Processing Structured vs. Unstructured Forms
Forms can be classified as either “structured” or “unstructured”. With structured forms, the same information is always in the same place. (For instance, the address field is always in the top left corner.) Structured forms are relatively straightforward to process.
Unstructured forms, on the other hand, don’t always contain the same information in the same place. Some invoices, for instance, have the vendor’s contact information on the top right side, while others place it at the very bottom.
Both types of forms can be processed with OCR software. However, a more advanced approach is necessary when dealing with unstructured forms, where the program has to locate key information across multiple pages and layouts.
How Fast Can You Process Forms With Character Recognition Software?
When you process a form by hand, you can expect to spend about five minutes reading, re-typing, and saving all the data. That number can go up for longer or more complicated documents, like multi-page invoices.
When you use optical character recognition tools to streamline the process, you can have the entire process done in seconds. In some cases, it’s possible to have a form completely processed without any user intervention. Considering that most companies that use OCR software to process their forms complete between 100 and 500 documents per day, the savings can be significant.
How Accurate Is OCR Form Processing?
Of course, data automation software is only useful if it’s accurate. But, even the most advanced programs aren’t 100 percent accurate, 100 percent of the time.