Optical Character Recognition: Benefits and challenges of OCR

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As a result of digital transformation and new technologies, manual data capture is increasingly being replaced by automated data capture. In this context, OCR has become an important component of modern document management systems. More and more companies are recognising its many benefits. In this article, you will learn more about the benefits and challenges of OCR. To find out more about the applications and industry-specific benefits of OCR, click here.

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is a data capture technology that enables computers to automatically read and convert images and printed or handwritten text into data. For more information about OCR and how it works, click here.

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The benefits of OCR

The main benefits of OCR text recognition include:

  • Significant time savings and increased efficiency
    • Faster, more accurate, automated results
    • Fast text digitisation, document processing and data entry: Documents are digitised and processed quickly on a large scale, reducing processing time and making it easier to store and find information.
    • Fast data retrieval: OCR enables fast search and retrieval of information in digitised documents. This efficiency is particularly beneficial in customer service, where quick access to information is crucial.
    • Speed up data entry by automating form filling: OCR can be used to automatically enter data into digital forms, speeding up data entry
    • Time savings: OCR technology drastically reduces the time required for data retrieval and document processing
    • OCR solutions are often tailored to the specific needs of an organisation
  • Increased accuracy and quality
    • Reduce human error: Input errors that can occur with manual data entry are minimised. This is essential in areas such as research and analysis where accuracy is critical.
    • Consistent data entry and results: Standardise data collection for consistent quality and structure, and more consistent results across multiple users and projects
  • Cost efficiency
    • Lower the cost of entry for small businesses through faster data processing and more efficient use of data
    • Reducing operating costs: Reduce operational costs by automating routine tasks.
  • Customer experience
    • Improved customer interaction by providing fast and accurate information
  • Increased security and compliance
    • Simplified compliance management: Simplify the management and tracking of compliance-related documents
    • Improved data retention and data security
  • Centralised access: With automated data capture, data can be stored in the cloud, allowing different people and departments to access the data they need, even if they are not on site
  • Improvement of employee satisfaction: Automated data capture through OCR significantly reduces the workload and makes it more efficient. As a result, employees are more satisfied and can focus on more productive and creative tasks.
  • Improved data analysis and decision making
    • Data mining: OCR enables the mining of text data for analysis and insight
    • Trend detection: OCR-digitised data can be used to identify patterns and trends
    • Strategic and informed decision making: Access to accurate, digitised data enables more informed decisions. Efficient pattern and trend detection with this data enables faster and more efficient response to change.
  • Business agility and competitive advantage
    • Quick response to market changes: Respond more quickly to market changes through more efficient access to information.
    • Scalability: OCR solutions can be scaled to keep pace with business growth.
    • Competitive differentiation: Differentiate from competitors through more efficient and innovative use of information technology.

Challenges of OCR

Some OCR challenges that can make text recognition difficult include:

  • Blurred text that is distorted by shadows

  • Background and text colours that are very similar

  • Different font types and sizes can be difficult to recognise

  • Poor lighting when photographing or scanning the document

  • Cropped parts of the image

  • Faint markings above some letters (e.g. "i") can confuse the OCR software into thinking they are part of the letter rather than markings above it

However, effective OCR solutions, such as REEDR, incorporate Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to improve the accuracy and efficiency of data capture. These technologies help to overcome these challenges and significantly improve data quality.

Conclusion

OCR technology is not just a text recognition tool, but an essential component of digital transformation across multiple industries. Integration with CRM systems such as Salesforce and the addition of advanced solutions such as REEDR significantly increases a company's efficiency. More customer-centric and data-driven business models can also be developed more efficiently. In addition to a number of challenges, there are many benefits to OCR text recognition, such as improved use of information.

With REEDR you get an efficient OCR software solution for automated, accurate and fast data capture.

Do you also want to capture your data more accurately and efficiently to improve your business? Do you have any questions about Optical Character Recognition or are you interested in receiving more information? Would you like to find out more about our OCR solution REEDR for your Salesforce CRM? Then contact us directly here.

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