OCR or Optical Character Recognition is an #AI #technology that is used to digitize documents by reading the text from images and converting them to a readable and usable format for diversified purposes.
OCR technology helps businesses save a lot of time by automating their tasks and it also helps in digitizing the text by extracting it from a #digitalimage of any document. The digitization process can easily be achieved by scanning or clicking a picture of the document, the text is automatically extracted from the document with the help of OCR and AI.
All the relevant and desired data is extracted and turned into a template that can be put through manual reviewing (if needed) to correct errors.
THE PROCESS OF OCR AND DIGITIZATION
- OCR after scanning the document pre-processes the image and applies various types of processes like line removal, segmentation, de-skewing, decolouring, etc. to ensure that the data can be read easily and more accurately.
- After pre-processing the next step is what OCR uses Pattern Matching or Feature Extraction which is the beginning step of extracting all the data and converting the image to an easily readable document format.
- The readable document only consists of data that is needed by the organization which is recognized by the software with the help of pattern recognition and feature extraction to ensure the right and accurate data is received.
- The data extracted by the software can be used by the business for multiple sources and the decision-making process as the data can be extracted in the form of Excel, Word Document, etc. for easy understanding.
VARIOUS IMPLEMENTATIONS/USE CASES OF OCR
Digitizing your organization gives businesses a competitive advantage in the world as it allows the business to perform their tasks at a faster pace and at a cheaper cost compared to your competition.
Here are some ways you can implement it in your business:
- Automated Vehicle Number Plate Recognition: OCR technology is being used with CCTV Cameras to capture vehicle number plates using CCTVs to catch people who are not obeying the traffic rules without any human intervention.
- Medical and Legal Professionals: OCR is helping Medical and legal professionals to manage a lot of data easily and keep track of it which includes all legal or medical history of a patient by scanning a few documents and extracting the relevant information, which can then be found through their in-house search engines which are further connected to their database or server.
- Data detection and recognition: OCR is being used for data detection and recognition in self-driving cars, which is achieved by putting a camera in that reads various road signs and detect images using OCR automation while driving to avoid accidents and speeding.
- Language Translation and Understanding: OCR is being used as a translator for computer applications, which can be done by scanning a business card/image in any language and the data is then translated into the business’s native language for easy understanding.
HOW IS OCR BENEFICIAL TO BUSINESSES
- Increased Security: Unlike physical documents, scanned documents can easily be tracked and can also be restricted to a specific number of people. Also, they are reproducible and backup thereof can be easily done.
- Space Saver: Digital Storage spaces are cheaper to rent compared to a physical space. Since the physical documents are minimal space can be saved easily.
- Risk Mitigation: In-case of an accident the risk of losing digital documents is minimal as they are mostly stored in the cloud or are regularly backed up to a server.
- Cost Efficiency: The cost of producing a digital document is negligible compared to a physical document and all the various resources required for the same.
- Easy Access: Digitized documents can easily be accessed compared to a physical document. A digital document can be searched for more easily by their name in the device they are stored.
- Data Sharing: Data can be shared more easily and quickly to any part of the world, which is not possible with physical documents.
LIMITATIONS OF USING OCR BY ITSELF
- OCR needs a second hand: OCR can only be used to digitize the software and make it machine-readable, but it cannot understand or interpret data on its own without a complementary mechanism. Thus, OCR is usually combined with AI/Artificial Intelligence.
- Lack of Context: OCR system also lacks context meaning that it may transcribe a word ball as bail. Therefore, making OCR an error-prone technology on its own without any automation tool.
- Unable to handle variability: OCR cannot handle variability in text or layout of a document, which can create a problem when processing a document.
Digitization and OCR can help your business to have a paperless workflow, allowing the organization to have quicker and more convenient processes that could further help in enhancing customer experience and increase the employees’ satisfaction by reducing costs. #Digitization can also help the organization to get more transparency in the organization while also providing a better customer experience.
AI OCR has countless possibilities to help organizations in automating and error checking physical documents. Technology like this also help in cutting cost and increasing efficiency and it also helps in alleviating the process and empowering the people to be more flexible over document handling.