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Key Considerations When Automating Data Capture

How to choose the right OCR solution

Selecting the wrong data capture solution can result in a poor return on investments, hours of wasted time on rework, and a loss of standing with senior management.

If you think that deploying any OCR solution will automatically eliminate your data capture problems, think again. 

How to choose the right OCR solution

Here are some strategies for choosing the right OCR solution for your organization, and how you can better ensure that your mission-critical data is captured quickly and accurately and managed securely.

  • Assess your needs.  Not all capture solutions are created equal.  Understanding what data your organization needs captured, who needs it, how quickly they need it, and how it will be used is critical for defining requirements for evaluating solutions providers.  Determine how much of your data is semi-structured or unstructured data such as invoices and sales orders.  It’s also important to make a list of these needs and ask vendors how much of it they cover.  Some cloud OCR solutions providers offer a “try before you buy” program that enables organizations to validate that the technology will meet their data capture requirements.

  • Demand ease of use.  Frontline staff don’t have the time to learn a complicated system.  Look for an OCR solution that can be setup and reconfigured fast, provides an intuitive graphical interface, includes tools for reducing exceptions, and is built for remote working. 

  • Prioritize flexibility.  Business needs change.  New data capture needs arise.  Volumes fluctuate.  Don’t be fooled into buying an inflexible OCR solution that cannot be easily adapted for evolving requirements.  Weigh what’s required to process new documents and greater volumes of documents, or to capture additional information from documents.  Also understand the implications of spikes in volume.  And assess the ease of adding more users.  Some cloud OCR solutions enable organizations to be up and running within a few hours.      

  • Demand seamless integration.  The ERP and other systems of record are the lifeblood of a business.  Make sure that prospective OCR solutions seamlessly integrate with these systems to eliminate data latency, avoid the need to rekey information, and enhance reporting.  Your OCR solution should allow you to extend the value of your legacy system investments.  

  • Identify compliance requirements.  Failure to comply with regulations for safeguarding data can result in reputational damage, fines and penalties, and lost business.  The stakes are especially high for publicly traded businesses and those in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, and financial services.  Organizations must be sure that prospective technology providers have the technology and controls in place to provide a compliant environment.

  • Don’t settle on security.  Securing your mission-critical data should be the table stakes for any OCR solution.  Have prospective technology providers explain how data is secured.

  • Beware of hidden costs.  Everyone knows that on-premises data capture solutions require huge license fees and pricey scanner purchases.  But what many organizations don’t discover until it’s too late is that on-premises solutions also have lots of hidden costs.  Chief among them is the open-ended professional services contracts required to train the software.  And the fees to the vendor to adapt the system each time your business requirements change.  These costs can deep-six a seemingly full proof business case for data capture automation.  A better approach is to choose a vendor with fixed transactional costs for capturing data.

  • Consider going to the cloud.  Enterprise applications are increasingly moving to the cloud.  Data capture should be no exception.  Compared to on-premises OCR systems, cloud OCR solutions are easier to cost-justify, install, use, and maintain.  Cloud OCR solutions also use more advanced technology than antiquated on-premises systems, delivering better results.  And some cloud OCR solutions providers guarantee turnaround time and capture accuracy. 

Finding a solution that meets these considerations will help an organization achieve the best results over time and reduce the chance that the OCR project will take longer or cost more than anticipated.

Join us for a free educational webinar, “How Cloud OCR Fixes Everything You Dislike about Traditional OCR.” 

Or e-mail us for help getting the most out of your data capture initiatives.

Picture of Mark Brousseau

Mark Brousseau

Over the past 26 years, Mark Brousseau has established himself as a thought leader on accounts payable, accounts receivable, payments and document automation. A popular speaker at industry conferences and on webinars and podcasts, Brousseau advises prominent end-users and solutions and services providers on how to use automation to improve document- and payments-driven business processes. Brousseau has chaired numerous educational conferences and has served on several industry committees and boards. He resides in Center City Philadelphia with his wife and three sons.


Mark Brousseau

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