Grace Information Management Blog

If you have ever needed to find a hard copy document in a hurry and you are not quite sure who has it or where it is, or you know where it should be and it isn’t there, you know and understand the frustration that these situation can cause.

Now think of finding a digital copy of that document, you know the title, well most of it and you know what it is about, how much easier is it to locate that document? If it is on your hard drive, you can use keywords or a date in the search field and find it. If it is on the intranet, the chances are you have a search function which enables you to do the same thing and you haven’t left your office.

Digitisation facilitates much quicker search and discovery of documents across a variety of formats.

1. Character recognition

An image “flat” scan can be indexed with appropriate metadata to enable retrieval but using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) for handwritten text, enables searching the entire contents of the document. Recognition of the characters also enables data extraction for either the whole document or part of the document.

2. Accuracy

Using software to automate the process eliminates human error. If someone was employed to rekey all the data, even the most diligent operator can get it wrong. The more data entry required the greater chance of errors.

3. Time saving

Manual data entry also takes much more time to complete, even with a highly skilled touch typist. Scanning documents using appropriate high-performance scanners can take seconds per page, reducing that mountain of paper to a mole hill in no time.

4. Cost saving

The accuracy and time saved by using an automated process equals cost savings. Being able to specify the output format automatically also saves time and therefore dollars.

5. Classification

Based on pre-determined factors, classification of documents can be performed during digitisation and the data used to populate content or records management systems. Automated, fast and accurate.

6. Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)

OMR also known as “mark sense” is very effective for processing high-volume, standardised documents such as exam papers where boxes are ticked. Survey results are another candidate for OMR. This technology eliminates the need for manual processing including the need for counting and transferring results to another application. Processing time is significantly reduced and a high rate of accuracy is achieved.

Consider these benefits along with accessibility, sharing and mobility and you can see the positive effect digitisation will have on productivity and your bottom line.