6 Benefits of Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to Increase Business Efficiency

AI & Machine LearningData Transformation

Moving files and documents from one format to the other is necessary during business transactions, deals, or project management. Occasionally, we find JPEG, PNG, or PDF formats pretty practical for sending and saving written content, but what about processing this material, editing, and reading it through machine programs?

As the world moves towards a paperless future, digitizing written content for the data to be stored and available for analysis is mandatory. Traditionally, this was done through transcription which requires time as a process and it results in increased costs.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has facilitated this process immensely for both businesses and individuals. OCR is a software capable of scanning images of printed, handwritten, or typed text and converting it into editable content.

Today, we’re going over six main reasons why this technology can improve the efficiency of your business. The industry makes no difference as long as the essence of the task is extracting information from uncopyable formats and working with them.

Streamlined Data Entry with Minimal Mistakes

Having employees manually do the process of data entry to retrieve important information from documents and files is time-consuming and comes with high probability of error. Considering that as humans we’re constantly led by emotions, our attention shifts could cause us to forget details, make typos, or misfile documents.

By using OCR software, you’re cutting down costs significantly since you’re not paying more employees to revise these tasks manually to fix mistakes but have them work on more important tasks instead. The potential to make mistakes is reduced thanks to intelligent algorithms.


Enhanced Searchability and Editing Capabilities

Searchability is crucial when working with vast amounts of data. You might have an archived report with hundreds of pages that holds important data for your customers or business performance. Finding this information by scrolling and manually checking each file for specific data may take forever. OCR offers the option to search through content by using keywords.

Simply type the respective keywords on the Document Management System (DMS) and locate what you were searching for. This reduces the time spent conducting successful and accurate analysis and finding information to answer customer service queries. Gone are the days of transcribing printed documents since OCR helps you turn files into Word, HTML, or Excel formats in minutes. Then, you can easily edit typos or copy-paste information.

Time Efficient and Effortless Management

OCR is not only valuable for converting documents into editable formats and having them sit on folders passively. Combined with other tools, businesses can utilize OCR for automating workflows.

For instance, DMS programs can be instructed to identify types of files, such as invoices, and direct them towards the respective people responsible for processing them (in this case, the accounts payable manager). This minimizes delays in business operations significantly.

Reduced Employee and Material Costs

Incorporating OCR technology in your daily processes reduces costs in measurable ways. Initially, you need fewer employees since there will be less paperwork and manual data entry to be done. There will be no more training costs either.

Secondly, scanning documents and turning them into digital file formats means that there won’t be a need for spending on paper materials, and the processes related to working on it, such as copying, printing, and distribution. Also, there’s no more need for spacious and expensive file cabinets to store and organize these files.


Increased Assets Protection

Storing important data into a physical form such as folders and documents makes them endangered from natural disasters, theft, or destruction. Once all these documents are converted into a digital format, you’re protected from these risks. Backing up your data on the cloud or geo-redundant data centers grants you access to them through the DMS software from any device as long as you have an internet connection.

For those concerned with cyber-attacks and different types of malicious attempts to electronically corrupt this data, extra layers of security with advanced encryptions can be applied to protect it. Implement access restrictions that comply with data regulations such as PCI-DSS, or HIPPA, and your assets will be safe.

Happier and More Engaged Employees

Repetitive processes such as transcription and data entry are boring tasks that challenge employees in an unproductive manner. Such tasks not only might result in misfiled data but can also negatively impact the sanity of your employees. OCR helps you replace these tasks and as a result you have more productive and happy employees that can give the maximum of their potential in other projects, which directly affects business efficiency for the better.

OCR clearly brings numerous benefits to businesses dealing with documents and text-based materials on a daily basis. As this technology advances and integrates with other systems, it can serve for automating both primary and secondary business processes.

Final Thoughts

For those who want to contribute to a greener future with minimal investment and decrease their business costs, OCR software is a reasonable solution. Besides cost reductions, it is a solution that produces better documents with minimal errors.

Blue Orange employs data scientists dedicated to increasing your business outcome by using advanced machine learning, artificial intelligence, data transformation, and automation tools. Experienced in developing OCR and other information extraction solutions, we’re here to help. Schedule a 15-minute call for free today.