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Is It Time To Consider Data Capture Software?

Laura Bulmer Author: Laura Bulmer

If you've found this blog it's likely you're struggling with paper chaos, manual processes or unreliable data and you want to learn more about data capture software.  If so, you've come to the right place. 

Data capture software will help your organisation take back control and automate processes whilst ensuring that data is accurate from the moment it enters your business systems.

What Is Data Capture?

Data extractionData Capture is the process of extracting or collating information from paper or electronic documents and converting it into a format suitable to be read by computer software.

Historically, data capture involved employees completing paper forms or keying data from one source into another.  An example of this still being done today is typing invoice data from paper or emailed documents into a finance system.

The term data capture now usually refers to the digital extraction of data.  Data is extracted via a digital scan and converted, making it suitable to be transferred to other key systems.

Data capture is often where organisations begin their information management plans and is a big part of their digital transformation strategy.

What Is Data Capture Software?

Data capture software is the technology behind the extraction of data from incoming documents such as invoices.

In the past, most solutions only dealt with the data capture of set data sets such as the date, net, VAT and gross which is structured data on an invoice.

But in line with client demands, data capture software has advanced.  Organisations also want the ability to capture unstructured data such as hand writing or the line items within the body of an invoice or email.

Improving Processes With Data Capture Software

Data capture software enables organisations to improve processes as only accurate data is used, avoiding errorsResearch shows that there are about 2-5 errors for every 40 characters typed during manual entry. Source_ IDC from manual data entry or chaotic paper files.  Employees no longer waste time tracing and rectifying mistakes so can complete tasks on time, reducing the stress this can cause.

Data capture software enables automated invoice processing, allowing companies to streamline their accounts payable processes.  Information in their Finance or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can be automatically updated with the correct data.

HR processes such as employee onboarding can also be improved and automated.  The information a new starter provides as they begin employment can be captured, pushed into an employee management system and used to kick start workflows. 

Once the employee form is in the system, a task can be generated for IT to order a laptop or a notification sent to a line manager about their start date, for example.

Digital Forms - An Option For Data Capture Software

Digital formsAnother form of data capture software is the use of digital forms which can be used to replace paper versions or even spreadsheet-based templates.

The main advantage of digital forms as a data capture solution is the ability to force the user to select specific data.  Pre-defined select lists and fields marked as mandatory can't be achieved with paper forms.  This functionality removes errors and the captured data is more valuable. 

Digital forms enable organisations to accurately capture data without hindering the speed at which the information enters and subsequently flows through the business.

Removing paper in favour of digital forms means the captured data is instantly available in your chosen system and ready for further processing.  It can kick start a workflow with little or no manual intervention, speeding up processes and increasing efficiency.

No more wasted paper, no more lengthy searches and no more costly errors.

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Why Do Companies Consider Data Capture Software?

Companies consider data capture software when manual and paper processes no longer work or they strive to be compliant in an efficient way.

Being efficiently compliant is almost impossible without software to help when dealing with high volumes of incoming documents.

Even the best employees will make human errors that will never be made by data capture software.  Take the accounts payable example, data capture software is routinely adopted here first due to the high volumes of documents being created and received.  These documents will all contain data that needs to be keyed into 3rd party systems and higher volumes lead to higher risk of errors.

Data Capture With DocuWare 

DocuWare is a document management system with powerful data capture capabilities.  Digital forms, as discussed above, are part of the solution, along with Intelligent Indexing if incoming documents from external companies.Capture Data_DocuWare

The DocuWare Intelligent Indexing service scans a document and extracts all the relevant information on it.  It is widely used within accounts payable departments to assist with the processing of incoming invoices.

The data capture software converts the information into useable and structured data that is organised and indexed.  This critical document index data is the heart of the solution, as it's not only used as the search terms to find documents, but it also drives document workflow processes.

Intelligent Indexing within DocuWare uses machine learning technology which increases in reliability the more it is used.  It replaces error-prone and time-consuming data entry by recognising and recording all the data printed on documents.

Accurate Data Capture Is Crucial To Document Storage 

Data capture software must provide accurate results in order to effortlessly archive and retrieve digital documents.

All documents put through our data capture software are stored in a secure, accessible repository which can either be hosted in the cloud or on-premise.  This tightly organised system relies on high accuracy to be able to apply retention rules, rapidly collect information for audits, or analyse departmental process improvements

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Scanned Documents And Optical Mark Recognition

Some types of data capture software now give organisations the ability to check data against other data such as when marking exam papers, as well as offer Optical Mark Recognition (OMR).

KodakAlaris_ElitePartnerKodak Alaris is a global technology company providing data capture and processing solutions.  DocTech are proud to be an Elite Partner of Kodak Alaris and this enables us to offer customers an unbeatable price on document scanners.

Kodak Alaris recently launched their latest data capture software, Info Input  which is a web-based data capture solution. The solution makes it easy to share data from scanned documents across your organisation.  Data can be captured using a mobile app or extracted from a variety of digital file types both on and off-site.

Crucially, it can read even the poorest of hand writing as well as detect 'marked text' such as a tick boxes, or information constrained in boxes such as those on a passport.

info-input-Kodak Alaris

Employees can:

  • Maintain productivity even with no web connection: Info Input can securely store documents locally for 24 hours
  • Access the solution anywhere: Remote workers can access the platform from any browser or device, including TWAIN-compliant scanners, Android and iOS devices and MFPs.

Reliable Information And World-Class Support

With Info Input data capture software, businesses can easily obtain complete and accurate information on the first scan.  The intuitive user interface requires minimal training and reduces errors with one-button easy scanning from within your business applications. You can also:

  • Validate scripts automatically and perform multiple database lookups to ensure flexibility for administrators to enforce business rules.
  • Save time by simplifying your workflows: there’s no need to waste time swapping between application screens.

Is it Time To Consider Data Capture Software?

  • Do you have high volumes of incoming documents?
  • Are you still relying on paper-based forms?
  • Do staff spend time entering data between systems/screens?
  • Are there human errors from data entry?
  • Is it important to you to capture data accurately?
  • Is pushing data seamlessly to a core business application a requirement?
  • Do you want to be 100% confident in the data in your key systems?

If the answer was yes to any the above, we’d love to have a chat about data capture software.

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Contact us now for more information 0161 647 7040