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An Overview of Intelligent Document Processing and its benefits

October 18, 2023

intelligent document processing

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) is a revolutionary technology that enhances data extraction from various documents and sources. Its primary aim is to seamlessly integrate with core business processes, significantly reduce manual labor, address the complexities of diverse document layouts, and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

In any organization, the accuracy of data is paramount. Intelligent document processing plays a pivotal role in managing the complexities associated with processing vast volumes of documents, leading to the automation of manual data entry processes and a shift away from traditional semi-automated optical character recognition (OCR) workflows.

In this article, we will explore the essence of intelligent document processing and investigate its diverse applications across different industries. It serves as a critical tool for businesses seeking to optimize their document processing and data extraction endeavors. Let us delve into how this technology can offer tailored solutions to the challenges faced in various sectors. 

Unraveling Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) 

Imagine IDP as the superhero of data extraction from those challenging, semi-structured, or unstructured documents that typically cause headaches. It comes to the rescue when you are confronted with stacks of invoices, contracts, or forms with data scattered haphazardly. IDP serves as your trusted sidekick, armed with the might of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), optical character recognition (OCR), computer vision, and intelligent character recognition (ICR). 

Now, it is vital to clarify a common misconception. Some people mistakenly equate intelligent document processing with OCR (optical Character Recognition). However, that is not entirely accurate! OCR is like the smaller sibling, a subset of IDP. IDP goes the extra mile. While it does utilize OCR for data extraction, it does not stop there. 

IDP introduces significant features such as named-entity recognition and classification, supervised and unsupervised learning, and NLP (Natural Language Processing) context analysis. It is akin to having a team of superheroes work together to ensure that the data extracted is not only accurate but also infused with intelligence. 

So, when you are dealing with intricate, non-standard documents, think of intelligent document processing as your secret weapon. It is all about simplifying your data processing and analysis, maintaining precision, and sparing you the headaches associated with unruly documents. 

The Workflow of Intelligent Document Processing 

Picture this: stacks of paper documents, invoices, reports—all the conventional paperwork. They need to transition into the digital age. This is where the scanning hardware devices step in, akin to the heroes of this narrative, converting those paper documents into digital formats.

Now, here is the fascinating part. IDP solutions incorporate computer vision algorithms that scrutinize these scanned images, PDFs, and various file types. They function as digital detectives, deciphering the layout of each document. 

But what about the text on these pages? That is where Natural Language Processing (NLP) works its magic. It reads the text and recognizes characters, letters, numbers, and more. However, it does not just stop at text recognition; it comprehends the context as well. It can even discern the sentiment behind the words. Moreover, it tags and organizes the information with remarkable accuracy, surpassing 99%.

Let us break down the key steps in the intelligent document processing workflow:

Step 1: Document Preprocessing: This is where the documents undergo a digital transformation. First, there’s “Binarization,” a term for converting colourful images into black and white to make text stand out from the background. Then comes “Deskewing” to straighten unevenly scanned documents and “noise removal” to eliminate specks that can confuse the reading process. 

Step 2: Document Classification: Document classification involves three distinct tasks: identifying format, identifying structure, and identifying document type. It determines the document’s format, whether it is a PDF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, or another file format. It categorizes documents into structured, semi-structured, or unstructured forms. Structured documents adhere to a predefined template, while semi-structured documents exhibit some structured elements, and unstructured documents lack a consistent format. 

Step 3: Data Extraction: Data extraction encompasses two primary aspects: key-value pair extraction and table extraction. This process can be accomplished through OCR, rule-based extraction, and a learning-based approach.

Step 4: Data Validation: This step is crucial for identifying inaccuracies in the extracted data. Data validation rules are applied to detect discrepancies, ensuring that the “total amount payable” on an invoice, for example, aligns with the sum of the “subtotal” and “tax payable.” 

Step 5: Human Review: Recognizing that no data extraction model can achieve 100% accuracy, a human review element is introduced into the workflow. Documents flagged for review are assessed by human reviewers, significantly contributing to refining the accuracy of the data extraction model. 

Once the data is extracted and refined, the software can push it to the database or export it in multiple formats, such as JSON, XML, PDF, and more. IDP workflows empower users to convert documents into various formats, simplifying data management. 

Intelligent Document Processing Use-Cases (by capability) 

Let us explore the remarkable capabilities of intelligent document processing and how they apply to different scenarios:

Deciphering the Unreadable: IDP excels at handling low-quality documents that traditional OCR software struggles with. With AI-driven IDP, it reads even the messiest of documents and comprehends their context, a feat traditional OCR software cannot achieve. 

