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What to Look for in an Intelligent Document Processing Solution

With so many intelligent document processing (IDP) platforms out there, it can be tough to know which one is right for your organisation. New vendors and technologies enter the IDP market daily, making it hard to keep up with the latest advancements and choose the best solution for your needs. 

To help you decide what software to invest in, we put together this guide on what to look for in an intelligent document processing solution.

Let’s jump right in!

5 Must-Have Features for an Intelligent Document Processing Solution

Not all IDP platforms are made equal. To get the best bang for your buck, make sure that your solution has the following functionalities:

Unitek Intelligent Document Processing Selector

1. Ability to Process Various Document Types

If all your information were perfectly organised in neat, templated documents, you wouldn't be looking for an IDP solution in the first place.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the real world works. Up to 90% of business data is unstructured, non-standardised, and scattered across countless digital and physical documents, spreadsheets, databases, PDFs, email threads, scanned files — the list goes on.

Data locked away in text, audio, social media, and other unstructured sources can be a competitive advantage for firms that figure out how to use it.

Tapping the power of unstructured data - MIT Sloan

But, according to MIT Sloan, "Data locked away in text, audio, social media, and other unstructured sources can be a competitive advantage for firms that figure out how to use it." When exploring IDP platforms to process and manage documents, consider platforms that are built for the struggles of real-life document processing.

Look for a solution that can handle:

  • Various file formats — invoices, payments, insurance claims, loan application forms, etc.
  • Structured, semi-structured, and unstructured documents.
  • Hard-to-read text, such as machine print, handwriting, cursive, and washed-out scans.
  • Low-resolution images, such as faxed and distorted images, while providing quality enhancement like noise reduction or page reorientation.

All this must be done with a high degree of accuracy and minimal manual processing. Technologies that help ensure this include:

  • Deep learning (DL)
  • Machine learning (ML)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Optical character recognition (OCR)
  • Robotic process automation (RPA)
  • Natural language processing (NLP)
Unitek Digital Process Automation Canvas

2. An Intuitive, User-Friendly Interface

Good IDP solutions have a clean, intuitive interface that allows you to navigate through workflows quickly and without having to learn complex commands or hiring a dedicated team of developers. It should be easy for non-technical users to create and configure use cases, introduce new layouts, monitor performance metrics, and more.

You also want to be able to easily create custom workflows and automations on the fly. Your needs will likely evolve over time, so your IDP system should scale as your business grows.

For maximum ease of use, go for a low-code or no-code automation platform. These solutions enable you to set up automatons using intuitive drag-and-drop editors instead of conventional programming or coding. This not only empowers non-technical users but also dramatically shortens development time.

And the best part is that modern intelligent automation platforms allow you to automate a wide array of complex business processes, rivalling the capabilities of a professional development team.

3. Compatibility with Your Existing Systems

The best IDP platforms are cloud-based and have a flexible and robust application programming interface (API). For example, if you use Salesforce, you’ll want to check whether the platform supports integration with it. 

This ensures that your IDP solution can integrate seamlessly with existing systems, connecting everything into one cohesive workflow. You also won’t need to buy expensive new infrastructure and waste time and resources training your team on new solutions.

If integrations sound daunting, don’t worry. A good IDP provider should advise you on how to implement their technology and incorporate it with existing infrastructure to guarantee optimal efficiency.

4. Proven Business Value

Expensive is not always better. It’s perfectly possible to get effective intelligent document processing with all the features you need at a reasonable cost. Of course, more advanced functionalities tend to come with a higher price tag, but the cost shouldn’t be exorbitant. 

To get the most value out of your IDP system, you also want to ensure that it:

  • Scales easily
  • Supports end-to-end automation
  • Can generate a quick ROI by getting deployed quickly
  • Has a proven track record of decreasing manual effort and increasing productivity

Ideally, your IDP system provider will show clear metrics of the product’s average time-to-revenue and potential economic benefits, including how it would impact your business goals and KPIs.

The ROI estimate should include hard data, such as cost savings due to fewer errors and less manual processing, as well as less obvious benefits like faster response times, better customer service, and lower churn rates.

Mikey Shulman, Head of Machine Learning, Kensho says "Since most of the world’s data is unstructured, an ability to analyse and act on it presents a big opportunity."

Since most of the world’s data is unstructured, an ability to analyse and act on it presents a big opportunity.

Mikey Shulman Head of Machine Learning, Kensho

5. A Hands-On Service Provider

A hands-on service provider cares about your success and is willing to help you every step of the way. They'll provide guidance throughout the implementation process, offer ongoing support, and address your specific pain points and problems. If something goes wrong, they’ll fix it immediately.

Last but not least, you want to work with a vendor who has both a proven track record and a well-thought-out vision for the future. Things to watch out for include:

  • A clear product roadmap.
  • Periodic releases of new features.
  • Continuous research and development of the platform.

Looking for an Intelligent Document Processing Solution for Your Organisation?

You’ve come to the right place.

Unitek’s intelligent document processing software handles all types of business documents with ease, including unstructured and semi-structured data.

Start your digital transformation today by learning more about Unitek’s IDP system. Then, request a free personalised demo to see our solutions in action.

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