Most people tend to think about optical character recognition (OCR) as a way to search for content in various documents. While it’s true that leading OCR solutions are an extremely effective way to instantly turn high volumes of paper and digital documents into files that can be searched, OCR offers much more than mere “searchability.”
In fact, the idea of using OCR as a searching tool is really just the baseline for all that effective OCR technology can do. For example, organizations can use OCR to make content much more contextually aware and create business rules to route documents to appropriate workflows, improve collaboration or aid in specific business processes such as eDiscovery or data loss prevention (DLP). In doing so, OCR is capable of bringing data intelligence to all types of data and content, even those not usually perceived as inherently “intelligent.”
Driving strategic business initiatives
All of these benefits are possible from the fact that OCR solutions are highly accurate today. Accuracy is not a “nice to have” item on IT’s wish list; it is critical when you consider that even a single character error can lead to a loss of meaning or misinterpreting context. Gone are the days of mere inconvenience when a lack of accuracy made it difficult for a user to find a file on their hard drive. Now, as organizations move beyond searchability, OCR accuracy plays a critical role.
For example, when it comes to increasing security – a concern faced by just about every organization – OCR can become a critical new advantage. Financial services organizations can use OCR to search for such terms as “confidential,” “internal only” or “sensitive information” and then create business rules to prevent any document containing those terms from emailed or distributed.
OCR can also help with data loss prevention, which consistently ranks at the top of IT’s list of security concerns. In this area, IT needs tools to prevent the accidental transmission and/or intentional leakage of sensitive data outside of their networks. OCR can help detect sensitive data in a way that is much more effective than simple keyword or expression matching. In this way, OCR provides the support for a centralized violation policy controls as well as violation blocking actions
OCR can also help improve document workflows and the way content is managed within the organization. Consider the case of an insurance company that receives an extremely high volume of paper letters and faxes each month from clients. The organization could use an OCR solution that could provide a production folder watch function that would automatically scan these documents – as well as documents in the cloud – into PDF format and then use OCR technology to make them searchable as well as extract data from those letters.
OCR tools for developers
Additionally, by taking advantage of an OCR software development kit (SDK), this organization could quickly create this functionality without the need for extra resources to build such a production system. The right OCR SDK solutions provide everything businesses or developers need to easily add powerful imaging, OCR recognition and PDF capabilities to critical business applications. OCR can also be created as a server application that users can install and deploy out of the box.
These types of solutions provide common OCR and document conversion capabilities without the need for programming. They also provide a simple API for custom workflow development and integration into custom platforms, supporting virtually all platforms. Additionally, these solutions can scale up capacity for high volume batch mode processing.
Think beyond search
Discover how OCR solutions can help with much more than content searchability. Automate content workflows, improve employee collaboration and productivity and give the entire organization a tool it can use to drive strategic initiatives and achieve mission-critical objectives.