We want to know what other people think, both from a private and a business point of view. To get to the opinions and thinking in the heads of our fellow human beings, surveys are among the best and most reliable (if truthfully completed) methods. Nowadays, many surveys are conducted online, but depending on who and especially where a survey is conducted, paper questionnaires are still frequently used. This is often the case with surveys conducted by NPOs (non-profit organizations), for example, because these organizations often travel to countries and regions where, on the one hand, the standard of living permits no or hardly any electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets or computers to collect the surveys, and, on the other hand, it is better to do without them completely in advance due to security aspects (theft, etc.).

The questionnaire – an effective instrument for data collection

Surveys, when created in the right context, can be very valuable. The largest companies in the world regularly use internal surveys to better understand their employees and improve their work experience. For example, companies use surveys to uncover management weaknesses or highlight strengths, among other things. Or simply to check in with their employees on a regular basis. Surveys are therefore ideal internally, as well as externally for customer feedback, in research and many other areas.

The creation and design of a survey comes with a mountain of work – but unfortunately the processing is often on a par with it

Careful questionnaire creation is key to any solid survey and requires a lot of manual and time-consuming work. Survey questionnaires are created digitally and printed out for completion. Processing the survey forms for their analysis should then actually be faster. However, in view of the numerous paper forms, this turns out to be at least as much work.

To gather important information about a specific and predefined context, surveys are one of the best ways to shed light on the issue

Parashift Live-Webinar

The problems lie in the capture and processing of the survey questionnaires

Still one of the most common methods for surveys is to hand out paper questionnaires to be filled out, but due to the following manual transfer of the data into a digital system, this is anything but resource-saving. Transparent, accurate, and rapid processing of data is more than desirable. However, with multiple surveys at the same time due to different subject areas, each in turn with its own page-long survey questionnaires, this is a difficult undertaking. This leads to high costs due to additional administrative work and, above all, to delays in the evaluations and presentation of the results, i.e. in meeting deadlines.

In order to be able to process the survey questionnaires quickly and easily, the automatic processing of all relevant data is required

With the integration of intelligent, AI-based OCR to the effective processing of the survey questionnaires

The pain points are clear, and so is how to solve them: with intelligent, AI-based OCR (Optical Character Recognition). It manages to automate all manual, slow, and therefore inefficient work, namely the capture and processing of survey questionnaires. How does intelligent, AI-based OCR do this? With charm, of course. All joking aside. With precision and quality that is second to none, as the following overview of the individual process steps shows:

  • Survey forms previously filled out by hand are received (even unstructured); thanks to intelligent, AI-based OCR, they are machine-readable and captured automatically
  • The quality is refreshed, a page separation is made
  • With classification, the different questionnaires of the different surveys are automatically separated from each other
  • All relevant data is automatically extracted, including both written data and, for example, ticked or filled-in checkboxes
  • The extracted data is output in a structured form, perfect for further processing or evaluation of the data obtained

Thanks to ML (Machine Learning), the intelligent, AI-based OCR always learns and improves with every questionnaire and survey

Massive pluses for surveys with intelligent, AI-based OCR

Intelligent, AI-based OCR not only frees up time and new energy for companies processing survey questionnaires, it also offers other significant plus points:

  • No delays and overlaps, even in the case of multiple surveys with numerous questionnaires and thus several thousand pages to be processed at the same time = high flexibility and simple scalability
  • Continuous process monitoring and high transparency (very important for NPOs)
  • High quality and precision of surveys can be guaranteed
  • Evaluation deadlines can be met in the future
  • Staff focus can be placed on the detailed creation of questionnaires for the various surveys

Especially for research surveys, a clear approach and transparent processing with the intelligent, AI-based OCR is not only a plus, but rather a must