How to extract data from images

Manually processing hundreds and thousands of invoices and other documents is time-consuming, tiresome, and frequently prone to errors. Even in recent years, as technology has advanced, too many critical systems are operated by and subject to human error.

From spreadsheet to the cloud cover

As technology advances, there have been improvements to this traditional system of data entry. But as more and more documentation is brought online, so too have variables increased.

Numerous formats, preferred styles, templates, and variations in document standards can lead to nightmarish, laborious scenarios for accounts payable teams and those responsible for data entry. 

In today’s society, many businesses are using technology solutions that help them more quickly and accurately process incoming documents. 

Most of these solutions utilize optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This technology extracts important data from a document, such as a PDF invoice or payment receipt. Template-based solutions that use OCR technology require rules and guides to function effectively. 

These solutions help to extract text from an image online accurately or extract other data from incoming invoices or payment documents. And while these solutions can be beneficial, they are still prone to errors when the rules do not apply to a new document format.

How to use Rossum’s powerful AI for extracting data from an image

How you can use Rossum to extract data from images

  • Invoices
  • Passports
  • Purchase orders
  • Bills of lading
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Presentations and printed materials

Rossum’s powerful AI-based image extractor can extract data from a wide variety of sources regardless of shape, size, or format without templates.

First, you’ll want to log in to Rossum and create a new project. Then, select a model from pre-built configurations or your custom-built model. 

Next, add the files you intend to analyze to Rossum’s interface. You may add as many images/files as you’d like.

Third, allow Rossum’s AI engine to process the images and test the results.

You’ll want to verify each image for accuracy and adjust your settings accordingly. You can also edit the appropriate fields values and labels after Rossum has processed the image.  

Extract data from an image graph

When retrieving data from documents, it can be difficult to find a solution that does not come extremely expensively. Because of this (in addition to a reluctance to embrace a digital solution), many businesses still employ manual data entry. 

While this method was used in the past, with the increase in digital invoices and other important documents coming in each day, it can take way too long for a team of employees to manually process all of that information and manually retype the data from those documents. 

When it comes to how to extract a table from a PDF both quickly and accurately, manual data entry is not going to be the best solution. You don’t have to extract table data from a PDF to Excel manually or extract tables from an image to Excel manually. 

Rather than having your accounts payable employees spend hours of their days manually re-entering data from one document to another — which can be extremely draining and demoralizing work for many employees — it may be better to utilize a software solution instead to extract a table from a PDF programmatically.

Two main technological advancements can help you to extract data from the documents that are coming into your business each day. The first of these technologies is called template-based data capture

This method consists of optical character recognition (OCR) technology that can recognize text in a document or image and automatically “rewrite” that data in a more standardized location where you keep all of your data. 

For example, if you want to extract a table image to Excel, where you may store all of your data, using OCR technology can help you with this. Image to Excel OCR technology can be more efficient and accurate than manual data extraction. 

However, it is important to note that as “template-based” data capture, software solutions using OCR technology are not 100% foolproof. 

The issue that businesses can run into with these technologies is that unless the incoming document is in a format, you have made rules and templates for, you will need to put extra work into creating new rules and guides for the technology. 

Over time, this can be time-consuming and costly. Cognitive data capture is the second technological advancement that can help you to process invoices and other important document data more effectively (and quickly).

This is essentially artificial intelligence that can help you to more accurately and quickly process your documents with up to 98% accuracy and up to 6x faster than traditional manual data entry. 

The AI can extract a table from a PDF to Excel or convert a graph to data in Excel without taking breaks or getting distracted by anything. You can easily process more data each day than you can with human data processors.

How to convert an image to text in Excel

As society continues to push towards a more digital world, it is essential that businesses can keep up with the advancing technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) and optical character recognition (OCR) software are some examples of new technology. 

Not keeping up risks falling behind competitors regarding customers and suppliers. Often invoices, payments, receipts, claims, and more are all done digitally today, but just doing something “digitally” is not enough. 

Since there are many different digital documents, you must ensure that anyone accessing a document can do so. 

This is why many businesses will use PDFs for these documents because no matter what system or device you use, you can open and view a PDF. However, while PDFs are great for sharing information across platforms, devices, and systems, they are often not the easiest to digitally extract data from.

Think about it like this. Have you ever tried to copy-paste something from a PDF — to edit it, use it as a quote, add it to a presentation, or anything else — and when you press “paste” on your document, presentation, or other space it comes out as a jumbled collection of words that you need to go through and re-format? 

This is exactly what can happen with data as well. So, whether you are trying to extract data from an image in Excel or convert a picture to Excel, simply trying to copy-paste will likely just result in a lot of wasted time spent cleaning it up. This is why there are many different approaches to how to get information from a PDF best, with varying milage. 

If you’re planning to convert and extract data from images at scale, you need to explore a professional solution such as Rossum

Extract text from an image

If you are trying to extract text from an image, you are likely to run into the same or a similar issue as if trying to extract data from an image. 

The problem with simply extracting information using copy-paste features is that in a flat file, like an image, the data is not formatted in a complex way. 

When you copy something from a more complex file, things like layout and formatting can be copied. In an image or PDF, however, there is no intrinsic “layout” or formatting information to make that copied text retain its layout in the PDF or PDF image.

Because of this, if you want to avoid inefficiencies in processing flat files like images, you need to ensure that you have the right tools and processes. 

Rossum AI is one example of document processing software that can give you those tools. Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) solutions are designed to transform semi-structured and unstructured information into usable data. 

Essentially, these solutions can help you to more effectively and efficiently extract valuable information from PDFs and other flat files.

Rossum’s IDP solutions can help businesses access the business data stored in emails, images, business documents, and PDFs to more accurately understand what is going on in their businesses. 

These unstructured or semi-structured documents house about 80% of a company’s business data. Without the tools to effectively process these documents, a business could miss out on its overall data.

The best image to Excel converter

Since so many businesses utilize PDFs as their preferred method of sending documents, you must ensure that your business has an effective method for processing the data from these notoriously difficult-to-process files. 

You can use several methods to extract text from an image Google result or another flat image file. Businesses can use four main strategies to convert the data from these file types, and many companies wonder which is the best image to Excel converter

The first of these methods is manual data capture. In general, manual data extraction is not the most efficient method because it is very time-consuming and quite error-prone. Unfortunately, this method is also not scalable and can make some extremely costly mistakes.

The second method is PDF to Excel conversion software solutions. Essentially, these software solutions help to more accurately and quickly extract data from your invoices or other documents and transfer that information to your Excel spreadsheet for analysis and logging. 

These solutions can be more effective than manual methods, but they also depend on the layout of documents. They can also require manual tweaking, which is time-consuming.

The third method is quite similar to the second one. This method is called template-based PDF to OCR (optical character recognition). This software can quickly and accurately transfer data from the invoice PDF to an Excel spreadsheet like the previous method. 

Additionally, its effectiveness and speed are dependent on the number of different formats of invoices you are receiving. The last method is cognitive PDF to OCR. Essentially, you are using artificial intelligence software rather than using software similar to the PDF to Excel converter software

Over time, this software will get more accurate and intuitive as it learns to recognize data fields from your type of document and layout, and it will lessen the amount of time needed to spend tweaking it. The longer you use it, the less time you need to edit the data it processes.

No rules. No templates. Faster with AI.

Automated data extraction from invoices, purchase orders, packing lists, receipts or any similar document, including complex table data, in minutes.
That’s Rossum.