A complete Guide to Optical character recognition software
June 14, 2022
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12 min
OCR
DATA-EXTRACTION
DATA-ENTRY
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OCR is excellent at reading text straight from digital documents such as pdf and images. There are several desktop and mobile OCR applications available for this purpose. They all differ in terms of features and use-cases they cater to, and of course, pricing. If you're always surrounded by papers and getting to research about OCR software, this article is for you.  We've curated a list of the best OCR software in the industry, and discussed their pros and cons to help you find a suitable fit for your organization. 

So, let’s jump right into it:-

What is Optical Character Recognition? 

Optical Character Recognition is the technology to  isolate letters on the image, convert them to words, and allow access to and alteration of the original material. 

Combining hardware and software, OCR systems turn physical, printed documents into machine-readable text. Text is often copied or read by hardware, such as an optical scanner or dedicated circuit board, and then additional processing is typically handled by software. Additionally, it removes the requirement for human data entry.

What is OCR Software? 

Optical character recognition software uses OCR technology to extract and repurpose data from scanned documents, images, and PDFs. 

OCR software have existed for several decades and largely focus on translating text on a scanned page into machine-readable data. OCR differs from data extraction, which requires the identification of particular data on a page. Using artificial intelligence (AI), OCR software may apply more complex methods of intelligent character recognition (ICR), such as distinguishing languages or handwriting styles. OCR is most frequently used to convert hard copy legal or historical documents into pdf documents, allowing users to edit, format, and search the documents as if they were generated with a word processor. 

Top advantages of OCR-based data entry 

 OCR has the capacity to swiftly search through vast amounts of material and is particularly useful in office environments that deal with a large level of document influx and scanning. Following are some of the primary benefits of OCR data entry:- 

1. Increased productivity 

Optical character recognition software assists enterprises in achieving greater efficiency by expediting data retrieval when necessary. The time and effort that staff were previously obliged to expend on retrieving relevant data may now be dedicated to key operations. In addition, personnel do not need to make many visits to the central records room to retrieve the necessary papers because they may do so without leaving their desks. 

2. Reduced cost 

One of the most significant advantages of OCR data input methods is that organizations will be able to reduce their reliance on data extraction specialists if they use OCR. This technology also helps reduce expenses associated with copying, printing, shipping, etc. Therefore, OCR minimizes the expense of lost or missing papers and gives further savings in the form of reclaimed office space that would have been required to store paper documents. 

3. Enhanced storage capacity 

OCR is able to scan, document, and classify enterprise-wide paper documents. This only indicates that data may now be kept electronically on servers, eliminating the need to maintain massive paper archives. Thus, OCR data input is one of the strongest instruments for implementing a "paperless" strategy throughout the firm. 

4. Maximized data security 

Information security is crucial for every firm. Paper records are susceptible to loss or destruction. It is possible for papers to be misplaced, stolen, or destroyed by natural forces such as water, insects, and fire. This is not the case with digitally scanned, processed, and stored data. Additionally, the access to these digital documents can be restricted to avoid the improper treatment of digital data. 

5. Documents completely searchable by text 

One of the major benefits of OCR data processing is that it makes scanned documents fully searchable by text. This enables professionals to swiftly search for numbers, addresses, names, and other criteria that distinguish the document being searched. 

6. Enhances customer service 

Several inbound contact centers frequently offer clients with the information they want. While some contact centers give clients the necessary information, others will need to swiftly access customers' personal or order-related data to fulfill their demands. In such a circumstance, rapid data accessibility becomes crucial. OCR enables the digital storage and rapid retrieval of documents in an organized manner. This dramatically reduces the waiting time for clients, consequently enhancing their experience. 

7. Makes documents editable 

Typically, scanned papers must be modified, particularly when information must be updated. OCR translates data into editable formats such as Microsoft Word, etc. This might be of tremendous use when content must be continually updated or modified often. 

Papers and their processing may be a headache for businesses. Smart businesses engage an OCR Services Company that employs cutting-edge software and technology to prevent this nightmare and provide quick, accurate, and trustworthy results. This boosts performance and efficiency since staff may now focus on core company operations while outsourcing "back office" duties to an OCR Services Outsourcing partner. 

Best OCR Software in 2022

Modern OCR technologies are cloud-based but there are solutions that offer on-premise installations. These software can digitize several documents in a matter of minutes. 

Cutting it short, let's examine some of the most effective OCR software in the market:-

1. Docsumo 

A robust platform powered by AI for automating the data capture, extraction, and processing of a variety of document types. Docsumo digitizes documents and converts them to numerous forms using a combination of clever OCR, AI, and Machine Learning algorithms. Pre-trained document APIs for financial documents such as invoices, bank statements, IRS tax forms, & Acord forms are trained to identify and extract data from various document layouts. Once APIs have mastered reading their favorite document kinds, users may upload files in bulk without manually reviewing them. 

Top Attributes 
  • Intelligent OCR Image or data capture and transmission 
  • Data validation rules 
  • Document data extraction 
  • Iterative processing 
  • Automatic document classification 
  • Document fraud detection in real time 
  • Multiple output formats 
Pros
  • Allows for customization and allows for automation. 
  • Excellent client assistance. 
  • Integration with prevalent business systems. 
Cons 
  • API documentation requires additional depth. 

2. ABBYY Flexicapture 

FlexiCapture is a dependable, scalable document image and data extraction program that converts documents of any structure, language or content into business-ready data. 

Pros 
  • Recognizes pictures exceptionally effectively 
  • System for easily storing hard copy results 
  • Compatibility with ERP systems 
  • Automates data extraction from documents (to an extent) 
Cons
  • The initial configuration might be tough and intricate 
  • Unconfigured automatic processing of invoices 
  • Difficult to customize 
  • Could have better RPA solution integration 
  • Low precision with low quality photos and documents. 
  • Batch verifications are halted even if a single section has an error. 
  • Even for line items that should be skipped, error warnings appear. 
  • On-premises version does not support RESTful API. 

