Paper-based information is not often thought about in today’s BIG DATA picture, which tends to focus on the proliferation of unstructured data from sources such as blogs, social media and video that is growing at exponential rates compared to traditional enterprise data. Yet paper documents are an important part of corporate business operations, often containing valuable information that must be captured, stored, organised and analysed.

Digitising paper documents through document capture is an important first step in business process automation. Document capture solutions are designed to remove the bottleneck paper creates at the onset of many business processes today.

When captured at the point of origination, paper documents can be directly integrated into business-critical processes. The full capture process includes scanning, data extraction from scanned images, document classification and sharing of content across electronic content management (ECM) systems. Documents become more accessible and easier to find, distribute and track. This increases productivity and streamlines processes, while supporting record retention, document security, and privacy requirements. Consequently, paper documents become part of the wider BIG DATA picture, enabling organisations to extract value from information to support faster decision making, for instance through business intelligence or big data analytics.

However, the challenge of document capture and processing can be daunting for many businesses, requiring specialist skills and resources. Despite the clear benefits of integrating all types of information into business processes and eliminating paper from these processes, employee attitudes and existing departmental systems can make it difficult to know where to start. Working with your provider can assist with the introduction of systems and solutions to integrate BIG PAPER into your business process.

Deploying tools and technologies to minimise wasteful printing is a proven approach to reducing printing costs by optimisation of complex printer fleets. As businesses move to next generation systems they are working with their provider to digitise paper workflows. Many organisations having already invested in Multifunction Printers (MFPs) are working to enable them to leverage these devices as sophisticated document capture and processing hubs.

By accelerating the transition to digital workflows, paper based information becomes better integrated with enterprise data enabling organisations to extract business value from all data – both paper and digital.

ITQ is holding a seminar looking at the issues of BIG PAPER to BIG DATA, please register here

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