Machine Learning paired OCR: In-house or SaaS?
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Machine Learning paired OCR: In-house or SaaS?

Read Time: 6 minutes

Machine Learning Technologies are replacing simple OCR automation and Manual Data Entry. This ground-breaking technology addresses and offers solutions to human errors, scalability challenges, human resource issues, and turnover issues with technology considerably superior to OCR’s simple rules framework.

Machine Learning paired OCR

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a great tool for addressing the barriers of classic OCR approaches and achieving faster and more precise results. Using Machine Learning to preprocess documents before passing them to a template is one way of circumventing OCR difficulties. Additionally, Machine Learning augmented OCR uses OCR to interpret characters while improving them by adding context and flexibility.

Moreover, Machine Learning enhances its ability to understand data context and how you should work with it regularly. You can also use it in preprocessing to determine significant portions for extraction and classify documents before they get extracted. This ability makes it easier to anticipate what to expect from the extraction process. AI models may also be developed over time to evaluate historical data and detect potentially fraudulent activities, errors, and exceptions.

How Does it Work?

OCR recognizes text from an analog image source and converts it to a digital duplicate which can be managed, stored, and edited easily.

Despite the great usability of OCRs, the increasing scale of jobs incorporated in these models provide Machine Learning engineers with a substantial hurdle.

For one, it is a difficult undertaking since it sits on the edge of two Artificial Intelligence fields, namely Natural Language Processing (NLP) which specifically deals with text and speech-to-text transcription data. It is concentrated on teaching machines to understand human speech and Computer Vision (CV), which trains ML models to see and interpret the visual elements in a manner that is relevant to how people see and solve them.

Therefore, before the OCR models can achieve their aim, they must first complete a series of smaller-scale tasks, beginning with image recognition of the letters and ending with the comprehension of the final words.

When the texts that need to get identified are present in natural settings, the OCR difficulty gets more complicated. These natural settings include handwritten shopping lists, license plates on cars, random graffiti on the buildings, street signs, and many more.

Moreover, when the algorithm is requested to convert the text into a digital copy and comprehend the specific data included in the text, an extra layer of complexity is introduced. While various methods have gotten used to tackle OCR, from contour detection to picture classification, these methods are still more recommended to work best for template-based text patterns with similar text size and type, image quality, and text position. Such strategies, in other words, are ineffective for large-scale, heterogeneous texts.

Noteworthy Advantages of OCR paired with Machine Learning

Below is a list of the edges offered by an OCR paired with Machine Learning:

The more ML gets used, the fewer mistakes happen and the more complicated decisions it can make.

Businesses all across the world are concerned about data inaccuracy and duplication as this problem is unavoidable. As a result, most companies are looking to automate their data entry operations to decrease manual errors and obtain highly accurate data for future analysis. Machine learning algorithms and predictive modeling algorithms are critical in reducing data entry errors and resolving issues with erroneous data.

Once trained on a function, Machine Learning does not rely on manual processes.

On a large scale, Machine Learning algorithms have already powered the present technological and economic revolution. Automated data entry can be utilized in various applications and is quite advantageous, thanks to predictive analysis and algorithms. Human data entry may not be sustainable in the future, and organizations will need to use machine learning to automate data entry. With each passing day, the world becomes more and more automated, and you must remove common data entry errors.

Machine Learning can handle both structured and unstructured data with ease.

Machine learning algorithms have been helpful in data automation and the handling of large amounts of big data. The real benefit of employing algorithms is that they can handle massive amounts of data while evaluating an infinite number of variables in a short amount of time.

Machine learning can convert handwriting into data.

An additional layer of complexity gets introduced when the algorithm you ask it to transform the text into a digital copy and interpret the specific data included in the text.

Invest in-house or Outsource as SaaS?

With the information provided above, the question remains. Is it better to invest in this technology in-house or to outsource this function as a SaaS?

Building an In-house Data Labeling Team

Having a data labeling team on staff can help the project in a variety of ways. For many firms, in-house data labeling teams are primarily concerned with direct oversight of the entire data annotation process. As a result, putting a team together nearby is a good idea.

