The benefits of automated data entry with OCR

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In this blog, we will explain what automated data entry is and how companies can benefit from automated data entry with OCR technology and machine learning.

Automated data entry software is on the rise. Since today’s businesses run on data, having quick and reliable access to accurate data is a significant advantage over competitors.

Fortunately, technological developments in machine learning and OCR make turning away from manually copy-pasting data into the business software possible. Smart OCR solutions are able to automatically extract data from documents and images.

In this blog, we will explain what automated data entry is and how companies can benefit from automated data entry with OCR technology and machine learning.

What is automated data entry?

Automated data entry comes down to using software to remove repetitive manual administrative tasks. This saves companies loads of time and thus money, which leads to increased revenues.

The software reads information from documents such as PDF files and images and passes the data on to another system. Both rule-based and machine learning techniques can be used.

Rule based-techniques look for data in data in specific locations on a document, dictated by pre-defined logic and rules. Machine learning systems interpret and identify patterns from huge amounts of data. Therefore, these systems can be trained to become more accurate and more predicting over time.

How can companies benefit from automated data entry?

More and more companies prefer automated data entry tools over manual data entry. This can simply be explained by the fact that automated tools increase efficiency and allow you to focus on more important tasks, like strategic direction.

To give a clearer overview and understanding of the many advantages of automated data entry, we listed the most important ones below:

  • Error reduction
  • Saves loads of time
  • Happier employees
  • Less resources

Error reduction

Everyone makes mistakes, whether we like it or not. In manual data entry, the error rates usually range from 0.55% to 3.6%, with outliers up to 26.9%.

These mistakes can be prevented by using machine learning powered automated data entry software. This technology significantly reduces these error rates by eliminating keystroke errors, risk of distraction and other mistakes commonly found in manual data entry.

Switching to an automated tool translates into better, more accurate data, which can be used to make well-informed business decisions.

Saves loads of time

The biggest selling point of automation might be the reduction of employee hours. Time is money, and therefore taking away manual actions leads to significant cost savings.

Studies found that intelligent automation typically results in cost savings from 40% to 70%. The payback period ranges from several months to several years.

To make this advantage more clear, let’s consider the time needed for manually processing a single invoice. Experienced bookkeepers process (on average) 50 invoices per hour, which is about 1.2 minute per invoice. The average hourly wage of a bookkeeper is €35, which means that processing one invoice manually costs approximately €0.70.

If the same bookkeeper were to use OCR software, he would be able to process at least 200 invoices per hour. This leads to a processing cost of approximately €0.18 per invoice. This leads to a significant cost advantage over manual data entry.

Happier employees

Manual data entry is very time consuming and many employees consider it as boring. Therefore, excessive manual data entry work can cause psychological and physical issues.

On the other hand, there’s the possibility of automation. This has been found to improve engagement and the satisfaction of employees. Besides that, it allows employees to focus on valuable and more meaningful tasks. This leads to improved gratification from daily work.

Less resources

Besides error reduction, time savings and happier employees, replacing manual data entry by automation leads to saving a lot of resources. Handling and storing data manually leads to a lot of office space, ink, printers, filing cabinets, and so on.

When you choose to switch to an automated tool, these resources can be used for what really matters. Aside from that, you’re saving a lot of paper and trees, which leads to a more sustainable future.

Make the switch to automated data entry to benefit

In conclusion, switching from manual data entry to an automated solution will lead to error reduction, happier employees and less resources. Besides that, it saves the company loads of time (and thus money).