For centuries, the creation and collection of business data has been in the form of contracts, documents, images, text, and most recently email. By 2025, IDC predicts that the data existing worldwide will exceed 175 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a unit of measure for digital storage capacity. It is equal to one sextillion bytes, that’s 21 zeros for those into numbers beyond all comprehension!)
You want to be able to easily access and use all the content stored within the tens and hundreds of thousands of documents generated by your organization. In fact, you MUST, in order to operate effectively and efficiently. Finding the information, you need and making use of it is a formidable task that many accept as just a part of doing business.
Intelligent document processing (IDP) technology is an integral technology enabling hyper automation in the processing of structured, semistructured, and unstructured content. IDP uses natural language technologies and computer vision to extract data from structured and unstructured content, especially document-based content, to support automation and augmentation.
IDP solutions extract data from analysis and insight, and support automation of high-volume, repetitive document processing tasks.
5 Steps of Intelligent Document Processing
IDP solutions bring benefits such as reduced processing time for documents and reduced errors from manual processing. In order to do so, the important content within a document must be identified, classified, and then extracted so it can be used in other applications. Here are key parts of this process:
1. Data Gathering & Pre-Processing
IDP works with all types of documents from a variety of sources.. Paper documents are scanned into digital format with binarization, noise reduction, de-skewing, and more. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology converts images and handwriting into searchable text files, the foundation for analysis and classification.
2. Identification and Classification
This step of the process classifies the type of document being processed. This typically uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to read and “understand” the document’s content in context. The benefits of classification include discrete searching and filtering, duplication detection, and bulk scan segmentation in preparation for automation structure.
3. Data Extraction
AI document processing enables the IDP system to extract the most pertinent and valuable content from the document. This is easy enough with structured documents, such as forms and databases, but requires more advanced technology when dealing with unstructured documents such as letters, contracts, PDFs, emails, and agreements. (According to Datamation, 80% of all enterprise data is unstructured.) The extracted content is then stored in a database for further analysis and use.
4. Domain-Specific Validation
According to Gartner, 60% of IDP providers fail to process unstructured data extraction and found that at best, they stop at semi-structured data. Document Understanding solutions, like ThoughtTrace, thrive with unstructured documents and have an AI-led approach to solving domain-specific business problems. ThoughtTrace is one of the only solutions that was built to process, classify, and extract unstructured data with astounding accuracy, and zero model training is required. Learn more.
5. Automation and Integration
Finally, the data from the document is delivered to enhance the relevant processes in your organization or technology ecosystem. Document & contract data is the foundational building block of your organization. As such, it is also the foundational building block to systems your users will trust, and reports that will answer the questions you have. Data with integrity is delivered as flexible, action-ready, and can inform various document-centric business workflows.
Top 7 Benefits of Intelligent Document Processing
IDP provides benefits ranging from time savings to reduction in costly errors that lead to immediate impact on the business.
Perhaps the most notable benefit of IDP is that it speeds up the collection of important data. Manually sorting and reading documents, identifying important content, and extracting that content is labor-intensive, time-consuming and error-prone. Improving this process with IDP significantly reallocates your most expensive resource, your employee’s time. Intelligent Automation Network reports that IDP can reduce the time it takes to process documents by 50%-70% — which is an absolute necessity in today’s landscape.
Next-level document management puts the data and insights you need at your fingertips. Not only is initial document processing made into a one-click process, but employees can now more easily locate and use the critical information when and where they need it. Employees spend less time on manual searching, data entry, and analysis. They spend more time working with essential data, improving analysis, and making data-driven decisions. Manual tasks are automated so that employees can spend their time on managing the business, not the paper.
100% Text Searchable Records
With IDP, you are not limited to what someone thought was important in the past. IDP allows for a variety of data outputs, which makes previously unthinkable projects totally possible today. Text search is the gateway to provision search, context search, fuzzy search, RegEx search, similar search, template search, duplicate detection, process automation, workflow tracking, and contract analysis – your data has nowhere to hide.
By automating repetitive data entry and extraction, IDP simplifies the task of complying with complex government and industry laws and regulations. IDP provides the digital audit trail necessary to ensure compliance and ease the auditing process. Instead of creating individual or departmental versions of the truth; democratized access to your data ensures access and auditability, unlike any folder, has ever had.
See how it works.
Improves Security and Privacy
Converting paper documents to digital format and then storing that digital content securely, IDP improves both data security and privacy. System security and document level security and audit trail provide improved access and security at the same time for working in the modern business world.
Intelligent Document Processing technology and data can easily be integrated with your organization’s existing processes and platforms. Low code/no-code automation and system integration make contract analytics and data-driven decision-making a reality.
Because IDP eliminates time spent organizing, identifying, and analyzing; it helps to reduce your document processing and review costs. Document digitization and cloud storage instead of physical or on-prem solutions reduce overhead and storage costs. Reduce breach of contract and limit risk exposure with document data you can trust.
Is IDP Right for Your Business?
If your business handles a large number of documents over the course of a workday, IDP is the perfect solution for making your workflows more efficient. IDP is especially useful for contract processing. An IDP solution, such as the ThoughtTrace Document Understanding Platform, provides AI contract analytics that will reduce your manual workload and provide more and more useful information than ever before.
The real question becomes, can your organization afford not to embrace IDP?
Common Use Cases:
Mergers & Acquisitions
Land Ownership & Title
Loan and Financing Agreements
Service Provider Agreements