Document scanning is one of the most common everyday business tasks. It converts physical documents into digital files. Document capture, on the other hand, is the process that brings all those scanned files or images, along with any other digital files, be it videos or photos, into a DMS, i.e., Document Management System or ECM, i.e., Enterprise Content Management System. All in all, document capture is the umbrella term of which document scanning forms a part. Read more to dig deeper.

Role of Document Scanning in Data Capture

Document scanning is crucial for data capture. It is one of the initial steps in the data capture process. Document scanning can be performed using a document scanner connected to a computer system or on mobile devices via an online document scanner or mobile app.

Depending on the document scanner being used, you can convert physical documents into digital formats such as PDF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, or BMP. You can also choose among different scanning drivers, such as TWAIN, WIA, SANE, and ISIS, as per your business requirements. Out of all, TWAIN leads the game because of its features and performance. It offers good digital camera support and scanning functionality and has the largest application and scanner market share.

Document Capture: Understanding the Types

Document capture has become critical for modern businesses. Depending on the size of the organization and the complexity of the software, document capture can be divided into two types.

Basic: Basic document capture is the best option for small organizations that deal with low document flows and do not require frequent document transactions. In this type of document capture, documents are scanned and saved to a shared network or a server. Basic document capture, however, lacks robust data security features such as protection against unauthorized access and accidental deletion. The documents may not be searchable as well.

Advanced: As the name suggests, advanced document capture is ideal for large organizations that deal with big amounts of data, and files of different types, and have to adhere to multiple compliance regulations. It involves content analysis for auto-classification and a high degree of data classification and extraction.

Key Technologies Used for Advanced Document Capture

A basic document capture solution roughly involves scanning documents with the help of a document scanner and a computer system to store and manage them. When it comes to advanced document capture, multiple technologies are used as per the element subject to recognition. The leading ones are stated below.

Barcode Recognition Technology: Whether it's forms, invoices, surveys, or any other document type, barcode technology helps capture data instantly. It eliminates the need to enter data manually as all it takes is a barcode scanner to read and decode the information encoded in the barcode. The name, type, date, etc. details can be embedded in the barcode, which, later on, can be scanned with a barcode scanner.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR): The OCR technology helps convert written or printed data into machine-readable text. It is also known as text recognition as the data can be read by the computer and further modified. Users can type relevant keywords and get access to suitable files.

Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR): The Intelligent Character Recognition technology helps identify handwritten text. This recognition technology is majorly used by property management companies or organizations that have to review manually filled out forms.

Optical Mark Recognition (OMR): OMR technology is widely used by educational institutes during examinations, surveys, elections, etc. The computer registers the manually-entered data by recognizing the markings on a document. In simple words, it involves reading the "fill-in-the-bubble" type forms.

Document scanning and data capture are closely related, and may sometimes be interchangeably used. In the modern business world, both have become imperative for automating everyday tasks and hence, improving productivity in the long run. So, no matter the business size, you must consider implementing these technologies.

Author's Bio: 

I am an education consultant having around more than 5 years of experience in online tutoring. I love to explore the world via travel.