You may be familiar with the term from its use in the medical profession. A term like Magnetic Resonance Imaging/MRI has an obvious connection, but there are plenty of other forms of medical imaging which most people have encountered such as x-ray or ultrasound. These medical diagnostic images are created with the express purpose to be fully-accurate representations of the subject being captured out of necessity. Medical professionals and their patients’ lives depend on the data gained from these images being accurate for the present diagnosis and treatment. However, it is also important that the data and the images themselves be securely recorded for later reference.
SCANNING IS JUST THE FIRST STEP!
When you get x-rayed at the doctor’s office, the actual “scanning” only lasts a fraction of a second, yet your office visit can go on for hours. If the scanning isn’t causing the holdup, what is it that takes so long? In short, it’s the expertise in interpreting the images! You might have heard the story about a businessman receiving an invoice breakdown showing a line item of $1 for the work done and a line item of $9999 for the knowledge of how to do the work. As it happens, this is the perfect example to use when trying to explain the role of imaging in business. Businesses deal with documents every day just as vital as an x-ray, the data within just as vital for continued healthy growth as a medical diagnosis. The same principle applies to the process of proper imaging: You have to be able to both extract and properly use the data from the images once you’ve scanned them. The tool we rely on for our data extraction is Optical Character Recognition/OCR.
GETTING DATA FROM IMAGES WITH OCR
Why is OCR so important to imaging? In short, OCR enables you to get all the data from your documents into an actionable form at speeds that are orders of magnitude faster than manual data entry. The data on each page is captured and indexed in just a few seconds. When you consider the speed of manually scanning and keying in data by hand, there’s just no comparison between the two when it comes to time-efficiency or cost-effectiveness.
THE (BIG) NEXT STEP
Once you have successfully imaged your documents and indexed your data, you are left with the most valuable resource any company has: a database of reliable, actionable information. What you do with the information from there is the next big step, and that’s where automation steps in. Have a workflow set up which automatically updates your CRM with new data, or perhaps one that updates customer account information automatically. Once you are able to depend on your data, there’s no limit to what you can do with it!
American Micro is dedicated to helping organizations reduce their dependence on outdated tools and unwieldy systems by assisting them in transitioning to automated workflow solutions.