One of the often under-rated benefits of automated data capture technology is the accuracy improvement it can bring to a process. I was just typing a colleague’s business card info. into Outlook (yes, I still sometimes use Outlook), and I accidentally typed the fax number into the field for cell phone. Luckily I caught it and saved myself the pain of hearing a loud screeching sound when I thought I was dialing a mobile phone number. As I typed in the correct number, I realized that would not have happend had a I scanned the card and used my OCR-enabled business card software, which I typically use for batch capture only.
So, yes, while we usually like to stress the productivity benefits – less manual keying – of OCR applications, there are certainly accuracy benefits as well, that can potentially further contribute to the ROI – how much depends on the value of your downstream data. Which brings me to a second instance of inaccurate data entry that I ran into this weekend: My wife had recently purchased a memorial service (I don’t know if purchased is the right word, but…) for her father-in-law in our family’s name. Well, wasn’t it quite a surprise, when I received the church bulletin this week and saw the service was being held in memory of me! Whoops. The flowers have certainly brightened up the house though.