The second argument for forming one’s own data annotation team is security. When files get annotated, they could potentially breach security rules if given to a third party. When jobs involve extremely sensitive themes and images that you cannot communicate over the internet, on-site teams are the best option.

Lastly, it is customary to have an in-house team for long-term Artificial Intelligence projects. Data flow is continuous, and personnel must annotate it over long periods.

The disadvantages of forming one’s own data labeling team are evident. The enormous time and resources required to hire and train a professional team, offer a secure location to operate, design software with the appropriate tools, and compile instructions are all costs associated with developing a good team. Moreover, constant administration of new staff is time-consuming and necessitates the assistance of HR professionals. One will need to have a steady personnel turnover if the demand is seasonal or project-by-project.

The Difference Between SaaP and SaaS

The following section will discuss the difference between SaaP and SaaS.

OCR paired ML as Software as a Product

Software as a Product, or SaaP, solutions necessitate the purchase of a license to use a solution, which one must then host oneself. SaaP solutions are a one-time investment with no monthly fees, but they frequently require considerable maintenance and updates. Additional expenses may get incurred if the product gets upgraded in the future or if an add-on gets installed.

If one wants to install the software on another computer, one may incur additional expenses. Moreover, engineers familiar with the software are also needed to get hired. Lastly, because one owns the software and executes it on the workstation, SaaP software is usually more customizable than SaaS software.

The Benefits of SaaP

Software as a product is something one buys rather than something one rents. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure software maintenance once it has gotten implemented. Upgrades to SaaS are frequently expensive, and they will get extensively involved from the start.

Because SaaP isn’t cloud-based, it necessitates the use of internal servers. Lastly, because SaaP is a static product, one will need to maintain it after acquiring the software. To keep up with software changes and data security, one will need a committed crew. SaaP also ensures that there is no third-party oversight, security can get controlled, ensuring offline usability.

OCR paired ML as Software as a Service

This software is distributed via internet browsers and gets hosted by the software seller or a third party. Application, software, and any data created by the user, on the other hand, are stored in the Cloud on the provider’s servers and delivered back and forth over the internet with SaaS.

Organizations get charged a standard cost for this service. In turn, the provider grants the user access to the application while adhering to quality standards, availability, and agreed-upon security. To utilize the software, all that is required is to have an Internet connection.

The Benefits of SaaS

SaaS offers the following benefits:

  • Cost: Subscription-based software licensing makes it easier for organizations to identify and allocate expenditures to different business units or departments. Additionally, a consistent spend is easier to explain than a significant one-time expense every few years. Additionally, publishers who use the software as a service model may offer several pricing tiers, allowing enterprises to pay less in exchange for access to fewer program capabilities. This cost has resulted in a reduced purchasing threshold, allowing smaller enterprises to access software that they might not have been able to afford otherwise.
  • Maintenance: The automatic access to patches and updates is maybe the best feature of SaaS. Businesses can use one iteration of an application until it is required to be upgraded to the current version, either for security concerns or to access new features, with a perpetual software license. Moreover, a subscription-based model means that the licenses will be automatically updated as the publisher issues new versions. The staff will not be utilizing out-of-date software, and the company does not have to invest in a completely new program.
  • Mobility: Employees today are searching for more flexibility in their jobs, and workplace mobility is a key part of that. As a result, companies are adopting rules that allow employees to work from home. This trend implies that the software the employees rely on must be accessible from anywhere, so SaaS is becoming more popular. You can use SaaS-based programs anywhere there is a network connection because they do not require the installation of a disc. This convenience makes the mobile workplace more accessible. The system on which the program gets installed must be on and online at all times for proper SaaP monitoring. On the other hand, because SaaS is web-based, it is much easier to track its performance and availability.

Companies outsource to vendors offering Machine Learning paired with OCR as a SAAS, providing more flexibility and reduced expenses. As stated above, OCR paired ML as a SaaS only requires an internet connection for it to operate. Moreover, pricing varies depending on the features that an employee needs to utilize, resulting in a reduced cost.


As the world changes swiftly, technology should evolve along with it. As information becomes crucial and more available, having room for error is not an option. Machine Learning is one great solution. This technology addresses human errors, scalability challenges, human resource issues, and turnover issues with technology, whether used as a product or a service.

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    IDS Commander iTech2021