The Role of Automated Data Capture in Digital Transformation
“Digital transformation puts technology at the center of business strategy” – that’s how consulting giant Accenture describes the now overused term, but essential process for companies to succeed today. Nevertheless, in a recent study by Gartner, 81% of the board members surveyed said they had not achieved their digital transformation goals.
A key building block in digital transformation is data management. And with data capture, one of the essential steps is right at the beginning of the document cycle. It is therefore all the more important that the solution for automating data capture in your company is powerful and flexible.
What we address in this article:
- Digital transformation and automated data capture – how do they interact?
- Different technologies for automated data capture
- The benefits to your business with a powerful data capture solution
- What you should look for when integrating
- For which use cases you can integrate a data capture solution
Automated data capture in digital transformation
Before we go into more detail about the benefits of automated data capture, its technologies, integration and different use cases, let’s take a brief overview:
Digital transformation refers to the integration of digital technologies into all areas of a company. This is never the same, but differs depending on the industry: using artificial intelligence to optimize the customer experience is one example, transforming the supply chain with intelligent technologies is another. Accordingly, the goals for digital transformation differ just as strongly depending on the company and industry.
It is not uncommon for digital transformation to be equated with digitization. Even though these two terms are similar, they are not the same thing. Digitization is the process of converting analog data into a digital format. This means that data capture, our topic today, is also part of digitization and not digital transformation. At least not directly, because one thing is true for virtually all companies: in order to drive digital transformation, digitization is a central component.
Automated data capture:
It starts with simple data capture – extracting information from a document and transferring it into a machine-readable format for its storage and easier access. However, simple does not mean easy, nor does it mean fast, and it certainly does not mean error-free. Manually handling documents by having your employees enter data will stall any workflow. Which often makes document-based data capture one of the priorities for automation in IT systems and at the beginning of enterprise digital transformation.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has long been and continues to be used for automated document capture. This technology recognizes the characters contained in a document and converts them into machine-readable digital text. The commercialization of OCR systems dates back to the 1960s. Even though OCR solutions could already automate some document-based processes, as documents became more complex and variable, something was missing: intelligence.
Why automated data capture is a game changer for digital transformation:
So effectively automating essential, document-based business processes remains a major pain point for enterprises. The biggest challenge lies in capturing and processing unstructured data from varying documents. The problem with traditional OCR solutions is that this technology lacks the necessary intelligence. Thanks to breakthrough innovations in artificial intelligence and its subsets in recent years, the possibilities and capabilities of automated data capture systems for document-heavy processes have fundamentally changed. With Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), it is then a mix of AI-powered technologies that forms the most powerful solution for automated data capture.
Intelligent Document Processing in brief overview with 5 quick facts.
Technologies for automated data capture
With traditional OCR, the options for you as a business in digital transformation are severely limited. Fortunately, developers have taken data capture and document processing to a new level. The commercialization of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), deep learning, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision (CV), has also contributed.
With the dilemma of document- and data-heavy processes in mind, a system was developed that merges these just mentioned technologies onto one platform: Intelligent Document Processing (IDP). IDP brings completely new possibilities to companies as automated data capture “on steroids”, so to speak:
- IDP can automatically read structured as well as semi-structured and completely unstructured data, independent of templates or rules
- IDP learns continuously thanks to machine learning technologies
- IDP can be integrated as a cloud SaaS solution and companies can thus save massively on maintenance costs
- With IDP, productive results can be realized in hours instead of weeks or months
The benefits of powerful automated data capture for your business
“Data is the new oil” – this statement has been heard over and over again over the past few years. While it’s debatable, one thing seems certain: most processes in companies are at some place and to some extent dependent on information, i.e. data. Data management, including capturing the information, is essential to process automation. The problem is that at least 80% of this data comes in unstructured form. As explained earlier, only the intelligent document processing system is powerful enough for this type of document to pass the information from it on to downstream systems in a structured form.
The benefits of automating data capture in your organization with a tested, forward-looking IDP solution:
Increase efficiency and save costs: Automated data capture eliminates the need for time-consuming and error-prone manual data entry. As a result, you can significantly reduce processing times, increase productivity, and even save money.
Improve customer experience: With automated data capture, your employees respond to customer inquiries faster and more accurately. This improves the overall customer experience. In addition, by accessing data in real time, you can offer personalized services to your customers.
Ensure security and compliance: With an accurate solution like Intelligent Document Processing, you capture and store data in a secure manner. This helps you ensure data protection and regulatory compliance.
Increase competitiveness: By automating data capture and processing it more efficiently, you can make more targeted as well as faster decisions. This in turn has a positive impact on how you hold up against your competitors.
The integration of automated data capture
Before integrating an automated data capture solution into your business, you need to know your requirements. Finding the right solution can still be a challenge because the options on the market are huge. These are some things, regardless of specific requirements, that you should look out for:
Integration with existing systems: Software solutions are often poorly compatible and integration with existing systems and workflows is correspondingly complex and time-consuming. So make sure that this is not the case. You should be able to integrate a future-oriented IDP solution seamlessly into your existing application landscape. At the same time, an IDP solution never competes with other solutions, but rather enhances your existing business applications, workflow technologies and document management systems.
GDPR compliant cloud solution: Businesses need to ensure that the automated data capture solution adheres to all data protection and compliance standards. A solution in a modern cloud infrastructure that is fully GDPR compliant is a must. In addition, with a cloud solution, you get a global service with the highest level of security and continuous software improvements.
Ease of use: The value of an easy-to-use data extraction solution cannot be underestimated for your everyday business. A no-code approach allows for ease of use, including the creation of custom document types, all without the help of IT experts.
You can solve these challenges with an Intelligent Document Processing solution from a vendor that focuses exclusively on these technologies. That’s what Parashift is laser-focused on: providing a powerful, AI-based document extraction platform powered by the industry’s unique Document Swarm Learning technology. Thanks to Parashift’s partner network, which have built integrations into a variety of document-related third-party systems, you simply use these pre-built integrations. This guarantees you a tremendously short time-to-value.
Use cases for automated data capture
An automated data capture solution like Intelligent Document Processing is ideally suited for various use cases in different industries. Anywhere you deal with complex documents in constantly changing formats, such as in these sectors:
Challenges: As part of claims processing, you as an insurance company need to be able to extract a wide range of document types. With a traditional template-based extraction solution, you fail at this task. The consequence is manual data entry and corrections by your employees and thus a slowed down process.
Benefits with automated data capture: With a solution like IDP, you can automate and speed up your claims processing significantly. And your customers will thank you, too, for responding more quickly to claims.
Challenges: The extensive, document-heavy applications in the financing and mortgage process make the process slow and tedious. As a bank or financial services provider, you may not only miss out on opportunities, but customer satisfaction suffers as well due to processes that can take weeks to complete.
Benefits with automated data capture: With IDP, you will differentiate yourself in the future not only by price, but also by service quality. Thanks to the automation of applications in the financing and mortgage process, you offer your customers a much better experience.
- Real Estate:
Challenges: Real estate companies are plagued by slow and cumbersome processes. In addition to the omnipresent use case of incoming invoices, another is incoming mail. Although many companies have already integrated automation solutions for high-volume document types here, this is not the case for all other document types.
Benefits with automated data capture: With the Parashift IDP platform, you as a real estate service provider automatically capture and extract all of the document types in the mailroom. And if a document type is not already available out-of-the-box, you can quickly click together individual document types thanks to the no-code application. This way, you automate your mailroom end-to-end and save costs.
Contact us! We look forward to introducing you to the capabilities of our Intelligent Document Processing solution for your digital transformation!