3. Docparser 

Through its Zonal OCR technology, Docparser is able to recognize and extract data from image-based documents. Docparser is capable of extracting tabular data, configuring custom parsing rules and intelligent filters, and performing strong picture preprocessing. Users may utilize its barcode and QR code scanning technologies when reading papers and transmitting parsed documents directly from the platform to various Cloud applications. 

Top Attributes 
  • Data aggregation 
  • Data publishing 
  • Contact extraction 
  • Cost of extraction 
Pros 
  • Platform-independent cloud service. 
  • Cost-effective per-page price. 
  • Available templates for several categories. 
Cons 
  • No auto-recharge feature. 
  • Complex parsing rules can considerably increase parsing time. 

4. Amazon Textract 

Amazon's fully-managed machine learning technology collects useful data automatically from a variety of inputs. Amazon Textract features a unique function called Selective Context Attentional Scene Text Recognizer (SCATTER) that uses computer vision technology to distinguish text from complicated scanned picture backdrops. It can identify numerous monetary symbols, characters, rows, and columns in enormous tables, as well as read data from a variety of forms with great resolution. 

Top Attributes 
  • Cloud-based software 
  • Extraction of 
  • Table extraction 
  • Handwriting analysis 
  • Bound cartons 
  • Workflow administration 
Pros 
  • Excellent performance for process automation. 
  • Combines optical character recognition with artificial intelligence. 
  • Flexible charging model. 
Cons 
  • Needs to increase precision. 
  • It may not function as intended for certain data types. 

5. OmniPage Ultimate 

OmniPage Ultimate makes it simple to convert documents into versions that are editable, searchable and shared. OmniPage simplifies document workflows for organizations and enables company owners to accurately digitize data with minimal effort. It can transform business-critical documents into forms that can be edited and transmit them to pre-programmed business procedures. Additionally, the OCR system may send numerous files to any public or private business network. 

Top Attributes 
  • Indexing 
  • Iterative processing 
  • Text formatting 
  • Image pre-processing 
  • Multiple output formats 
  • Metadata extraction 
Pros 
  • User-friendly UI. 
  • Trainable engine. 
  • Makes automation feasible. 
Cons 
  • Due to slow processing rates, it is prone to freezing and lagging. 
  • For low-resolution inputs, accuracy is compromised. 

6. Google Document AI 

Google Doc AI enables users to process PDFs, invoices, payment forms, and other document formats. It employs algorithms based on artificial intelligence to improve data accuracy and minimize the amount of manual human checks. With a few clicks, you can save processing costs, assure regulatory compliance, and extract information from various documents to improve customer experiences. The program is capable of processing billions of documents every day, and the platform's computer vision technology enables users to interpret and scan information from scanned photos and unstructured words. To improve the accuracy of data extraction for AI models, users can use human reviews, data validation, and custom parsing features. 

Top Attributes 
  • Combines parsed data with the Google Graph. 
  • Multi-language support 
  • Enhance document data with intelligent analysis 
  • Converts to PDF and is compatible with several Cloud products 
  • Text editor, form parser, and splitter for documents 
  • Human feedback in the loop (HITL) 
Pros 
  • Simple to use, scalable, and provides high-quality data insights. Eliminates human mistakes and automates laborious documentation procedures. 
  • Supports several languages and utilizes deep learning to identify over 200 of them. 
  • Quick and straightforward Cloud ecosystem integration. 
Cons 
  • Customization of existing APIs may be time-consuming and labor-intensive. 
  • The constant necessity for human intervention in AI model training.

How Docsumo differentiates itself as OCR software? 

Docsumo comes with a simple and user-friendly interface and is adaptable to install. Automation and AI easily manage unstructured data and typical data restrictions, respectively. The extraction of information from papers with flaws and blemishes is relatively simple. It effortlessly processes multi-page bills and detects multi-line items, unlike other older and current OCR solutions.  Docsumo modifies column headings in order to rapidly handle complicated invoices. Additionally, the AI of  Docsumo assures a high level of precision when processing documents with minimum rework or modification. 

The advantages of adopting  Docsumo extend beyond improved precision, efficiency, and scalability. 

Here are 5 factors that illustrate the unique benefit of  Docsumo: 

1. Training with your own data

Most of the OCR software available are rather inflexible in terms of the types of data they can process.  Docsumo is not restricted in those terms.  Docsumo leverages your own data to train models that are optimally tailored to your business's specific requirements. 

2. Docsumo is adaptable

Docsumo is easy to install and uncomplicated.  Docsumo is template-agnostic that means it can handle multiple variation for a document type.  

3. Docsumo helps your business scale

Businesses frequently encounter shifting requirements and demands but you can't change your OCR solution for every change. Docsumo's intelligent OCR solution adapts to all such changes with little training required. This enables your OCR model to accommodate unanticipated changes. 

4. Personalize and customize

Docsumo may collect as many text/data fields as required and show them in any format. With custom validation criteria, captured data may be displayed in key-value pairs or line items, or any other format of your choosing. Always remember that  Docsumo is not restricted by your document's template.

5. Post-processing analytics

While most OCR tools merely collect and dump data,  Docsumo pulls only the pertinent data and arranges it into intelligently structured categories, making it easier to read and comprehend. This significantly reduces the amount of time needed on revision and verification. 

Schedule a demo today to see Docsumo in action.

Written by
Pankaj Tripathi
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A complete Guide to Optical character recognition software
DATA-ENTRY
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June 2, 2022
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12 min
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