OCR or optical character recognition is a form of the electronic conversion of images of typewritten or printed text into a machine encoded text format. It is often used for entering data for mail, invoices, required passport documents, computerized receipts, bank statements, business cards, and other static data printed forms. OCR is used to digitize printed texts so that they may be edited electronically, be able to store the documents in a more compact format, and make them usable for machine processes such as translation, data and text mining, and text to speech. OCR can also be used in research fields such as artificial intelligence, computer visioning and recognizing patterns.
With the dawn of the modern world, it has taken over data entry when it comes to converting hard copy of a document to digital format. Care must be taken though in using OCR because while it has its perks, it has drawbacks as well.
OCR at a glance
It is the modern technology’s version of replicating digitally. The technology already comes equipped with the hardware, software and an added circuit to the computer in order for the process to be implemented. Apart from the fonts, OCR software can also read documents’ line breaks. And all these recognition and conversion processes only takes just a few seconds of your time.
The Perks of OCR
Are you planning of converting any type of document into digital format? Then OCR services would be your most viable option. It actually will help you save time and effort in developing any kind of document’s digital replica. You don’t need to manually type text on any digital file. All you have to do is put in the document’s hard copy inside the scanner through the use of OCR software, you can get that file’s digital format easily.
Another good thing with it is that you can download the result into many digital formats such as doc, xls, html, pdf, and text or rich text formats. These resulting documents are editable and user can modify the contents. In contrast with the manual form of data entry, OCR cost is cheaper when it comes to converting to digital format of any document. In fact, it has been proven to be the better form of data entry by companies who develop digital formats of printed books.
The Drawbacks of OCR
Apart from advantages, OCR have certain drawbacks as well. If you would look at the overall cost of developing the replica, it will definitely cost more than data entry service. Even the cost of correcting its errors costs more than preparing its digital format.
Take note also that OCR software with high accuracy can detect more than 400 characters per second. It also creates lesser errors versus standard software. So if you would choose it, make sure you have a separate station to correct the OCR errors.
Another drawback is that the software are not all that efficient when it comes to detecting handwriting and handwriting-like fonts. For these issues, it would be better to use manual data entry instead.
Efficiency of Data Entry Service VS OCR
The cost of the life cycle of data entry is much less than the OCR process, and data entry also allows flexibility when it comes to operators readying the digitized documents coming from various formats such as audio files and hard copies. Just like the case of service medical transcription wherein you are required to create digital files from the audio files. OCR cannot scan the audio files therefore it would be better to use data entry instead.
Manual data entry involves many levels, from inserting the raw data in a document to an error free document. You should therefore consider the job requirements and issues before choosing whether to use data entry or OCR.