What is the difference between an IDP and OCR?

The capabilities of Intelligent Document Processors (IDP) today are far ahead of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and better capable to fulfill the needs and expectations of businesses today. We have compiled the top 5 points of comparison that highlight this gulf and the benefits that it brings to business processes.


Conventional OCR

IDP solutions

Business Benefits

OCR converts images of documents into machine-encoded text and extracts specific fields based on templates It may use OCR to convert images of documents to a digital format, but extracts specific information using machine learning and/or deep learning Very high accuracy and success ratios for data extraction from document images. OCRs accuracy is up to 70% while IDP can touch 95%. This increases the % of straight-through processing
Uses rule-based or template-based extraction User needs to train the system for each template type The extraction does not depend on the templates but content, User needs to do minimal (if any) training for minor template changes Not dependent on templates brings flexibility and robustness to processes. Changes in templates can be easily accommodated. Documents that do not have fixed templates such as invoices, cheques, purchase orders, etc  can be processed
Every converted document needs to be manually reviewed unless the input documents are standard (in quality, positional elements, etc) Once the system is trained, Straight Through Processing (STP) can be enabled The percentage of STP achieved can vary A fewer number of documents require reviews which reduces cost and human dependency and increases the speed of processing
Cannot process unstructured documents such as contracts With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), the system can process complex unstructured documents and can also create summaries This can open a lot of opportunities in business processes. Contracts, customer/employee feedback forms, Medical Transcripts, legal transcripts  and be processed which can reduce the time and cost

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