Why Data Capture Solutions Are in Demand for Businesses Operating Remotely and For Hybrid Work Models

2021 has been a year of mammoth shifts in the way we work. Across the globe, businesses emerged from the COVID-19 shutdowns and plunged into a post-pandemic new normal. We now have workers commuting to work sometimes and working from home at other times. Some job roles have transitioned to a permanent work-from-home arrangement. Each organization is defining its versions of hybrid work policies, depending on their business needs. 

In the next five years, the number of remote workers is expected to be nearly double what it was before COVID-19: By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will work remotely, an increase of 16.8 million people from pre-pandemic rates.

Organizations need to develop the infrastructure and adopt information management technology to allow a large part of their workforce to work from home. They must adopt technologies that enable remote work and collaboration to provide distributed teams with a seamless remote work experience.

From cloud-based document management systems that are cost-effective and scalable to advanced automated data capture solutions, DRS Imaging is at the helm of digital transformation for businesses that want to be ready for the future of work: the hybrid workplace.

But, remote work comes with its challenges: heightened cybersecurity risks, issues with version control for shared files, and real-time access to business data even when working from home. 

In this blog, let's understand the challenges of remote data access and explore automated data capture solutions that support the hybrid work model.

The need of the hour: Secure technology solutions to support remote work

The remote or hybrid work trend has significant implications for infrastructure and how workers access or use information. Organizations must find solutions to problems with shared drives, version control, and unstructured data management. They must leverage systems to help distributed teams access information to get work done without compromising security. Secure and remote access to business data should be the number one priority for information management systems in the COVID-19 era. Implementing proper document tagging, classification and search functionality in a robust document management system that is accessible on the cloud is the need of the hour.

Cloud-based tools centralize data, make it accessible remotely and enable team members to work on the same documents collaboratively using version control and strict access control rights.

Why do organizations need to look at data capture solutions?

Manual methods of data capture—or data entry—rely on tedious processes as employees enter information from handwritten forms into digital formats on their office desktops. It is a painfully slow process, prone to human errors. The good news is that it is incredibly amenable to automation!

Organizations need to focus on data capture solutions because:

  • A large amount of unstructured information exists throughout the organization: paper documents, faxes, emails with attachments, MS Office files, PDF documents and more. But, it may not be accessible to everyone as it is scattered across in silos within departments or individual mailboxes. 
  • Information search and discovery across departments or teams is difficult when data exists in silos. You need to bring it into a centralized, secure, cloud-based repository to support collaboration and distributed teams. 
  • Manual form processing is one of the major challenges in remote work situations as it slows down workflows and downstream business processes. Automatic data capture eliminates manual data entry, speeds up forms processing and supports digital workflows.
  • An organization's rich experience and business insights are often hidden in unstructured information – data capture solutions derive the real value of this information. This data repository is crucial to guide and train the new employees who join the organization. 

The benefits of automated data capture solutions

Automated data capture technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR), and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) offer many benefits compared to traditional manual capture processes.

  • Automated data capture solutions make form processing easier and faster, eliminating paper forms that create roadblocks in remote work scenarios. 
  • Automatic data capture ensures better employee utilization by eliminating low-value, repetitive tasks typical of manual data entry and processing. Automation frees your employees from tedious and repetitive tasks, so they can focus on higher-value tasks or their core skills to drive growth and revenue. 
  • Automated data capture solutions reduce manual, human errors that can contaminate data. Remember, mistakes are costly to correct—both in terms of time and money.
  • Automation proves less expensive in the long run than less-efficient manual data capture costs.

DRS helps you unlock the true business value of your data with automated data capture solutions

Unstructured data exists within your organization in many different formats: paper documents, faxes, emails with attachments and more. In addition, enterprises may receive information through various devices (fax machines, laptops, mobile phones) from many locations. DRS helps you leverage this wealth of information in downstream business processes by first extracting the data and making it usable.

We have the expertise to deploy advanced data capture technologies such as OCR, ICR, OMR. We can also extract information from microfilm, aperture cards, microfiche, and paper documents using these technologies. 

The captured data is then quality-tested and formatted to your specifications. Once in digital form, we store it in a secure, cloud-based document management system (DMS) so distributed teams can access all business data from a single centralized repository.

With automated data capture, your business processes become more efficient with a low probability of human errors. Further, as your business scales, manual data capture cannot keep up with the processing demands, creating information bottlenecks. On the other hand, our automated data capture solutions are scalable and can handle large volumes of data with minimal human intervention and high accuracy rates. 

Data capture solutions are a boon for remote and hybrid work models, which are the future of the workplace.

Talk to DRS to deploy OCR/ICR technology to reliably capture information from structured and unstructured documents and forms while reducing overall processing costs.