What is OCR, and how can it be Used to Improve Efficiency in Business?


There are so many acronyms in the world of business these days that it’s almost impossible to keep track, but an OCR could become one of the most important. But what is it and how can it help you move your company to the next level?

Optical Character Recognition

First and foremost, this is what the acronym stands for, but what exactly does this entail? At a basic level, OCR is a business solution for automating data extraction from printed or written text, usually from a scanned document or image file. It then converts the text into a form that can be read by machine, rendering data processing a lot easier.

A good example would be Google Translate, which now takes images written in other languages and translates in seconds. It renders certain aspects of the language barrier abroad, such as cooking or reading supermarket descriptions, essentially non-existent. But the power of OCR does not end there.

In terms of your business, OCR offers a wide variety of incredible business solutions that may have seemed unthinkable the best part of a decade ago. That said, the origins of OCR can be traced a hundred years ago in Birmingham, when scientist Edward Fournier d’Albe built the Optophone to convert text to sounds for the visually impaired.

Why OCR solutions are the way to go

The main pro of OCR solutions are the ease of accessibility to important information. When an image file is converted, it becomes searchable within a database. It can also be edited and repurposed should the need be there.

Then we come to the notion of efficiency and improved workflows, where OCR has the potential to play a huge role. One can eliminate manual data entry, save on resources, reduce errors, reallocate physical storage space, and above all improve productivity. No longer do we have to be beholden to the most archaic bookkeeping systems known to man.

You only have to look to companies like Xelix to see where the benefits lie in introducing OCR to your business. As a data capture solution, you can also reduce costs, accelerate and automate processes, centralise data, and mitigate the risks associated with keeping physical data – after all, you never know what hazard could be on the horizon. With cloud-based technology, losing data seems to be becoming a thing of the past.

Think of the customers

Perhaps an underappreciated aspect of OCR is the contribution it makes toward customer satisfaction. With OCR, you can provide customers with access to the information they have with the company, allowing them to edit and update if required. The fact that they can do this in a single folder saves a considerable amount of hassle for them.

Furthermore, you’re better able to improve customer support, ensuring that OCR image recognition can turn info into digital files. You can access this info and answer queries at the drop of a hat.

As you become more efficient within and beyond the company, it demonstrates that tools such as OCR do so much more for us than merely improve the workflows and boring internal stuff. They can actually help us power toward that next ambition.


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