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Cognitive Document Automation: Automation With Intelligence

by James Howlett 07 January, 2019
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Does your organisation process large quantities of letters, documents and email attachments?

Cognitive document automation (CDA) is a solution that takes the manual labour out of inbound documents, turning unstructured information into a stream of data that can be fed directly into your applications.

CDA uses Machine Learning and OCR (optical character recognition) to automate the acquisition, interpretation and integration of important documents, such as invoices, contracts, order forms and policies.

CDA may sound confusingly similar to robotic process automation (RPA), but it has a few crucial differences.

CDA or RPA?blog-lead-image-how-the-original-robot-transformed-the-way-we-work

Robotic process automation is ideal for streamlining processes that involve multiple applications.

For example, if your colleagues have to record the details of new orders in two different systems, RPA can transfer the information from one system to the next. RPA works brilliantly with structured data and applications.

RPA solutions are not currently able to manage unstructured data from sources like documents and email attachments.

The ‘cognitive’ part of the CDA name refers to its ability to think and learn. CDA solutions use AI to learn over time, and can also cope with documents that change over time, whereas an RPA solution can only repeat defined steps using established applications. CDA gives you greater flexibility when dealing with documents in variable formats.

If your organisation receives lots of emails with important documents like orders, contracts or invoices attached, then CDA can help turn this unstructured information into scans that can then be turned into data and incorporated in your business systems.

The CDA process

The cognitive document automation (CDA) process typically involves:

  1. Search. The CDA solution finds documents in defined locations, such as folders, faxes and emails.
  2. Convert. Documents are turned into high-quality scans.
  3. Classification. The CDA solution determines where the documents belong.
  4. Extraction. Optical character recognition (OCR) is used to extract information from images.
  5. Integration. The extracted data is uploaded to your existing applications.

Want to know more about CDA?

At DCS, we help companies transform how they manage documents.

Instead of being a source of weakness, documents can be better managed, more efficiently, so that you eliminate risks, clear backlogs and prepare your organisation for future growth.

Contact our team to learn more about how CDA could help your organisation.

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