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It’s not surprising that an organization’s focus of any sort of document automation is the export format and data coming out of the system. But sometimes this focus has organizations choosing poor data capture and OCR products just for and ideal export format. The places this occurs the most is in healthcare and accounting where these industries’ specific repositories expect a format and the vendors of these repositories are unwilling to change. This post is to assure you that the accuracy and features of your data capture and OCR product are more important than the file format it creates.

By focusing on file export format, organizations are limiting their possibilities of solutions and perhaps locking them into a more expensive proposition then they should. Industry specific applications are able to charge a premium for connectors and their products because they understand where the focus is. However the most accurate data capture and OCR systems out there are general. Some data capture applications have connectors to say a specific accounting system, but even without specific connectors all data capture systems can export data in such a way that it can be converted to ANY desired format.

Data capture application support CSV, XML, ODBC, or text exports that can be molded in to any required format. Often because they support ODBC there is an opportunity to export directly to any application also supporting it. Because a conversion utility or a custom connector takes weeks to create vs. data capture and OCR’s man years to create, the focus should be given to the accuracy and capability of the OCR and data capture system before it’s export functionality.

While it would be ideal to find a data capture application that had the accuracy, the features, and the export you desire, I urge organizations not to limit themselves to it. Picking a poor data capture and OCR system will be far more costly than creating even a custom export from scratch.

Chris Riley – Sr. Solutions Architect

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