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Facing the need to automate the document processing in your company, you’ll probably consider a data capture solution. A regular person may find it difficult to understand and choose a specific solution. Therefore, we have written this article to clarify some problems.

  1. Do you need OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or data capture solution?
    In cases requiring simply getting the text layer of the document from the image, which would be used in the future, for example, for full-text search, it is reasonable to address to such tools for OCR as ABBYY FineReader without data capture technology and much more cheap.
    If you need to capture data, then the next question is for you.

  2. What documents do you have to work with?
    There are two types of documents from which data can be captured:
    – structure, where data is always located in the same place, for example, surveys, questionnaires and etc. For documents of this type can be used fixed layouts;
    – semi-structured, where data can be in different locations from document to document. So for documents of this type you need to use special flexible layouts, allowing to implement complex logic of data capturing.
  3. What is the volume of documents to be processed?
    It is very important to clarify how many pages should be processed per hour, per day, per month. The number of pages directly affects the cost of the license, and the architecture of the data capture solution depends on it. Processing large volumes of documents may require a distributed solution that includes a server and multiple processing stations.

  4. Is there a complex processing workflow or multiple operators would be working at the same time?
    If your business processes do not involve a complicated processing pipeline and only one operator is expected to work, then you can approach a standalone solution. All other tasks will require a distributed architecture.

  5. How is the captured data supposed to be used in the output?
    Typically, the data capture process is only an intermediate part of the workflow, so the export of captured data should be built into further business processes. Data can be written to data files and saved to disk, emailed, stored in a database, or added to your ERP or CRM system.

By taking all the answers to the questions into account, you can ask the seller for a data capture solution tailored specifically for your needs, flexible, scalable and easy to use.

I hope that this article allowed you to bring more clarity to the question of choosing a solution for data capture.

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