norm in the 1980s, but that was forty years ago! Which is easier to access or steal: a key or encrypted cloud databases?
Using line item OCR, you can extract physical document data, transfer it to digital format and safe it in a cloud account with a password that only you know. Moreover, cloud-based services use an encryption key to encode data. Even if someone was able to gain access to your stored information, it will appear as gibberish to them!
Want to keep financial records and account details safe and secure? Use OCR software to extract information. Then save the files to the cloud and encrypt them.
Line Item Data Extraction Converted to a Host of Formats
How often have you received a pdf and wanted to make a change or two to the document? We’re guessing more than once. There’s just one problem: you can’t make any changes to a pdf document. You must first convert it to a different file format.
Annoying, right? Well, OCR doesn’t feature the same problem. Digitising OCR text allows you to save any document in a wealth of file formats. From .doc and .docx files to .jpg and .png, even .xls and .gif, files of all descriptions can be saved with ease thanks to OCR.
What’s more, with appropriate software integration files can be shared across different platforms, both online and offline. CRMs and workflow management software platforms can be used to share files, making interdepartmental communication so much easier.
As you can see, OCR technology has the potential to revolutionise all our commercial lives – and already is! As we move towards a wholly digital-dependent commercial landscape and with more people than ever before working remotely, it’s safe to say that OCR technology will become an integral part of how we work.