GigaOm Radar for Intelligent Document Processingv1.0

Simplifying Unstructured and Semi-Structured Document Automation

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Intelligent document processing (IDP) solutions enable the digitization of paper-based information assets and documents (such as PDFs, emails, invoices) containing unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data. IDP solutions offer artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning capabilities to improve data extraction accuracy and the degree of straight-through processing (STP).

Over the last decade or so, several vendors experimented with a combination of Python code and optical character recognition (OCR) in what was termed “intelligent OCR.” While there was an increase in data extraction accuracy (+5 to 10%), the results were still not in line with the requirements of IT, automation centers of excellence (CoE), and process leaders.

IDP solutions involve pre-processing and post-processing stages: the first primes the document in terms of shape and size, and the second ensures that a greater degree of accuracy in processing unstructured data can be achieved.

The availability of AI/ML/NLP capabilities in IDP ensures that the strike rate in processing data is significantly higher than a mere OCR tool can deliver. IDP tools, in principle, are supposed to function with minimal training in terms of minor template changes, whereas with OCR, this type of flexibility doesn’t exist.

Pre-built AI/ML capabilities and business rules enable automated verification and validation of data, as well as continuous learning and improvements based on AI/ML algorithms and user input. IDP combines OCR, data capture, and AI/ML to automate the retrieval, understanding, and integration of documents required for executing a business process. Know your customer (KYC), invoice processing, insurance claims, patient onboarding, patient records, proof of delivery, bills of lading, and order forms are some of the key use case document types for IDP solutions. IDP software can be useful in industry-specific processes, such as customer onboarding, mortgage processing, trade finance, and legal documents. Some of the key buyers of IDP solutions are leaders in a number of business areas: shared services, process, automation CoE, global business services (GBS), digital transformation, and finance.

Decision-makers will want to determine whether an IDP solution is a refurbished intelligent OCR tool or a dedicated product built from the ground up to meet the requirements of complex use cases. IDP solutions offering a template-free approach can be trained on new document types and layouts by using a certain number of sample documents; such solutions will usually deliver a greater value at a lower cost. IDP solutions should be adopted as part of a broader enterprise automation strategy in which suitable software products are used for meeting various task, process, and document automation requirements.

There are more than 60 vendors that provide IDP-type software capabilities. In this GigaOm Radar report, we focus only on vendors with a noteworthy footprint in terms of scaled IDP implementations where the IDP product involves more than an add-on to a broader robotic process automation (RPA) or intelligent automation platform. We therefore excluded vendors whose solutions were more service based, as well as those who offer basic OCR-based document capture without significant advancement in AI/ML capabilities.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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