By the simplest definition, optical character recognition (OCR) is a way to search for content within high volumes of digital documents, including paper documents converted to digital PDFs.
But search is really just the beginning when it comes to the value OCR has to offer. Many organisations use OCR as a means to make content more intelligent. For example, using OCR to make systems more contextually aware of content enables organisations to create business rules to route documents to appropriate workflows, improve collaboration among associates and aid in specific business processes.
OCR accuracy is mission critical
OCR accuracy is no longer a “nice to have” in IT’s evaluation of available technology. After all, even a single character error can lead to a loss of meaning or misinterpreting context. At one time, it was just an inconvenience when a lack of accuracy made it difficult for a user to find a file on his or her hard drive. Now, as organisations move beyond searchability, OCR accuracy plays a critical role in processes related to customer service, healthcare, IT, financial services, and more.
OCR value in real life
Let’s use financial services as an example. Increased security is a chief concern for just about every financial organisation. Many use OCR to search for such terms as “confidential,” “internal only” or “sensitive information” and subsequently create business rules to prevent any document containing those terms from being emailed or distributed. Without accurate recognition these business rules would only be so reliable, putting critical customer data at risk.
IT departments rely on OCR for data loss prevention, acting as a tool to prevent the accidental transmission of sensitive data outside of their networks. Accurate OCR technology can detect sensitive data much more effectively than simple keyword or expression matching. In this way OCR supports centralised violation policy controls and blocking actions.
For healthcare organisations, the imperative to access and protect patient data is often a top priority. OCR accuracy can be a significant advantage when it comes to providing patient records to a doctor or emergency room staff in a timely fashion to treat a life threatening injury or illness. And much like financial services companies, healthcare organisations have a massive responsibility to protect patient data and maintain compliance with continuously evolving HIPAA regulations. OCR accuracy can help ensure patient data is consistently recognised and protected across caregivers and institutional records.
Not just searchability – accuracy is key
Nuance’s OCR solutions, such as the OmniPage Server and OmniPage Capture Software Development Kit (SDK) recently added new capabilities on top of what is already the world’s most accurate OCR technology. Leveraging the new features and functionality, users can create powerful productivity applications with enhanced automation tools, greatly reducing manual verification for faster time to market. Use OmniPage to address some of your own critical business processes, confident that accuracy will be your advantage.