Advantages and Disadvantages of doing Data Entry versus OCR

Want a digital format of the hard copy of any document? OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology can be the right option. Changes are taking place in the field of Data Entry service with the improvement of modern technology. Apparently, you may think OCR service as a substitute of data entry service, however, OCR services come with both advantages and disadvantages.
Want a digital format of the hard copy of any document? OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology can be the right option. Changes are taking place in the field of Data Entry service with the improvement of modern technology. Apparently, you may think OCR service as a substitute of data entry service, however, OCR services come with both advantages and disadvantages.

Overview of OCR

Optical Character Recognition is a modern technology for digital replication. OCR technology comes with software, hardware and an additional circuit in the computer to execute conversion process. OCR software can not only read the fonts but also recognize line breaks in a document. The process of OCR is quite simple and easy to manage. The entire process of converting hard copy of a document into electronic document may take only a few seconds.

Advantages of OCR

If you are looking for only converting any document into editable digital format then there is nothing better than OCR services. Optical Character Recognition process saves the time and effort of developing a digital replica of any document. No need to type characters manually on a digital file. Just place the hard copy of the document inside a scanner and get the digital format of that document with the help of OCR software.

With OCR process you can convert a document in several electronic formats like - Microsoft Word, Excel, HTML, PDF, Text or Rich Text formats.

Documents, which are converted through OCR process, are editable and allow the user to modify the content. Compared to manual data entry service the cost of OCR service is quite less for developing electronic replica of any document. OCR service proved better than data entry service for the organizations, which are engaged in developing electronic copy of printed books.

Disadvantages of OCR Service

There are several disadvantages of OCR service regarding the cost as well as the process of recognizing the characters. Initially, the cost of developing replica through OCR process may seem lucrative but if you consider the cost of entire OCR system life cycle, the cost will be much higher than data entry service. Correcting OCR errors counts more cost than preparing a digital format of the document.

High accuracy OCR software can read more than 400 characters/second, approximately, and generates less number of OCR errors compared to any ordinary OCR software. Therefore, if you are looking for OCR process you have to maintain a separate workstation for correcting OCR errors.

OCR software is not efficient in recognizing the handwriting and the fonts, which are quite similar to handwriting. In such cases manual typing plays better role than OCR process.

How efficient is Data Entry Service than OCR?

Compared to ordinary OCR process, conversion life cycle cost is less in data entry service and it provides complete flexibility to data entry operators preparing digital documents from multiple formats like hard copy or audio files. Consider the service of medical transcription where you need to prepare digital documents from audio files. OCR cannot prepare digital document by scanning any audio files. In such services, data entry can prove better than OCR.

It has been found that for services like mailing list conversion or data extraction from the Internet, manual data entry services are still widely accepted across the industry. Data entry service comes with several levels - staring from inserting raw data in a document to an error free document. OCR is efficient during the initial level of data entry service but cannot be a substitute of data entry service. However, the selection of a right service (Data Entry or OCR) depends on requirements of the job.
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