The long term value of accurate data capture

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In my role at CloudTrade, I’m fortunate to work with our partner organisations who provide technology solutions spanning many sectors and geographies. In recent years, topics of discussion have included Business Process Improvements and digital transformation to Robotic Process Automation, data mining and more recently, process mining.

Regardless of the latest technology, one thing has remained constant – the need for high quality data. Inputs are absolutely critical and yet, they are often overlooked in favour of outputs.

Data is everything

Get data capture right, and organisations are empowered to gain actionable insights and provide an improved service to their clients. Get it wrong, and technology upgrades can cause more harm than good. 

It sounds obvious, but organisations seeking to leverage cutting-edge technology need data. That’s why it’s so important that organisations prioritise the capturing of data that is accurate and accessible in a structured format. This enables data elements to be linked and insights gained. And it provides opportunities to leverage exciting new technologies like AI.

The interoperability challenge 

Traditionally, organisations looking to capture unstructured data to fuel process mining and insight projects have relied on traditional capture technologies like EDI, data ‘flip’, outsourcing or even OCR.

These technologies have much to offer if implemented correctly, but this isn’t always the case. Another challenge is uneven adoption amongst suppliers and buyers, leading to a lack of interoperability. So, it makes sense to focus on connecting different parts of the supply chain through technologies that are accessible, affordable and ubiquitous. Application generated documents, like PDF’s, are a perfect example.

Why “good” is the enemy of “great”

As Jim Collins has observed, “Good is the enemy of great”. 

Often, organisations adopt technology solutions with sub-optimal outcomes because they believe they don’t have the time, money or resources to change their approach. As we have pointed out previously, many organisations are unsure how best to integrate the technology into their existing workflows. Or they choose to ignore implementation, believing it’s too complicated and expensive.

Instead, they introduce workarounds or simply accept that technology can only deliver a certain level of performance due to technical, financial and operational barriers. The result is that data quality suffers and people are basing decisions on flawed or incomplete data.

We all know how fast technology is moving. The potential that RPA, machine learning and AI have on our everyday lives is huge and exciting. To deliver on their promise, we need to ensure that the data we feed into the top of funnel is as clean and complete as possible. And that means a laser sharp focus on ensuring data capture is 100% accurate. 

Think of it as an investment in the future of your business – one that will reap dividends once technologies like machine learning become truly accessible and affordable.

The right capture technology for the right source

CloudTrade’s partners use our patented service to ensure they’re able to accurately capture data from semi-structured and unstructured sources – including application generated PDF invoices – and turn them into structured formats, including Excel. In this way, we’re accelerating the adoption of new technologies by providing the underlying data that powers them. 

We’re conscious that many organisations are investing heavily in digital transformation. These projects come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re to be greatly encouraged. By adopting the right capture technology for the right source, outcomes are always more accurate and complete.

CloudTrade’s offering has been designed to slot into existing processes and technological infrastructures, enabling organisations to fill in any gaps when it comes to information capture. Now you can leverage the power of high quality data, however you choose to use it.

Learn more about e-invoicing and e-ordering