Data and securityFive questions you need to ask about your capture workflow

Five questions you need to ask about your capture workflow

There are five questions you need to ask to understand your information capture processes and what needs to improve. We reveal all.

The public sector is awash with data. Exponential volumes of information are entering government agencies at all levels. Moreover, the rate of collection will continue accelerating as the adoption of smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues, with the goal of delivering better services to citizens.

But for the sector, AIIM analysts estimate that currently 80-90% of business data is unstructured, which is creating plenty of headaches and exposing agencies to the pitfalls of data chaos.

The impact of inefficient document capture cannot be overstated. According to Owen Balloch, Marketing Manager, Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business, in order to evaluate the current state of your capture workflow, there are five questions you need to ask to understand your information capture processes and what needs to improve.

  1. How manual is your capture stack?

In order to understand how ‘manual’ your capture stack is, rank each of the following four categories as not automated, partially automated or fully automated.

⇒ Image Optimisation (ensuring scanned images are high quality, text is legible and optimal for automated processing such as OCR).
⇒ Document Classification (categorising and assigning file type, relevant categories).
⇒ Data Extraction (identifying and extracting the correct elements from the appropriate fields).
⇒ Data Validation (verifying that extracted information is accurate).

  1. How many times do your documents get moved during the capture workflow?

One of the most common issues facing existing capture solutions is how many times documents need to be moved. Most capture software requires multiple steps for a document to be scanned, analysed and then pushed out to applications used by the organisation.

⇒ One: they are scanned, enhanced, analysed and inserted directly into applications.
⇒ Two: they are scanned, moved to a folder where they are cleaned up and analysed, and moved directly into applications.
⇒ More than two.

Another aspect of this question is the number of extra copies created by your capture workflow. Consider which best describes your capture workflow. How many additional copies of each scanned document (beyond the first file) does your capture workflow create, before archiving them and sending into organisational systems?

⇒ No copies: documents are scanned and moved directly into applications without creating additional copies.
⇒ One copy is created in a scanned documents folder, then the document is uploaded into systems.
⇒ One copy is created in the middle of the workflow for analysis, then the document is uploaded into systems.
⇒ Multiple copies are created.

  1. How accurate is your document-based data?

Low quality and inaccurate document-based data leads to manual workarounds, exception handling and problems later in the workflow – and plenty of data chaos. How accurate is your document-based data?

⇒ Extremely low: requires routine manual processes to correct errors and add in additional information after scanning documents.
⇒ Low: teams frequently resort to manual processes to correct errors and add in additional information after scanning documents.
⇒ Medium: teams sometimes resort to manual processes to correct errors and add in additional information after scanning documents.
⇒ High: teams rarely resort to manual processes to correct errors and add in additional information after scanning documents.

  1. Can you efficiently redeploy to another part of the organisation?

It is always a good idea to minimise the number of software licenses you need to make the organisation run. It reduces both cost and complexity. So, it’s a problem that most capture software is difficult or expensive to redeploy to another department within the organisation. Often, they require substantial amounts of administrator time to set up and customise to new workflows.

  1. Are you stuck with a broken capture workflow?

In other words, how easily can you improve existing capture solutions when gaps and manual workarounds are surfaced?

This is a matter of the flexibility of your existing solution. The right solution will enable flexible development and continuous improvement to sync with your organisational processes.

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