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Trapeze Software: Ease of Use

Of course, producing more accurate character recognition alone does not make an effective data capture application. The software has to know what to do with the data it receives. To facilitate this process, SoftWorks AIhas introduced a series of Expert Systems, or rules related to processing data for specific applications.

Trapeze’s Expert Systems are associated primarily with IDR applications. That’s because for traditional forms processing applications, the data capture process is a lot more straightforward. Traditional forms processing is typically applied to structured forms documents where the same type of data appears consistently in the same place.

Structured forms can typically be addressed using templates. Templates are set up by marking/highlighting and labeling data fields on an image. The template tells the forms processing application to look in the same spot for the same type of data each time a form with the same design appears.

IDR is typically applied to semi-structured forms. These are documents that contain the same type of data, but which can appear in different places and even be labeled differently. Semi-structured forms also often include tables of information, which can vary in length and construct.

Applying templates to semi-structured forms can be a complex and time-consuming process. In an invoice processing application, for example, it could potentially mean setting up templates for each different vendor an A/P department deals with and even smaller organizations often deal with hundreds of vendors that are constantly changing. For a college or university, it could involve setting up templates for each institution transfer students come from. A hospital could require a separate template for each insurance company, and so on. Some proposed data capture applications have never made it to the production stage because users have been so overwhelmed by the task of setting up the templates.

Trapeze’s Template-less Approach

Trapeze takes a template-less approach to semi-structured forms. This involves applying OCR/ICR to the entire document and then feeding those results to one of its Expert Systems. The Expert Systems look for specific keywords and data constructs and apply rules to automatically classify data and documents. Because there is no field location information to assist in the recognition process, the accuracy of OCR/ICR data takes on additional importance in template-less applications, which creates an advantage for Trapeze over most applications.

Utilizing its Expert Systems modules, without any customization, Trapeze can achieve field level accuracy rates of 90% on semi-structured forms, or 10% higher than the accepted accuracy rates of most applications in production. Trapeze also has the ability to capture line-item detail, such as item numbers, quantities, and price per item on invoices, or transaction details on financial reports, at an accuracy rate of close to 80% per line item. Because of the complex construction of line items, such as their running on for multiple lines, or even on to multiple pages if a description is included, many capture applications do not even address them. For increased accuracy, Trapeze offers functionality like checking the total amount of an invoice by adding the totals of the line items.

Being able to read line items can result in an increased rate of straight-through processing documents which do not need to be seen by a human operator. Reading line items enables for more complete auto-matching against supporting documentation, such as purchase orders, which ensures accuracy of data being extracted and posted to a back end system. Three-way matching can help further reduce document processing costs.