Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks - How to make sense of big data

Jason Howard, Northern Cluster Manager at Kodak Alaris


Organizations are constantly looking to drive improvements, make savings and increase speed of service. It’s therefore, no surprise that data within companies has become a key driving factor for understanding your organization and making changes. Although big data is often a key theme for businesses, a huge amount of content and knowledge is tied up in document repositories that companies could be inadvertently overlooking.

Through digital transformation, companies are able to harness the huge amounts of data stored in paper files. The first step is to transform these paper sources into digital assets and making sense of the data puzzle. Document and information management solutions are available to help organizations capture the missing pieces of the information puzzle. Effective big data management helps companies locate valuable information in large sets of unstructured data and semi-structured data from a variety of sources, including call detail records, system logs, and social media sites.

Document management improves information flow, opening communication channels and eliminating the need for paperwork. However, the paperless office is only half of the story. The data in those documents needs to be a part of the business processes so that it’s not suffering the same fate as it did in the paper-based world.

In four steps, your organization can make sure it is unlocking the very best from its data gold mine.

  • The right tools for the right job equals the right data

Information is like a ticking time bomb; often the data contained within documents to be input into business transactions has an expiry date. To make the most of the digital documents, they need to be promptly onboarded. This means relying on the right scanning tools start your data’s digital transformation.

Scanning solutions can either be centralized or distributed, a decision dictated by what fits best with process design and current infrastructure at your organization. For a centralized capture solution, incoming documents are routed to a mailroom, digitized and classified and then forwarded directly to the relevant employee or business process. Distributed scanning, best suited for organizations with offices and employees dispersed globally, allows documents to be captured quickly and easily while reducing storage costs and improving security.

  • Capturing data by design

Once you have sussed scanning, capture is where the big data journey begins. The faster, more accurate and more secure the information flows from paper into organizations, the better the outcomes.

It is important to design your document capture and scanning approaches with the challenge of siloed environments in mind. Your company should be able to implement the right capture strategy for its needs, capturing and extracting content in the fastest, smartest and most cost-efficient way.

  • The autonomy of automation

Removing simple but repetitive tasks for your employees through automation, such as having staff manually entering or checking data, leaves them more time to focus on more complex and higher value-generating tasks. Automating the workflow also encourages a higher level of engagement, empowering employees such as customer service reps or knowledge workers in a specific line of business context (as in transactional scanning), helping them focus on the creation of value.

Structured forms are highly predictable and the data that needs to be extracted is in a pre-defined position. By programming rules and keywords or by using a barcode, the solution knows what type of information is available in the document and where.

  • Completing the information jigsaw

Adopting intelligent solutions for document capture unlocks the power of business information, which is the lifeblood of your organisation. With the right tools and solutions, businesses are unlocking information from digital and paper sources, understanding and extracting valuable insight from the contents, and delivering the right information to the right people at the right time. The digital transformation can help to unlock the missing piece of the big data puzzle for your business.

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