Whether they are used to carry information, perform tasks, interact with customers, or collaborate internally, documents are a fundamental part of everyday business operations. Equally critical, regardless of the industry in which your company operates and to the smooth running of day-to-day operations and overall business success, is the way you handle your documents.
Document handling has changed dramatically in recent years, thanks to technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). While AI isn’t new, it’s only recently and with major advances that its practical application to documents has become a gamechanger for businesses.
Intelligent Reading: How technology understands documents
The development of artificial intelligence, as well as immense advances in computing power, have changed the way documents and data are processed in organizations. New technologies are making processes more efficient and cost-effective. One of these technologies is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP). IDP consists of several subsets of artificial intelligence and combines them into one system to create a powerful document processing solution for businesses of all sizes.
With IDP, companies can automatically capture, read, and interpret context from documents and data the way we humans can. Simply significantly more efficient. In simple terms, IDP solutions learn and understand documents and their information from them with the following AI subsets and functions:
Machine Learning (ML) – Machine learning algorithms play an important role in advanced document handling. Models are trained on a large amount of annotated data through supervised learning. ML models learn to recognize patterns and associations so that over time they are able to extract relevant information from new, unseen documents.
Deep Learning – Deep Learning is a subset of Machine Learning and also plays an important role in the progress an IDP solution makes in understanding documents. Deep Learning uses artificial neural networks to model and learn complex patterns from data. In the context of IDP, Deep Learning techniques such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have contributed significantly to document understanding.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) – Natural Language Processing techniques enable IDP solutions to understand human language in documents and gain insights from text-based documents. For example, Named Entity Recognition (NER) is an NLP technique that identifies and classifies named entities in a document. These can be dates, amounts, or names of people, for example. IDP solutions use NER to recognize these entities in context, making it easier to understand the roles and relationships of the various entities within the document.
Computer Vision (CV) – Computer vision techniques are used in an IDP solution to analyze and extract information from scanned or image-based documents. Prior to the application of OCR (Optical Character Recognition), computer vision improves the quality of images and scans, reduces image noise, and thus increases the accuracy of text extraction.
Classification – Machine learning algorithms can distinguish between different document types. For example, an IDP solution can differentiate between the layout of invoices, contracts, transport orders and delivery bills and classify documents accordingly.
Extraction – After recognizing the structure and layout of the document, IDP systems use ML algorithms to extract specific information such as names, addresses, dates, prices and other relevant data points from the documents. This enables the creation of structured data sets from unstructured documents.
By incorporating the combination of AI technologies, IDP solutions are getting better at understanding context from documents. This leads to more accurate data extraction, which in turn refines the system through continuous learning and improves performance.
However, Parashift is taking this a step further with Document Swarm Learning, a new and innovative approach:
Document Swarm Learning – In the context of document and data handling, it is actually essential for companies to use a powerful solution such as Intelligent Document Processing. However, it is also crucial that the IDP solution does not simply improve, but that this happens as soon as possible during normal operation. With the innovative approach of Document Swarm Learning, which is also the core concept of the IDP platform, Parashift takes exactly this approach. Document Swarm Learning is driven by machine learning algorithms trained on billions of data points. This is possible because document types are split into individual fields and the learnings are shared across all customers and industries worldwide, just as they are shared across all document types. This unique, industry-agnostic approach and global data network creates unprecedented accuracy and efficiency in handling documents and extracting essential business data.
Efficient companies: Intelligent Document Processing transforms document handling
Let’s take a practical look at where (in which industries) and how (for which use cases) Intelligent Document Processing is doing wonders for document management:
- Claims processing – Claims processing is considered one of the central processes for many insurance companies. Due to the numerous document types in different, often unstructured layouts, employees working in claims processing often have to deal with the processing of the documents manually. As a result, the process is anything but smooth, which significantly slows down the overall claims processing turnaround times. Customer satisfaction suffers as a result: For the customer, the seamless and rapid processing and payment of a claim is a matter of course. With Parashift’s IDP platform, on the other hand, insurance companies can automatically classify the different document types. Once the data is extracted, it is prepared for further processing using business logic. The result is faster claims processing (with satisfied customers) and shortened turnaround times (for optimized, lower-cost claims processing).
- Patient files – Healthcare providers depend on efficient processing of patient files to ensure smooth patient care. The problem, however, is the enormous volume of documents in various formats that need to be processed. Parashift’s IDP solution enables healthcare providers to capture relevant data from patient file documents with a high level of accuracy and efficiency, ensuring the best possible patient care.
Banking and Finance:
- Financing and mortgage process – For many banks and financial service providers, the financing and mortgage process is one of the main processes. Over a one-year period, thousands of financing and mortgage requests with hundreds of document types and hundreds of thousands of pages are received through various channels. The variation and volume of documents are two major challenges for employees, which unnecessarily drags out the turnaround time for inquiries and file processing. With the Parashift IDP platform, on the other hand, hundreds of different document types, including land register statements, pension fund statements, and pay stubs, can be automatically classified (even in batches). What follows is the automatic extraction of the relevant data that banks and financial service providers need to review a property and verify the loan applicant. This data is passed on to downstream systems in a structured form, which significantly shortens the turnaround time of a financing and mortgage process. This makes customers happier and the processes of banks and financial service providers more efficient and cost-effective.
- Real estate mailroom – The mailroom in real estate companies is constantly full: requests, complaints, contracts, damage reports, protocols…the list of documents is long, the classification and processing an overwhelming task for employees. With Parashift’s IDP solution, however, real estate companies simply get a virtual hub for all business mail into their system landscape. With it, real estate companies automatically classify documents and extract the necessary data (and only that, which means position data as well). The information is passed on to the downstream system in structured form, which significantly shortens the processing of customer requests.
- Transportation orders – To process transportation orders, transportation and logistics companies need to capture, verify and reconcile a lot of relevant data from various complex goods accompanying documents (including Bill of Lading, Air Waybill, etc.). The challenge here is the complexity of the documents and the paper format, which often means poor data quality. With the Parashift Intelligent Document Processing platform, the quality of the goods accompanying documents in the transport order can be improved and prepared so that the data can be automatically captured and read.
Cross-industry use cases:
- Mailroom automation – The mailroom, especially in large enterprises, is a place where hundreds of document types need to be classified and correctly distributed every day. Even though the majority of large companies today have built in automation solutions for this purpose, this does not mean that manual tasks no longer arise. There are too many documents with rather small volumes for which automation has not been worthwhile up to now. With the integration of the Parashift IDP solution, companies get a platform in their system landscape that allows them to process the entire incoming mail automatically via the same engine.
- Invoice processing – Invoice processing is one of the business processes that adds little value to companies and therefore should definitely be optimized. With Parashift’s Intelligent Document Processing platform, companies can extract all relevant data (including handwritten data) from all invoices. The high accuracy and efficiency reduces costs, minimizes turnaround times and increases straight-through processing.
Interested in how your organization can harness the power of intelligent technology for your documents? With Parashift’s Intelligent Document Processing platform, we transform your document processing and bring efficiency to your business processes. Talk to our experts about your specific needs and requirements. Or test Parashift yourself for 14 days.