Are you looking to automate and speed up your business’s documenting processes?
One of the best ways to do this is with OCR technology. OCR technology allows computers to read the text of a document and then turn that text into a searchable and editable file. While PDF is usually the file format of choice, OCR can also turn your text into an image file such as jpg.
OCR solutions take advantage text mining, feature detection, and pattern recognition to deliver more accurate files than ever before. But why should your business invest in OCR solutions? What are the biggest advantages?
Check out this guide to learn about the top benefits of OCR solutions.
How Does OCR Work?
Before we talk about the benefits of OCR solutions, let’s discuss in further detail how OCR works. OCR stands for optical character recognition. Depending on the developer, all OCR software programs work slightly differently.
However, most OCR software comes with a pre-processing phase that makes the text in the document clearer and easier to read. The software does this by cleaning the image up and isolating the characters from everything else on the page.
OCR software also ensures that the text lines are aligned properly and that the pixels are smooth. After doing this, the software isolates each individual character. It does this by recognizing the characters that consist of pixels and the spaces between them.
In the next stage, things get a bit trickier. Once the OCR software solution knows that it needs to recognize a character, it’s time for it to figure out what that character is so it can assign it the correct metadata.
A simple OCR software solution will backcheck the character against a library of fonts to determine if there’s a match. If there is a match, then the software will assign the corresponding data.
However, if the text doesn’t match any recognizable fonts in the library, more sophisticated techniques are required. A more advanced OCR solution will continue to compare the characters on the page to common patterns to help identify them.
The software will also use more contextual clues to figure out which words and characters are which. For example, if the software is struggling to determine if a character is a “1” or an “I” then it’ll look at the surrounding characters to make an educated guess. If the surrounding characters are also numbers, then it’ll likely read the undetermined character as a “1”.
The Benefits of OCR Solutions
Why should your business invest in OCR technology? Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits this technology has to offer:
1. Saves Time
Do you feel like you’re wasting time on menial tasks? Do you struggle to manage your time when working? If so, OCR solutions can help.
One of the biggest benefits of OCR solutions is that they save you time so you can focus on other tasks. With OCR technology, you don’t need to waste time manually copying a document. Instead, all you need to do is scan the document with OCR technology, and you’ll be ready to go.
2. Save Money
Not only do OCR solutions help save you time, but they also help save you money. With OCR, you don’t need to waste money on copying, printing, maintaining office equipment, or recovering lost documents.
Plus, by going paperless, you don’t have to waste money on the shipping costs that come with ordering new paper. While OCR is an upfront investment, in the long run, this solution can help your business save a lot of money.
3. Make Documents Easy to Edit
Most of the time, scanned documents need to be edited in some way, especially when information needs to be updated. The great thing about OCR technology is that it converts your documents into files that can be easily edited via Microsoft Word or some other program.
4. Find Documents Easily
If you’ve wasted a lot of time in the past searching for text within a document, then OCR technology is for you. OCR documents are 100 percent text searchable.
This allows you and your employees to quickly lookup addresses, names, numbers, and other information that differentiates the document being searched.
5. Improve Customer Service
If there’s one thing that customers hate, it’s waiting. The great thing about OCR technology is that it can help you cut down on customer wait times by allowing your customer service reps to quickly access document information.
Even as they receive incoming calls, your customer service reps can use the search feature on OCR software to look up customer info at the drop of a hat. In turn, this can lead to higher customer retention rates.
6. Increase Productivity
Another great thing about OCR technology is that it can help improve your business’s productivity levels. By moving to a less paper-centric business model, your company will be able to perform operations more swiftly and effectively.
With OCR’s ability to recognize text, you won’t have to waste your time on unnecessary paperwork.
7. Disaster Recovery
Another major benefit of OCR solutions is that they can make disaster recovery easier. OCR documents are electronically stored in secure servers and distributed systems.
Therefore, this data will stay safe, even in emergency situations. If there is a sudden fire or another natural disaster, you can quickly retrieve your digitized data after the emergency and continue on with your business.
8. Better Data Security
Not only does OCR technology allow for easier data recovery, but it also allows for better data security. Data security breaches can happen to businesses of all sizes.
In fact, 28 percent of all data security breaches in 2020 involved small businesses. By switching to OCR technology, you don’t have to worry about your paper documents getting into the wrong hands. When data is stored in a digital format, you never have to worry about misplacing it. It’ll always be one click away.
9. Better for the Environment
An often overlooked benefit of OCR technology is that it’s better for the environment. The amount of paper and wood we toss out each year could heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
Additionally, around 1 billion trees worth of paper is thrown away each year in the US alone. By switching to OCR technology, you’ll be able to reduce your business’s paper consumption and help the environment.
10. Reduce Errors
Last but not least, OCR technology can help reduce the number of errors that occur within your organization. Typos, lost files, and misplaced documents can end up costing your company thousands and thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. Plus, for certain industries, these errors can lead to major security issues.
This is especially the case for the healthcare industry. With OCR technology, you don’t have to worry about such errors harming your organization.
How to Choose the Best OCR Software
There are a number of OCR software programs available, and you need to do some research before choosing which one is best suited for your business.
When choosing OCR software, one of the biggest things you want to keep in mind is your industry. Certain OCR software programs are designed with specific industries in mind, making it easier for the program to pick up on certain words and phrases.
Do some research into your industry to see what other companies are using for their OCR software solution. We also suggest that you look into customer reviews and testimonials before choosing a software program.
If possible, try to ask the company for referrals so you can gain a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of a specific software solution.
You also want to make sure you choose an OCR software solution that can handle the volume of documents that you need to process. The last thing you want to do is choose a software solution that’s going to slow you down, so make sure you understand the handling capabilities before buying.
Also, make sure the OCR technology is user-friendly. You can check out instructions for Tesseract OCR c# before buying.
OCR Solutions: Are You Ready to Invest in OCR Technology?
As you can see, there are many ways that OCR technology can help your business grow.
Now, all you need to do is figure out the right OCR software solution for your company. Of course, OCR isn’t the only type of software solution that can take your company to new heights. Be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips on software solutions that can help your business grow.