5 min.

Data Capture

Data accumulations are growing exponentially and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to collect and analyze information from data effectively. In short: “Data is the lubricant of digitalization” (Albert Sachs). Data capture is of central importance in this context. By using advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, companies can gain valuable insights with the help of data capture systems. These make it possible to understand customer behavior, increase productivity and make well-founded decisions.
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Data Capture: The definition

Data capture is a critical process in data collection that allows organizations to gather data from a variety of sources and convert it into a digital format. These sources can include documents such as scans, photos, TIFF or native PDF files, emails, web forms, posts from social media platforms and other digital resources. The main goal of data capture is to capture information in a structured form so that it can then be efficiently processed and analyzed.

Well-known data capture systems include intelligent document processing (IDP) solutions. Data capture technologies include various tools such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These advanced tools make it possible to capture data quickly and accurately and convert it directly into a digital format.

Data capture is used in various industries, including healthcare, finance, retail and logistics. Especially in areas where large amounts of data need to be captured and processed, data capture helps companies to optimize their business processes and make informed decisions.

How Data Capture works

To better understand how data capturing works, it is important to take a closer look at the individual steps of this process. From defining the data to be captured, to identifying the sources, to actually capturing and storing the data, each step plays a crucial role in gaining valuable insights for organizations.

  1. Define data: Organizations need to set clear goals and requirements for the data to be collected to ensure that the collection is effective and meets the needs of the business.

  2. Identify data sources: It is crucial to identify the various sources from which the data may originate. These can be internal sources such as physical documents, digital forms, emails and other digital resources or external sources such as websites.

  3. Capture data: Once the data has been defined and the sources identified, the actual capture of the data takes place. Instead of having employees capture the data manually, this step can be done using automated tools such as OCR and barcode scanners to make the process more efficient and accurate. Data capture software automatically extracts the data from the sources.

  4. Store data: The captured data must be stored in a database to make it accessible for further analysis and processing. A standardized format for all data sources plays an important role here. This is because a structured and well-organized database is crucial in order to be able to retrieve the data in real time and process changes or updates quickly.

The advantages of Data Capture

Data capture software enables automated data capture and can therefore give companies a decisive competitive advantage. Here are five benefits at a glance:

Increased efficiency:

  • Automated Data Capture eliminates the need for manual data entry and can process large amounts of data quickly and accurately. This saves time and reduces the workload of employees who would otherwise have to perform this task manually.

Improved accuracy:

  • Manual data entry is prone to errors, such as typos or incorrect entries. Automated Data Capture reduces the risk of errors and improves accuracy by capturing data from multiple sources and converting it into a structured format.

Better decision-making:

  • Automated Data Capture provides organizations with more accurate and up-to-date data that can be used to make informed decisions. By using automated data capture, companies can analyze data in real time and gain insights into operations that were previously unavailable.

Cost savings:

  • Data capture can lead to cost savings by reducing the time and resources needed for manual data entry. This helps companies reduce labor costs, increase productivity and focus more on the value-added process.

Competitive advantage:

  • Automated data entry can give companies a competitive edge by improving efficiency, accuracy and decision-making. This helps companies stay ahead of the competition and adapt quickly to changing market conditions.

Overall, automating data capture allows companies to optimize their business processes by capturing and analyzing data more efficiently and accurately. Integrating technologies such as OCR and barcodes into software applications can help to process data in real time and recognize changes quickly. This is particularly important for companies that operate in a dynamic market environment and must constantly adapt to new conditions.

One platform,
endless possibilities.

ExB is an Intelligent Document Processing platform that transforms unstructured data from any type of document into structured results. Our AI-based software can not only extract all relevant information from your documents, but also understand them. This allows you to automate your processes and save both time & money, while improving your customer experience and employee satisfaction. Win-win. 

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Application of data capture in various industries

Data capture in logistics

In the logistics industry, data capture is essential to ensure the smooth running of supply chains and transportation processes. The most important areas of application include

  • Shipment tracking: Barcodes and QR codes are used to track the location and status of parcels in real time.
  • Warehouse management: Automated systems help to manage stock levels and track the movement of goods within the warehouse.
  • Automated data entry: Data from delivery bills and shipping documents is captured using OCR technology and transferred to the database.
  • Route planning and optimization: Software applications automatically analyze traffic data and plan the most efficient routes for delivery vehicles.

Data capture in retail

In the retail industry, data collection systems play an important role in day-to-day operations, both in-store and online. The most commonly used systems and tools include

  • Barcode scanners: these devices are essential for capturing product data quickly and accurately.
  • Setting up new customer accounts: Automated systems facilitate the quick creation and management of customer accounts.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): OCR technology is used to capture data from printed documents and convert it into digital formats.
  • Self-service checkouts: These systems allow customers to scan and pay for their purchases themselves, speeding up the shopping process

Data capture in the areas of finance, accounting and banking

In the finance, accounting and banking sectors, employees are confronted with an enormous amount of data on a daily basis. Much of this information is sensitive and often comes from unstructured or semi-unstructured sources. Data capture plays a central role here:

  • Automated bill payments: Systems allow invoices to be paid automatically, saving time and minimizing errors.
  • Indexing of incoming communications: OCR technology can be used to capture incoming documents and messages and integrate them into a database.
  • Automated data entry and tagging: Data can be automatically captured and properly categorized, increasing accuracy and reducing manual entry.
  • Credit card applications: Automated data capture and processing speeds up the credit card application process.
Intelligent Document Processing from ExB

While automated data capture is already helping numerous companies in various industries to increase their efficiency and make more precise decisions, developments in this area are going even further. The next step in the evolution of data processing is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP).

Intelligent Document Processing combines the strengths of automated data capture with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to process even more complex and unstructured data. IDP solutions can extract, analyze and structure data from a wide variety of document types, enabling companies to gain even deeper insights and automate and further optimize their business processes.

If you would like to find out more about Intelligent Document Processing and how it can help your company to work more efficiently and make better decisions, we are happy to help. As experts in IDP, we offer customized solutions that are tailored to the needs of your business.

Contact us if you have any questions about IDP and the use of an IDP solution. We look forward to showing you how you can exploit the full potential of your data with Intelligent Document Processing.

FAQ

In contrast to traditional data capture, which is based on rule-based methods and manual input, IDP uses advanced techniques such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and machine learning to extract data intelligently and efficiently. This enables IDP to better process and interpret complex and varying documents.

IDP can process a variety of document types, including:

  • Invoices and receipts
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Forms and questionnaires
  • Emails and attachments
  • Reports and presentations
  • Other unstructured or semi-structured documents

Yes, IDP solutions are usually designed to integrate seamlessly with existing enterprise systems such as ERP, CRM and DMS. This facilitates data flow and interoperability within the company’s entire IT infrastructure.

Index

Written by:

Simon Rauch

Content Creator bei ExB

Simon is responsible for creating marketing content at ExB. With his expertise in the areas of AI trends and editing, he enriches ExB’s information offering – on our blog, on LinkedIn and YouTube.
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