IDP: How technology supports companies in handling unstructured data

IDP: How technology supports companies in handling unstructured data

In an age where data is a company’s most valuable asset, the ability to efficiently process documents and convert unstructured or semi-structured information into useful data is of crucial importance. This is where intelligent document processing (IDP) comes into play.

IDP is an advanced technology which reads and recognizes the content of a document, extracts the pertinent information and forwards it to the right location. The basic principle behind IDP is that it allows a company to transfer unstructured documents to an application which converts the relevant information into structured data and subsequently feeds it into the company’s own ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. The most common target formats are JSON and XML.

One essential function is classification. Companies receive a multitude of documents from numerous sources, which first need to be sorted. These documents are in a variety of formats or scanned from letters arriving by post. A key part of this step is preprocessing, in which potential issues in the data are identified and rectified.

The next step, the data extraction, is the most time-consuming, resource-intensive stage in the document processing procedure. Here, all relevant information, such as dates, addresses, article numbers and other specific data points are captured. Algorithms detect patterns occurring in the data to assist the system in recognizing where to find which information. This involves the use of advanced technologies such as optical character recognition (OCR), natural language processing (NLP) and AI disciplines, including machine learning and deep learning.

In the final step, data validation, the extracted data is checked for errors, redundant information and inconsistencies. This includes collating it with the master data. If required, a knowledge worker can intervene to manually to review information that could not be identified conclusively (“human in the loop”). IDP saves companies time and money while boosting efficiency significantly. Automated, machine-based data capture is also less error-prone. The structured data can then be processed automatically in the company’s enterprise systems, directly and seamlessly integrating it into its established business processes.

Find out more about Retarus’ IDP service on our website or directly from your local Retarus representative.


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