There was a time when document capturing could be better defined as scanning and uploading physical paper documents to an electronic source. It also includes uploading digital documents to a centralised electronic source via an online document scanner or document capture software.
Companies back in the day employed dedicated teams of people scanning large amounts of documents and making digital copies that could be stored in databases. As companies grew, they realised that scanning and retaining documents was only one part of the story. The real challenges were retrieving the correct documents, extracting the right information, and making sense of the thousands of documents being added to the database daily.
Finding useful and reliable information from uploaded documents is the main agenda behind capturing documents in organisations. When physical documents are uploaded correctly and efficiently retrieved, we can use their digital copies as the original for legal or compliance purposes.
With the availability of efficient documents capturing software coupled with document management solutions such as SharePoint, we can effortlessly convert digital documents into formats like PDF, TIFF, JPG, CAD, etc., to uniform files. With Optical Character Recognition (OCR), these files are also easily readable, editable and searchable
Different Modes of Document Capturing
There are many different methods available in the market for capturing documents:
The primary type of capturing involves scanning and saving the document to a shared network or laptop desktop of your choice. Mostly, small-scale businesses use this type of capturing where they don’t have to capture documents frequently. The documents are difficult to search or non-searchable. They might not be protected against unauthorised access.
Capturing in this mode offers two significant benefits: high data extraction and classification accuracy. SharePoint is a document-capturing software that uses this mode. Additionally, this mode can handle multiple types of documents.
Technologies used in capturing documents
The software market offers a variety of technologies for capturing documents. The following are some of the most significant technologies used to capture documents:
Optical Character Recognition
Optical character recognition (OCR), or text recognition, is a specialised technology that can read text from images and convert it into readable text for computer programs. This text can then be further modified or processed by the computer program.
Optical Mark Recognition
When marking their responses, people use OMR to capture simple, group, or model check marks. OMR is widely used in examinations, surveys, elections and more.
Intelligent Character Recognition
This method is predominantly used for recognising handwritten text. For example, most of the data collected via malls for promotional purposes is via handwritten forms. Data from those documents is better captured with ICR.
Optical Barcode Recognition
When barcodes are embedded in documents, OBR is the capturing technology used. This brilliant technology assists in organising documents based on available barcode information and facilitates automated naming and indexing.
Free Form Extraction
Data from various forms like applications, surveys and invoices can be easily extracted with the help of this technology. Moreover, it helps avoid manual document re-touch and converts scanned images from the forms to editable PDFs.
Stages of Capturing
Various steps and stages are associated with capturing, which are listed below.
This step involves the importing of documents to the document capture software.
This step involves processing documents and converting the text document to a readable format. Additionally, this step also improves the image quality by making necessary adjustments.
Validation is a critical step in the document-capturing process. The software analyses the captured document to determine if it meets a minimum preset tolerance level. If the document contains blurred characters or missing fields, the validation step automatically routes it for manual verification and updating.
The Document Management System (DMS) reads and sorts documents based on their type. The latest and most technologically advanced capturing software uses machine learning algorithms to ensure this. With the help of these algorithms, the DMS can easily classify documents, especially after being trained on various samples.
A DMS goes through this step to make the document indexed. Indexing makes the document searchable and retrievable. A Document Management System (DMS) indexes documents to make them searchable and retrievable. Keywords and phrases are extracted from the documents and stored in an index. Indexing this extracted information can be used to search for documents that match the user’s search criteria.
This stage involves the identification of meta-data within the document. Furthermore, the system can easily find the documents in the database through metadata.
This stage involves moving captured and authorised documents to the primary source. The automated workflow can also include already captured documents.
Benefits of Capturing Documents
Capturing documents brings with it a set of great benefits for the company. Below are a few of these:
Once digitized and named as per the company’s existing naming conventions, the documents become much easier to find for daily usage.
Save Space & Costs
With a reduced need for physical storage and effective automation techniques, the software aids in significantly reducing the operational costs of organisations.
Better Quality and Collaboration
Easy and fast retrieval of high quality electronic documents can be better achieved with the right software. Quickly finding information helps teams and employees find the correct information at the right time.
A document capture system can help secure your documents by granting access to them based on permissions. Only authorised users can view, modify, or delete documents. The system tracks document changes to ensure regulatory compliance and provides peace of mind for your documents.
From this blog, we have understood the basics of document capturing, modes and associated technologies, and the benefits your firm can enjoy when implementing a robust document capture software like SharePoint.
SharePoint is one of the leading software that offers a wide range of features to help your firm with document capture. In addition to making your capturing process seamless and secure, it also contributes to automating workflows to drive collaboration between team members easy. SharePoint is also a powerful addition to other Microsoft products like Office 365 and third-party applications like SAP, HRMS etc.
Neologix is renowned for providing strategic IT solutions that enable businesses to reach their full potential. We understand enterprises’ complex challenges, and our expert team members offer adaptable solutions that can help you take your business to the next level.