Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a process for the conversion of scanned or sometimes photographed images of machine printed characters into electronic information, for processing. OCR is most widely used in business for the capture of documents that are often received in high volumes as this provides the most return on investment. One popular use is Invoice capture – OCR capture is central to all invoice automation techniques and has gained wide uptake and acceptance. Whilst the data required is similar in all cases, layouts can change and are generally machine printed, meaning that they are perfect for the OCR data capture technique.
Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) is an advanced form of Optical Character Recognition; much like OCR, it is a process for the electronic conversion of scanned or sometimes photographed images of hand written characters (unlike OCR which deals with machine-print) to be converted into computer-readable text.
Most ICR platforms are self-learning systems that allow for seen character types to be added fluidly to the recognition database, allowing for increasing levels of accuracy. Given variances in handwriting styles, capture rates can vary dramatically, however you can expect a capture rate of 95+% if you are capturing from a structured form.
ICR is a widely used technology that is most frequently associated with capture of structured document types. One of the best examples of this is the capture of timesheets. These are incredibly important to employees and delays associated with the manual data entry from these forms can cause stress not only for employees, but also for finance staff.
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