Barcode and QR Code Expertise: IDP goes beyond text and effectively handles barcodes and QR codes, making it an excellent choice for processing these types of data. 

Auto-Classification, the Smart Sorter: IDP serves as a personal assistant, effortlessly sorting documents into categories, making the process super-efficient. 

Extracting the Golden Nuggets: IDP is not only about sorting but also about extracting specific information from documents, saving you from sifting through piles of papers. 

The Validator of Truth: Beyond data extraction, intelligent document processing ensures data accuracy by cross-referencing against predefined rules, acting as a built-in fact-checker. 

Master Organizer: IDP simplifies data consolidation from various sources, eliminating the chaos of multiple documents and folders. 

Industry-Specific Intelligent Document Processing Use Cases 

Let us delve into some industry-specific applications of IDP:

1. Lending Industry: IDP streamlines loan application processing by eliminating tedious manual data entry. This results in faster responses and provides lenders with more time to assess their creditworthiness. In the mortgage sector, IDP ensures data accuracy in credit reports, IDs, and income documents, facilitating a smoother mortgage process. 

2. Insurance: IDP helps insurance companies analyze customer data efficiently, allowing them to calculate risk factors based on the applicant’s information. This leads to better premium rates and benefits, striking a balance between risk and reward. 

3. Logistics: In the logistics industry, where documents flow continuously, intelligent document processing reads invoices, labels, and agreements, eliminating manual processing and saving time. As businesses expand, IDP scales with them, enhancing document-processing capabilities. 

4. Commercial Real Estate: IDP acts as a research assistant for commercial property owners and investors. It dives into the details of rent rolls, lease agreements, and market rates, providing valuable insights for investment decisions. 

5. Accounts Payable: IDP simplifies the complex task of handling invoices in various formats. It reads invoices, matches them against purchase orders, and does it all in real-time, making life easier for accounting professionals and clients. 

Advantages of Intelligent Document Processing 

IDP introduces a world where tedious, manual tasks vanish quickly, paving the way for automation to convert chaotic data into an understandable format ready for integration into various applications and systems. Its advantages are abundant:

  • Faster Document Handling: AI-native IDP solutions boost data extraction speed by up to 10 times, expediting work processes significantly. 
  • Top-Notch Accuracy: IDP achieves data extraction accuracy rates of up to 99.9% for different document types, resulting in over 95% straight-through processing. 
  • Productivity Boost: IDP reduces processing time, ushering in an era of straight-through processing. This spares employees from wrestling with unstructured text and manual data entry. 
  • Paperless Functioning: IDP eliminates the need for paper, replacing it with digital data management, simplifying data sharing and contributing to digital transformation. 
  • Cost Efficiency: IDP reduces manual data entry, human errors, and manual reviews, leading to savings of up to 70%, making it a cost-efficient solution. 
  • Business-Level Automation: IDP seamlessly integrates with existing systems, creating a fully integrated robotic process automation (RPA) system when combined with other automation solutions. 
Different Types of Intelligent Document Processing Vendors 

IDP vendors come in various categories:

  • Innovative IDP Vendors: These pioneers in the IDP realm offer AI-native platforms that excel at handling complex and diverse documents with minimal human intervention. Notable players include Hyperscience, Rossum, and Infrrd. 
  • Legacy IDP Vendors: These vendors, while not AI trailblazers, have a strong foundation in OCR and RPA. They specialize in handling bulk documents with straightforward layouts and often provide a broader range of automation solutions. Recognizable names include Abbyy, Kofax, AntWorks, and Automation Anywhere
  • Niche IDP Vendors: These specialists focus on specific challenges and cater to industries with tailored efficient solutions. Notable names are EvolutionAI, Instabase, Ocrolus, and ClickAI. 
  • IDP Components Technology Providers: These vendors supply versatile tech components like OCR and computer vision, allowing businesses to create customized solutions with the support of IT professionals and data scientists. Key companies in this category include Google Cloud Vision, Amazon Textract, and Microsoft Azure Computer Vision. 
Intelligent Document Processing Solutions by FutureX 

At FutureX, we are not just service providers; we are your partners in simplifying complex document processes. Our IDP solutions are designed to streamline your operations, save you time, and reduce errors. Our solutions help businesses with tasks such as invoice and bank statement processing, income and identity verification document extraction, automated data extraction for IRS forms, processing non-standard lease agreements and sales comps, offering memorandum data, and handling bills of lading, shipping labels, and receipts. 

Trust in FutureX to make document management a breeze and elevate your business efficiency. Our partnership ensures that your documents are managed with expertise, delivering results that enhance your business operations. 

Get started with FutureX today and experience the future of intelligent document processing. Your documents, our expertise—a partnership that delivers results

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