Everything you need to know about Intelligent Document Processing

IDP can offer numerous benefits for your organisation, but it’s important to understand how it works

There are more than 4 trillion paper documents in the US, according to PwC, and this number is growing at an alarming 22% per year. Take into account that 95% of corporate information exists on paper and you will get a sense of the amount of time wasted by employees every year, as they sift through all these documents.

The global move towards digitalisation has led to a growing share of digital documents, however this has not really helped reduce the time people spend searching for information because most documents are complex – unstructured is the technical term – and still require manual work.

When it comes to running a business, knowledge is power. Finding out more about how your business works can help you take smart steps towards greater efficiency and success. Fortunately, innovative technologies like Intelligent Document Processing can help organisations process documents faster and streamline operational procedures.

We’re going to take a closer look at what IDP is and how it can work for your business. 

What is Intelligent Document Processing?

Intelligent Document Processing is a sophisticated technology with the ability to understand what a document is about and what information it contains. It is able to extract the key information and then deliver it to where it is needed, be that a database, an ERP system or any other business intelligence tools.

IDP is a form of intelligent document automation. It makes use of data science to help machines make sense of unstructured data and pass it on, turning it into structured data.

With the ability to automate and streamline document processing workflows, IDP makes use of various state of the art technology components. These include Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computer Vision, Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

How does IDP work and what can it do?

IDP is the next stage of business automation and efficiency, leveraging AI to automate tasks within document related workflows. This allows it to offer businesses a range of key services designed to save you time, money and hassle. These include data capture, verification, file conversion and more.

Data capture

IDP is able to capture data from various sources and put them into a single computer system or mobile device. These sources might include receipts, ID cards, invoices, purchase orders and more.

Data Extraction

IDP intelligently extracts the relevant data from a document using OCR and AI, including both structured and unstructured data. The latter requires manipulation such as data cleansing before extraction, which IDP can also achieve.


IDP can identify document types by matching unknown documents to existing categories. These characteristics are extracted and calculated against other characteristics in terms of similarity. 


As well as being efficient, IDP is also secure. Many IDP solutions can anonymise sensitive information automatically, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and more. Encrypting sensitive data ensures businesses remain in line with GDPR and other compliance regulations.


By comparing documents to other official records and databases, IDP is able to authenticate documents, helping to avoid harmful fraud attempts. AI algorithms check data fields to determine the validity of a documents, and search for anomalies that are hard to detect by human eye.


With the validity of the data confirmed, IDP delivers a machine readable output to the necessary destination. It converts unstructured data into structured data and sends it to the relevant secure area.

Through this process, Intelligent Document Processing can increase productivity and reduces processing time, while also improve the accuracy, security and accessibility of the data you’re storing. This ultimately makes the data more usable, allowing you to get to know your business and take smart steps forward.

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