An Optical Character Recognition – or simply OCR API is a valuable machine vision tool that allows you to recognize and retrieve text from images for further processing or storage. This is particularly useful when dealing with text scans and pictures, such as invoices, scanned forms, and signage.
What Is an OCR API?
We evaluate an OCR API based on the following criteria:
- Accuracy – Testing if OCR APIs interpret text on pictures correctly.
- Cost – Checking how much each API costs per call.
- Special Capabilities – Assessing what unique features different OCR APIs have that better suit specific tasks like invoice scanning and logo recognition.
How Does It Work?
An OCR API:
- Examines the image or snapshot’s configuration
- Divides the information on the page into components
- Breaks them down into words, then characters.
The scanned characters are compared to a set of pattern images by OCR software. The program then generates numerous hypotheses about the characters. It analyzes various variations of line breakage into words and characters based on these hypotheses.
After processing several possible outcomes and hypotheses, the software chooses the best interpretation and provides you with the recognized text.
In general, OCR technology recognizes printed data within an image in two ways. Let’s look at both approaches in detail:
How Does an OCR API Use Pattern Recognition?
By contrasting scanned objects with a library of characters in the software, the OCR algorithm allows smart tools to recognize a wide spectrum of printed text.
When the OCR finds shapes that match its references, it will begin to recognize the information, and you will receive an editable file with few errors.
How Does an OCR API Use Feature Detection?
Feature extraction, or insightful character recognition (ICR), is the most innovative and complex OCR algorithm available. The best feature of this kind of OCR algorithm is that it is not limited to a few fonts.
It can also recognize handwritten text. Character recognition is also used to detect features through a system of regulations for each character that allows individual component functionality such as sloped or crossed lines to be noticed. It’s more precise because each character is decomposed into a feature.
Why Do Companies Use OCR Software Today?
Many businesses use OCR software technology to solve data illegibility, incorrectness, and loss.
OCR technology has revolutionized data and storage processes in various industries, including healthcare, human resources, financial services, and medical coverage. It prevents common user errors by digitizing and sharing files.
Information storage is important for almost any company or organization, but can you imagine how it would help government agencies and public services? Obtaining invoices is also a lot easier when innovation is on your side.
But the magic doesn’t stop there; almost every sector you can think of could benefit enormously from OCR.
Let’s look at a few of the most common use cases of OCR APIs.
What Are the Top 5 Use Cases for an OCR API?
Here are some examples of how OCR APIs can be used to extract data from unstructured documents and convert them to structured documents or editable formats:
How Does an OCR API Help the Supply Chain Industry?
Shipping details, shipping information, invoices, and customer orders can all benefit from OCR APIs. These APIs allow you to extract key-value pairs, double-check tax rates and amounts, and save up to 50% on back-office expenses.
In logistics, OCR APIs help in processing forms and other documents using smart data extraction.
Large volumes of data are dealt with in the transportation industry. OCR APIs make it easier for vendors, suppliers, and buyers to communicate by providing accurate data and converting disorganized documents into more organized formats.
OCR APIs can eliminate re-corrections associated with entering inaccurate information, process CMR invoices, and detect fraudulent activities by ensuring data quality. Distributors and companies can save time by creating and sending expense reports via email and receiving faster order confirmations.
How Does an OCR API Help the Legal System?
Affidavits, rulings, filings, and other documents can be transcribed using OCR APIs, making data searching simpler.
Law firms benefit from OCR technology because it allows attorneys to save case files in digital format, reducing paper-based file storage. OCR APIs can help legal firms save data from various online directories.
Using an OCR API also allows for multilingual conversions and the handling of legal documents in various languages based on client requirements.
Attorneys can use several OCR APIs to scan, edit, and securely store legal documents online. The OCR service also helps with document protection, integrity, and confidentiality.
How Does an OCR API Help the Banking Industry?
OCR APIs can also process data from checks, card swipers, financial records, KYC documents, and others. Banks use OCR APIs to process financial information, verify account balances, and verify money transfers.
Banking institutions can reduce turnaround times by using OCR technology to verify account numbers, transaction records, identity, and tax information from various financial documents.
Merging OCR APIs with AI technologies for processing customer applications can computerize loan origination and administrative functions.
How Does an OCR API Help the Healthcare Industry?
OCR APIs can automate the transcription of clinical documentation, past medical history, prescribed medications, and more, saving time.
Also, prescription slips, lab notebooks, and clinical testing data can be screened and converted to digital file types for secure health records management using AI-based OCR technology.
OCR APIs enable healthcare organizations to track multiple fields from various medical records and improve hospital patient orientation and training operations.
Another distinctive aspect is that these APIs can begin educating patients on their rights, safety concerns, and healthcare treatments available by removing, retrieving, sorting, and organizing diagnostic information.
How Does an OCR API Help Financial Institutions?
OCR technology can extract merchandise, prices, and company information from expenses, invoices, and receivables in the retail and supply chain industries. It can recognize invoice layouts and remove functional areas with 95% accuracy.
For receipts, data validation can be done using data capture answers and OCR APIs, and the data can then be translated to Excel/JSON/CSV for evaluation.
For businesses that want to keep stock on hand and issue pre-orders, invoice monitoring can help them improve budgets and conduct cash flow projections based on financial statements.
In short, OCR information extraction in purchase orders can help companies gain insight into data. Therefore, laying the foundation for better customer experiences by preserving data authenticity and integrity.
Filestack: The Best Optical Character Recognition API
Most businesses are searching for ways to incorporate OCR into their systems and applications. One of the best, most effective ways to do this is to use Filestack’s OCR API.
Filestack’s OCR API can help you interpret, extract, and organize data, reduce data extraction errors, and increase data collection efficiency. It works on not only images but also tax documents, business cards, IDs, and invoices.
Moreover, you can transfer image features character-by-character into specialized identification codes using FIlestack’s OCR API, eliminating the hassle of manual data processing.
Ready to Start Gaining Insights Through Filestack’s OCR API?
Filestack offers one of the best OCR APIs. It makes data collection, processing, and extraction easy and efficient.
So, head over to Filestack and sign up for free today!
What are the benefits of using OCR?
OCR greatly simplifies the extraction of data, both printed and handwritten, from documents. Although its purpose is seemingly simple, OCR has a large effect on your business’ productivity. The greatest benefits it could bring, of course, include reducing human error, removing inconsistencies in documents, and saving time. To learn more about how OCR can benefit your applications, click here.
I want to have an OCR feature in my application. How do I start?
After learning about OCR, the first thing you have to do is to check the market for OCR APIs. Because this is a feature that’s difficult to make on your own, most probably, you will need to use a ready-made OCR solution. You should look for an API that’s easy to integrate into any application, easy to use, capable of recognizing handwriting, and fast. To help you find a suitable OCR solution, check out this guide.
Fareha is an experienced writer specializing in content and blog posts. With a passion for storytelling, she crafts engaging and informative pieces. Her expertise lies in writing technology-related content that drives results and connects with diverse audiences.
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