Thursday, September 12, 2013

How to get the documents separated once they’ve been scanned in one batch

Those of our readers who have worked on document imaging projects know that it’s impossible to individually scan documents if you’re in an environment that has reams of documents to be digitized. Scanners are becoming more and more powerful; some have auto-feed functions, and the most modern ones can process more than 200 pages per minutes.

It’s one thing, however, to scan those documents and quite another to store them. Most likely, if I scan 10,000 invoices in one go, I don’t want to save them as one unique file in my repository. This problem is a lot more obvious with businesses or organizations that work with files or case files. Normally, groups of documents are scanned and each file contains a set of distinct documents. In these cases, once the documents are digitized, you’d want to be able to access all the documents that form part of the same case file. 

Scanners are faster these days, but they’re not smarter. They can’t tell where one document ends and another one starts, or when it’s done with file 2013-A899 and has moved on to 2013-A900. That’s where document capture software comes in handy.

Separating Groups of Documents: How can you get the documents separated once they’ve been scanned in one batch?

Basically, there are three ways to do it: 
  • Separation by bar codes: This consists of putting labels with bar codes on the documents before they’re digitized. Bar codes establish the limits between documents or case files that need to be separated. 

  • Separation using blank pages: Blank pages are placed between document and document (or between case file and case file), to be used as a separator during the document imaging process. 

  • Smart separation of document lots: The previous methods are expensive. Someone’s got to print and stick those labels on the documents, or slip blank pages between the groups in a pre-digitizing phase. That’s what smart separation tries to avoid. Thanks to its ability to analyze the structure of the document and the text the document contains, smart capture systems are capable of identifying where one document starts and where it ends. These systems do need training: that means that every time identification and separation of documents is performed, the system continues to learn and become more specific.

It goes without saying that Athento is able to carry out smart separations of groups of documents! In this success story (free to download), you’ll learn more about how separating groups of documents works.
I hope that you find it useful! :-)

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