In a world where automation is gradually taking over so many processes within a business, manual data capture is still present. Companies in various industries – from schools to banks and hospitals – rely on the tedious process of employees entering information from forms into computer systems. Moving to automate data capture can put these firms and industries on a much more secure footing that will allow them to grow and prosper in the future.
Despite the fact that automation is moving incredibly fast and benefiting various aspects of business, including data management and capture, manual data capture is still alive and well and is still widely used.
Even in highly automated sectors, manual processes have proven extremely persistent, especially when it comes to tasks such as managing accounts payable and operational costs. A 2019 report on the state of automation in the manufacturing industry, for example, found that 48 percent of companies still rely on manual data entry for industrial processes. More worryingly, it also revealed that 37% of manufacturing professionals do not trust the reliability of this data when it comes time to make strategic decisions.
These findings demonstrate the core problem of automate data capture in an increasingly data-rich landscape. Organizations depend heavily on data to inform decision-making, respond to change and set strategic goals. As firms move to collect more data at higher speeds and in larger quantities, manual data capture simply cannot keep up with processing demands and is quickly becoming an information “choke point.” This loss of efficiency may not be immediately noticeable, but refusing to automatically capture data will make it much more difficult for an organization to scale and respond to these bottlenecks.
If you want to learn more about automation, especially business process automation , we have a blog article dedicated to this topic.
4 benefits for automate data capture
Due to the development of automate data capture and optical character recognition ( OCR ) technology, there is very little justification for preferring manual data capture over automation. Developers should keep some of the most important benefits in mind as they build software solutions to ensure they provide automate data capture tools that will allow their customers to eliminate time-consuming, costly and error-prone manual data capture.
Processing is faster than ever
If your business doesn’t consider every opportunity to speed up processes, then you can miss many opportunities to reduce costs and generate higher profits.
The long time spent manually collecting data drains the employees you are paying for. While manual data capture will make data less accurate, your system will be easier to manipulate and your customer experience will be unpleasant. Automate data capture helps streamline workflows.
Increased employee productivity
Employees who spend long hours gathering and entering data can suffer physical and psychological risks. Including eye strain and emotional stress, all of which reflect on their productivity.
At some point, this employee becomes less productive and the quality of their work suffers. On the other hand, automate data capture software replaces these employees. Or it reduces their number so that the rest can be more productive and creative with more meaningful tasks.
Fewer errors and inaccurate entries
Errors and inaccurate entries are inevitable with manual capture and entry. Even the most skilled employees can make data entry mistakes. You can improve productivity, but you can never guarantee the same accuracy as automate data capture.
Errors can make your processes slower, so you’ll lose money and serve your customers at a slower pace, making their experience worse. Errors can also lead to other challenges, including problems with customers or buyers. Both situations frustrate them and negatively affect your company’s reputation.
Drastic cost reduction
Automate data capture can help you with your energy costs in a matter of weeks. This is for all the reasons mentioned before. From fast processes to fewer employees and existing ones more productive, your capture and onboarding costs are drastically reduced. The initial investment in your data capture software solution pays for itself faster than you might think, then start to grow your profits.
Automate data capture process eliminates much of the potential for human error, saves money, and makes form processing scalable because it’s much faster than manual work. A data capture solution, however, is only as good as its accuracy. This is because a typical forms processing system will flag fuzzy or illegible data for human review.
If your company also needs custom software, we invite you to a short read about the benefits of custom software where you can learn more advantages of this solution.