02 Nov, 2020 | Blogs
The biggest challenge faced by companies today is managing large volumes of data in a way that is most relevant to their success. With data coming from various sources and formats, the human workforce is often burdened to handle this volume without any scope of errors. The result: faster burnouts, employee dissatisfaction, compromised reports, and a significant loss of revenue. To avoid such a grim scenario, many companies are turning towards technologies that can handle copious data with ease and accuracy. They are embracing computer-trained algorithms that can scan, read, and understand various formats of documents. One such technology (and the most popular one) is Intelligent Document Processing or IDP, which is being used by several companies across industries.
What is Intelligent Document Processing?
Intelligent document processing, as the name suggests, is a technology that intelligently captures specific information from documents regardless of its format. It helps in speedy extraction and processing of documents such as long-form or electronic, structured, unstructured, or handwritten records. It has become a game-changer for a lot of companies as it helps streamline workflows and increases productivity as well as efficiency.
How Does IDP Work?
Two things need to be considered while deploying an IDP solution. First, the kind of technology that is needed to extract information from documents and the type of data it will be handling (structured data requires less advanced technology, while unstructured and partially-structured data needs more sophisticated technology).
Second, different formats of incoming data such as paper documents, faxes, emails and attachments, and MS Office files. Also, consider that data comes from various locations and through devices such as desktops, laptops, smartphones. While organizations can benefit mostly by deploying IDP into their workflow, it might not be cost-effective if done internally. Therefore, companies usually outsource their unstructured data to service providers and get structured information, allowing employees to focus on other critical aspects of the business.
An IDP system usually involves a three-step process: data recognition, classification, and extraction. Once the data is extracted, it is automatically exported to business processes or workflows. This information can then be used by the employees to make an informed decision and provide efficient services to their clients.
Use cases of Intelligent Document Processing
Several industries are benefiting from IDP, including banking, insurance, healthcare, and logistics. When it comes to business functions, IDP is ideal for finance, accounting, and HR. Here are the top 5 use cases of IDP in detail:
Banking has a lot of processes that deal with data. Therefore, IDP is a popular technology that provides a seamless customer experience based on transparency, promptness, reliability, and convenience. Automated workflow ensures that all the information is captured in a structured format, and only relevant data is extracted into the workflow. One of the most effective use cases of IDP in banking is fraud detection, where a fraud detection system is deployed to determine how authentic the transactions are and to report any discrepancies.
Maintaining patient records is cardinal in the healthcare industry. Seamless and on-demand access to patient data is critical as it can be needed at any given hour. Therefore, the digitization of data is important, and the IDP solution becomes beneficial to efficiently manage the medical history and record of a patient. Physical files and unstructured paper formats can get misplaced, and sifting through all the paperwork during the time of need is an uphill task. That is why IDP is being used to store all data in one place so that it can be accessed on-demand.
Legal service providers deal with processes that involve archiving and auditing documents, mergers and acquisition-related files, property filings, and being compliant with regulations. Most of these tasks involve documentation in various formats that are usually unstructured. Therefore, maintaining a system that can manage all the mission-critical and sensitive information is extremely important. By deploying an automated system that uses IDP, lawyers can quickly access volumes of information while working on a case. They can also remove discrepancies and errors that creep in when handling the client’s paperwork. Some of the use cases of IDP in the legal sector are:
- Digital Document Archiving
- Information Protection
- Fraud Detection
- Case Reviews
- Contract Administration
Accounting is a business function that deals with a large amount of paperwork and documentation. Most of the documents in accounting, such as invoices, contracts, and receipts are available in paper format, making the entire process inefficient. Add to it, data also comes in different sources and formats such as images, excel files, PDFs, making data entry extremely tedious, prone to errors, and labor-intensive. By using IDP technology, the accounting department can program software to automatically process all the document (structured or unstructured) and extract vital data to feed it into the ERP system or any other accounting system.
Human Resources is yet another function that is burdened with a vast volume of data that regularly oversees the operations of a company. There are several types of data in HR, including employee and recruitment data, financial records, personal progress reviews, career progression statistics, and training data.
The HR department gathers a lot of information daily, including staff surveys, employee recruitment, termination, on-boarding, etc. Also, analyzing all this data is a surmountable task when done manually. But when IDP is used to do these tasks, the entire process is simplified. It allows easy access to relevant data and mitigates the risk of losing critical information.