Document Capture: The First Step in Business Process Automation
Organizations are managing increasing amounts of documents and data while trying to remain competitive in a changing economy. In 2018, Forbes reported that the prior two years had generated 90% of the world’s data. Since then, the move to remote work and digital business has only increased the flow of data.
Given the market changes and technological advancements, businesses are still spending time manually processing documents. A 2019 survey conducted by Levvel Research found 57% of invoice data is entered manually and 49% of invoice approvals required two to three approvers. Facing pressure to scale and grow, organizations have listed automation as a top-three priority in a recent study.
The first step in business process automation is capturing the data. There are many questions to ask as you plan. How does your business manage documents? Which manual processes can be automated? Will you start with a single department? Who is on the project team? What are your goals for a successful outcome?
Document capture has evolved from the early days of scanning and faxing documents and using OCR software. Documents come in various structured and unstructured formats and different input channels increase the complexity of capturing and making sense of the data.
Technology advancements including machine learning and AI, combined with natural language & unstructured data processing work together to create an intelligent document capture system.
The three central areas of intelligent document processing include:
- Document Classification – identify document types, like invoices or tax forms.
- Data Extraction – relevant information that is pulled from the document.
- Data Output – fixing the data extracted and creating an output file for further use in other systems or saved in a repository.
With these advancements, employees are moving from manually entering data to interpreting and analyzing the data, making higher value decisions for the company by finding trends and tracking growth.
Getting the data out of paper documents and into a document management system allows for in-depth analysis, knowledge sharing and more informed business decision making.
Intelligent document capture turns paper into meaningful data and feeds it into other systems for the first step of business process automation.