Is your document management still burdened by bulky and error-prone processes? Would you rather invest resources lost to manual scanning and typing in your core business? Then you should consider integrating an OCR service into your infrastructure. This way, unstructured data that exists as analog text, images or PDFs can be automatically turned into editable files.
Read here how you can easily integrate an OCR service like Konfuzio's into your system via API and use it for your individual needs according to the "as-a-service" model. In the long run, companies benefit from automated document management through increased efficiency and reduced susceptibility to errors.
This article was written in German, automatically translated into other languages and editorially reviewed. We welcome feedback at the end of the article.
What is an OCR service?
OCR is the abbreviation for Optical Character Recognition. In the blink of an eye, such software reads text information from PDF and image files without the need for human contact. An OCR service is able to recognize individual letters in the image information and then put them back into context. This converts unstructured text content into structured and reusable information.
The OCR engine can then output this data as machine-readable text, for example in csv, xlsx or xml files, and then transfer this to the company's own system via API for further processing. The versatile compatible data format JSON is used for this. The potential of the technology is immense: employees can be relieved, resources can be conserved and processes can be sustainably optimized. The number of possible applications has risen sharply in recent years.
A few common examples are:
- Analysis of text, online data and images
- Rationalization of customer data
- Indexing websites, documents and information for Google
- Edit and read PDF
- Data exchange via API
- Reading out documents such as invoices and delivery bills
- Translation tools for various languages
- Handwriting recognition and note digitization
- Extract invoice data
AI-based text recognition
Text recognition software similar to OCR has been around for quite some time. However, for many years they were still highly dependent on manual collaboration. The practical benefit was very limited and there was no reliable automation. Meanwhile AI-based OCR Services are the current state of the art. Not only are they accessible to everyone via web, but they process text almost entirely automatically and even learn as they go.
Using artificial intelligence, OCR services like Konfuzio's can independently increase their own accuracy when extracting large amounts of text from files. This allows the software to continue unperturbed even when dealing with differently structured documents. Manual corrections help to keep training the AI for your individual needs and different use cases. So while using the tool, efficiency and time savings grow continuously. You can track this progress at any time with the help of regular tests and graphical displays.
Uncomplicated integration via API
In order to be used in various business areas and for different processes or workflows, an OCR service must be correspondingly flexible in its integration. This is only possible with modern Programming interfaces (API) is possible. Konfuzio, for example, uses the so-called REST APIs, which are supported by a large number of enterprise applications. The data format commonly used here JSON It is particularly easy to read - by both humans and machines, so that the software is in principle suitable for any Open API application.
The cloud-hosted APIs from Konfuzio allow instant access so that the OCR service can immediately begin extracting information from documents that are PDF, JPG, image and other file types. It supports more than 70 languages, which is particularly relevant for international companies. To ensure even more flexibility, on-premise use via own servers is also possible. Highly versatile application options are necessary, since repetitive document management workflows occur in many areas of a company. In the best case, automation is applied at as many ends as possible in order to achieve a holistic increase in efficiency.
OCR as a Service
The integration via web-based API also allows the tool to be used after the Software as a Service-principle to the exact extent required for your individual needs. This saves you expensive licensing costs for ready-made solutions, of which you may only need half of the functionalities. Konfuzio's OCR service is particularly easy to implement via the cloud, so that you can quickly start reading out text in your company, for example, that was previously only available in analog format or as a PDF.
The OCR service is thus available at any time without interruption and you can access any API used via browser to retrieve data. These do not leave the European legal area. Konfuzio also ensures compliance with security standards at all times, as well as regular optimizations and updates, so that you have your back free and can devote more time to your core business.
3 typical cases for an OCR service
In principle, intelligent text recognition can learn to handle just about any type of document and even analyze surrounding "in scene" imagery.
Nevertheless, there are very typical cases that occur in many or even every company. Especially in places where the same type of document occurs frequently and errors bring negative consequences, an OCR service can offer great added value.
1. Incoming invoices
When extracting data from invoices, Konfuzio's Invoice OCR of Konfuzio is able to identify and interpret over 100 fields. For example, debtors, line items and account relationships are correctly recorded and further processed. The information is then structured so that accounting has as easy a time as possible later on. The text fields can be downloaded as JSON or CSV in bundled files. For increased AI security, Konfuzio uses separate data rooms or projects for invoices and works strictly according to DSGVO. In order to have control over all security concepts yourself, on-premise usage via own servers is a good option, but this also comes with an increased cost point.
2. Payment advice
Where invoices are settled, payment advices on. When dealing with this, thanks to an AI-based OCR service, no manual matching with open invoice items is necessary. This saves valuable time and also prevents the accounting department from losing track of documents that arrive both by mail and as PDFs via email. Here, the engine proceeds in a similar way to the Extraction of invoice data and passes the data to your preferred software solution.
3. Delivery bills
Delivery bills are indispensable, especially for manufacturing companies, so that the position of goods can be easily tracked. They provide information about delivery routes, quantity as well as quality and serve as proof of successful delivery. An OCR service is also able to read this text, saving valuable resources in logistics. A delivery bill potentially has more text fields than an invoice, for example, so it makes sense to use the most accurate AI possible for processing. This also prevents sensitive errors that, in the worst case, could lead to dissatisfied customers or intermediaries. Delivery notes indispensable, especially for manufacturing companies. They provide information about delivery routes, quantity and quality and serve as proof of successful delivery. An OCR service is also able to read this text, saving valuable resources in logistics. A delivery bill potentially has more text fields than an invoice, for example, so it makes sense to use the most accurate AI possible for processing. This also prevents sensitive errors, which in the worst case could lead to dissatisfied customers or intermediaries.
In conclusion, an OCR service offers a whole range of benefits for companies. Automated recognition of text in non-text documents eliminates repetitive, time-consuming tasks. This leads to an increase in efficiency and conserves resources. Instead, you get directly processable and searchable files. In addition, human errors are prevented.
An AI-based OCR service like Konfuzio's is not only easy to integrate into the infrastructure, but can be trained and continuously improved in its accuracy. Wherever manual document management dominates or errors have a high damage potential, it offers particularly great added value. Ultimately, however, it also represents a reliable companion from a holistic perspective for companies on their way into the digital age.