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Forms processing 

Forms processing is a process by which one can capture information entered into data fields and convert it into an electronic format. This can be done manually or automatically, but the general process is that hard copy data is filled out by humans and then "captured" from their respective fields and entered into a database or other electronic format.
Inbox FZC can automate data processing by using pre-defined templates and configurations. A template in this case, would be a map of the document, detailing where the data fields are located within the form or document. As compared to the manual data entry process, automatic form input systems are more preferable, since they help reduce the problems faced during manual data processing.


Automatic form input systems use different types of recognition methods such as optical character recognition (OCR) for machine print, optical mark reading (OMR) for check/mark sense boxes, bar code recognition (BCR) for barcodes, and intelligent character recognition (ICR) for hand print. With automated form processing system technology users are able to process documents from their scanned images into a computer readable format such as ANSI, XML, CSV and PDF or input directly into a database. An automated forms processing system can be valuable if there is a need to process hundreds or thousands of images every day.



Components

Various components included in data processing using automatic form-input system include


OCR     Optical character recognition
OMR    Optical mark recognition
ICR       Intelligent character recognition
BCR      Barcode recognition
MICR    Magnetic ink character recognition

Process

The process of automated forms processing typically includes the following steps:

A batch of completed forms is scanned using a high-speed scanner.

Images are cleaned with document image processing algorithms to improve accuracy.

Forms are classified based on original template forms and the fields are extracted using the appropriate recognition components.

Fields which the system flagged with a low confidence are queued for verification by a human operator.

Verified data is saved into a database or exported to searchable text format such as CSV, XML or PDF.

Prerequisites

Though automated forms processing has many great advantages over manual data entry, it still comes with some limitations. To achieve the best accuracy, some prerequisites should be followed.

Scan format: It includes the format of scanned file, Resolution and DPI, Color Mode

Configuration: The scanned image layout needs to be configured for this automation

Recognition: The pre-defined output formats

Result /analyze: Any specific format of result of capture value data presentation.


One very important consideration is indexing, determining the metadata that will be used to describe the data contained within the documents. This attribute perhaps drives the forms processing solution more than any other.

Benefits of Automated Forms Processing

Speed up data entry

reduce the manual effort of keying data, save time and money and make business critical data available to the organization sooner.

Improve customer service
access information faster to allow staff to respond to customer requests and enquires immediately thereby improving efficiency and customer satisfaction

Increase data accuracy
increase the accuracy of data acquired from the form by using the latest OCR technology with built in error checking and database lookup validation.

Capture all data types
extract all data types; machine printed text, hand printed text, barcodes (1D and 2D) and checkboxes with a single capture solution.

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