Determining between manual or automatic data entry

April 10, 2013

data entry

When businesses are transferring their many paper documents to a digital format, there are different ways of processing the data – manually or automatically. Both come with their own advantages and disadvantages, and, for that reason, most businesses use a combination of automatic and manual data entry depending on the type of information that is being uploaded.

Automatic, used with optical character recognition (OCR) software uses technology to actually read and recreate the text that is scanned. The software analyzes the different shapes of the letters to match it to known characters, creating the new, digital version. By using OCR, document scanning services can cut back on mistakes made through human errors, as well as upload data significantly faster than if the data was manually entered. With so many advances in technology since OCR was first created, common fonts are generally uploaded with 99.9 percent accuracy.

However, there are certain times when a computer cannot recognize the data, and manual data entry is the better option. Different types of fonts used on one form can cause OCR software to misread letters, and different background colors can as well, especially if a background color and the font color are too close in shade. The layout of a page is also something that should be considered. Sometimes, text that is too close together from two columns could be seen as the same sentence by OCR data entry scanning software.

With intelligent character recognition (ICR) handwriting can even be detected and turned into text. At the same time, this too is not 100 percent accurate, and obscure or messy handwriting can cause some errors in the translation.

When determining whether to use OCR or manual data entry, bulk scanning services can help companies cut back on errors and turn text into a digital format quickly.

Tab Service Company is a Chicago based company with over 53 years of experience as a data processing service provider.  We provide business with outsourcing solutions for document scanning services, data entry services and mailing/lettershop services.  As a SOC2-approved service organization, we apply industry-best practices to our approach with clients.