Paper Processes – Slow, Expensive and Error Prone

At DataSkill, we noticed that many businesses and government agencies were manually reviewing varied and highly complex documents before a case could be approved. These labor intensive processes were slow, expensive and error prone. Join us as we look at some of the problems with paper that a data capture system such as IBM Datacap can solve.

Paper processes are inefficient and time consuming. Processing paper documents can take hours of human labor to extract information, even when using a paper form workflow with an optical character recognition (OCR) system. All the manual data entry is prone to errors in transcription or inputting numbers incorrectly on paper forms. This can have cost implications as well as causing time delays. In today’s world delays can have severe implications to your consumer satisfaction levels. Correcting errors takes up a lot of employee hours that could otherwise have been spent on more fruitful tasks like adding value to your product or service offerings. It might take days for paper processes to complete while a digitized transaction can be completed in a matter of minutes.

What’s more, paper is expensive to store. Storing paper records can take up substantial amounts of space that could otherwise be used for more fruitful purposes. Businesses today need to consider how they will store paper archives for years into the future. These records may contain confidential information that needs to be protected. This can involve complex systems in order to track and restrict access. You also need to consider any legal requirements, disaster mitigation and security implications. If comments are added, then this can lead to version control implications. Paper records can be lost or misplaced. With the average cost of a lost record estimated at around $150, this is a big concern. Data capture can help to reduce these costs by not dealing with paper at all, reducing the risk of documents being lost or stolen in transit.

Cognitive Data capture is the solution for these paper document problems. It captures documents in digital form, extracting the data from them automatically with little to no human intervention. DataSkill recommends using IBM Datacap. This data capture solution uses Natural Language Programming to capture information from a variety of sources. It can be used for invoice processing, loan applications, benefit management, employee onboarding etc., reducing costs by up to 75%.

To conclude, paper processes are slow, expensive and error prone. Cognitive data capture can help to reduce paper use and the damage done by paper-based errors:

  • paper is expensive to store and ship.
  • paper processes are inefficient, error prone, slow.
  • there can be tracking or compliance issues – some sensitive information may require security costs; shipping documents between offices is also costly.
  • paper is less accessible and searchable than digital data – a paper document may be lost or misplaced while its digital counterpart can be found; paper documents are not available 24/365 as the physical office space needs to remain open in order for people to find them, whereas electronic files will always be available.

The DataSkill recommended solution – use IBM Datacap to capture, classify and extract information from variable paper documents and integrate it into your content repositories and business systems. Visit to learn more.