In Part 1 of this two-part blog series, we defined smart data extraction technology: It takes text data from OCR (optical character recognition) and understands and processes it into relevant data.
We also helped you understand the importance of an invoice and payment processing automation solution having complete technology, combining OCR, smart data extraction, and machine learning, because OCR by itself does not know what to do with the information it reads.
But what does all this mean, exactly, to finance leaders and their AP teams? Mark Brousseau, consultant, Institute of Finance Management (IOFM) spokesperson, and speaker puts it in perspective in a recent interview with The Institute of Finance Management.
“Businesses today are expecting more from their AP function. They realize that if they can get at the information and data housed in their AP department, they can use it to support better management of their working capital, mitigate potential risk, and make more strategic decisions.”
This allows companies to transform data into knowledge that can better inform their business decisions and streamline their business processes. And it’s made possible with smart data extraction, the most important feature of advanced AP automation solutions.
With advanced solutions like Yooz, this functionality powers the next steps in the invoice and payment processing workflow. Once you’ve extracted data from your unstructured content and validated it, the system uses that data to automate other tasks like routing and approval.
And it includes comparing the data against existing records within legacy finance systems/ERPs. This results in fewer errors and eliminates duplicate documents and transactions.
What do we mean by “smart?” Data extraction using machine learning powered by A.I. is able to “understand” what information on a document needs to be used and, more importantly, what should be done with said information to make it relevant data.
When it comes to the Yooz AP automation solution, our smart data extraction technology leverages OCR to read information from scanned/photos of paper invoices or invoices images received via email. It then interprets the information, extracts the relevant data, then applies it to the appropriate field in the application to then be reviewed and sent for approval. Finally, the data is exported to an ERP. If there are pieces of data that cannot be interpreted or read, Yooz learns over time how to extract those missing pieces. This is referred to as machine learning, and is powered by A.I.
With constant enhancements, no end user is ever involved to teach the software. The staff transitions from manual data entry and third-party verification to simply reviewing data extraction for accuracy. If there is a miss, the reviewer can click inside the Yooz application to quickly correct it and flag the miss.
Utilizing machine learning optimizations, the system will become more intelligent—smarter—over time, reducing the number of mistakes and increasing overall efficiencies. That earns it an A+!