What is ICR, Survey & Forms Processing?

ICR stands for Intelligent Character Recognition and is the technology that allows software to interpret hand printed text on scanned images.

Forms Processing Software uses ICR technology to automate data entry tasks involving hand-filled surveys, applications and forms. It provides interfaces for scanning, recognition, data verification and export, as well as management and monitoring tools to track large volumes of documents and data through the workflow.

Forms Processing also includes OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to recognize machine printed text, and OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) for check boxes and multiple choice bubbles.

Who can benefit from handprint recognition software?

Any organization that collects data on paper-based forms, surveys or applications on a regular basis can get a very high return on investment by automating the data entry with forms processing software.

You do need to have a significant number of forms to justify the expense– at least a hundred forms per month or more depending on how much data is being captured. If the data entry task can be done in under 100 man-hours then it is not a good candidate for automation with ICR software.

Organizations that have many separate departments that collect data on forms can share the budget for forms processing software by re-using it for other projects. Your current project may not be big enough to justify the expense, but when combined with one or two others it would be.

How much do Survey & Forms Processing systems cost?SimpleView

The total cost of a forms processing solution includes several items:

  • Cost of the software

  • Time to install and configure the software

  • Forms may need to be redesigned for optimal recognition

  • Recognition templates must be created for each data field on every type of form

  • Data exports must be defined for each form template

  • User and administrator training

  • Labor required to verify the recognition results

  • IT infrastructure and maintenance costs

If you have an IT staff that is familiar with document scanning and OCR applications, it is possible to do most of the configuration and maintenance in-house. If not then it is highly recommended that you use our Consulting Services to guide you through the setup process.

Contact Us to get a professional analysis of your project requirements and a full time and cost estimate.

What is the typical data entry workflow?

The process of converting a hand-printed paper form to live data you can use is as follows:

  • Paper is prepped for scanning (unfolded, staples removed, etc.)

  • Forms are scanned on a high-speed document scanner

  • Scanned forms are recognized with ICR

  • Recognized characters are assigned a confidence value and validation rules are applied to check for valid results

  • “Low-confidence” characters and fields that fail validation are presented to the verification operators for manual review and correction

  • Once all errors are corrected, data is exported to final destination

How do I find out more?

Contact Us for FREE Consultation on Your OCR Project

These are some common forms that are still mostly filled out by hand and can benefit from OCR/ICR/OMR automation.

Automating data entry using ICR technology has many more benefits than just saving time on typing.

  • Cut data entry time/costs by up to 90%

  • Reduce error rates with validation rules

  • Enable remote data entry

  • Superior data entry ergonomics

  • Improved data security & privacy

  • Integrate paper, tablet & web forms data collection

ABBYY FlexiCapture is an industrial-strength handprint recognition and forms processing application that provides desktop and page-limited versions that are affordable for small businesses and do not require extensive technical training or scripting to configure.

FlexiCapture Distributed provides powerful processing for large data processing centers and service bureaus. The Distributed version divides data processing and verification among multiple users for data entry tasks that require very high volumes or multiple sites.

FlexiCapture for Invoices is an easy-to-use, intelligent software solution for processing invoices. It replaces labor-intensive data input tasks with transparent, manageable, efficient, and automated data capture based on smart document analysis and character recognition technologies.

IRISXtract is an Enterprise solution with several pre-configured modules designed to provide out-of-the-box solutions to common forms processing scenarios. IRISXtract also provides powerful Document Classification capabilities.

Compare Features for Data Capture, Survey & Forms Processing Systems

OCR Guide
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