What is Intelligent Document Processing?

The term Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) has started to become more common in the terminology used by technology software vendors and analysts. This is perhaps because of its “Ron-Seal – does what it says on the tin” simplicity unlike other non-transparent terms such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR). As self-explanatory as IDP seems, the phrase does require some explanation for organisations to truly understand why it is important for their Digital Transformation Journey.

Document Processing is a familiar term for many organisations and is something that business functions have been performing daily for many years. It is the process of translating the content of a document (physical or electronic) into something actionable and with meaning. The tasks required to carry out document processing tend to be manual and repetitive and due to the high volumes received, they become labour intensive and often less than rewarding for the employees.

Now we are in the digital age, increasingly organisations have sought technology solutions to streamline document processing. This is where ‘Intelligent’ conjoins with Document Processing and ‘Intelligent Document Processing” emerges. IDP is a specific form of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) in which technologies such as Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) or ICR are added to the processing of documents to eliminate tasks within a process that would normally rely on human intelligence. This is particularly relevant where an organisation is receiving a high volume of semi-structured and unstructured documents such as invoices, sales orders and customer correspondence, which often can’t be fully processed using rules-based automation software.

Now that we have a better understanding of what IDP is, we need to understand why it is important for organisations. IDP platforms such as Celaton’s inSTREAM™, enable organisations to optimise the processing of documents through utilising IPA technologies to deliver end-to-end solutions which are smarter, more efficient and reduce manual effort, time and cost. In addition, inSTREAM collaborates with human operators, enabling the software to continually learn in a process called ‘human in the loop’ and as a result, it can process content regardless of the format it's received in. Human in the loop enables the software to be scaled up with business growth and adapt to changing content, enabling continual process optimisation.

In conclusion, whilst IDP on the surface seems simple, the addition of IPA technologies to manual document processing means organisations can enhance their capabilities, efficiencies and even improve employee job satisfaction through freeing people to complete high-value rewarding tasks. In short, IDP is a crucial component for organisations’ Digital Transformation Journeys, securing future success.

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