Unlocking the Potential of Document Management with OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

If you have not come across the term OCR before, it’s basically a technology that recognizes characters by scanning documents. This technology has a wide range of applications since it takes away the need to read through the whole document to locate specific text. Pair this technology with programs that can search for this text...

Unlocking the Potential of Document Management with OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

If you have not come across the term OCR before, it’s basically a technology that recognizes characters by scanning documents. This technology has a wide range of applications since it takes away the need to read through the whole document to locate specific text. Pair this technology with programs that can search for this text and you have a very powerful tool in your hands!

Document management systems can take advantage of OCR to improve search accuracy and provide users a way to locate specific documents containing text.

How can OCR scanning and document scanning software help you in your business?

OCR Scanning Software
Businesses deals with hundreds of documents and paperwork each and every day and a document management system can help in organizing them much more quickly and easily than filing the paper copies away manually or converting electronic documents into a paper documents by printing them out and filing them.

Over a period of years, the system accumulates hundreds of thousands of documents. Not everyone names files in a systematic manner, and typing mistakes can often creep in to, so trying to locate a document by filename becomes nigh on impossible. Document management systems rely on the search criteria you input to try to locate documents for which you are searching; e.g. the date you may have saved the document, the name of the client, or certain keywords you may have defined while saving the document initially.

Several weeks, months or even years down the road, it is practically impossible to remember the keywords that might have been used when saving the file initially. OCR can help this situation, as, instead of relying solely on the keywords in a file name, when saving a file, it also scans the documents and stores the entire content converting the words into readable and searchable text and storing this alongside the actual file itself.

Some examples where the OCR can help: –
1) Locating documents of a certain type such as “Income Tax Return Forms” that were saved during the year “2020.”
2) Searching for documents where you don’t recall the date range for but do recall the name of the client and one or more words in the filename.
3) Extract list of documents that were saved to multiple clients but have the same content.
4) Locate an email from a specific email address.
5) Detect duplicate documents that may have been saved by multiple users
6) Detect document of a similar nature that may not be exactly the same but are in fact older versions of the same document.
7) Find documents that have been misfiled that cannot be found through a regular index search.

Document Scanning Software
Document management systems with built in OCR scanning software can significantly enhance the uses of such products. As well as just using the content for locating documents, it can also be used to design automated letter/email generation and generate reports with counts of certain keywords.

Without a combined OCR and document management solution, locating something stored away can be likened to the proverbial searching for a needle in a haystack. (A more modern and topical real-life equivalent is searching a rubbish tip for a computer hard drive containing £200m of bitcoin-a real life example!)

Conclusion
OCR scanning software can help businesses automate the workflow significantly, when used in the right manner, and especially when paired with other software than can take advantage of the capabilities of the OCR scanning software. DocuSoft is a document management system that has OCR scanning software in-built and configured to work hand-in-hand with the practice management system.