Majority of Organizations Miss Opportunities to Capture Important Information from Forms, According to New Study from Parascript and AIIM

June 5, 2012, LONGMONT, Colo. – Parascript ®, LLC, a leading machine print, hand print and cursive recognition technology provider, and AIIM, an advocate and supporter of information professionals, are announcing important findings in the areas of forms processing and enterprise content management in a new study, “Forms Processing – user experiences of text and handwriting recognition”. The study reveals that while the majority of businesses have a document capture process, most are not performing automated hand print or cursive character recognition of data on business forms, choosing instead to key in valuable information — an expensive alternative — or to not capture it at all, leaving much of this data untapped.

Specific findings from the study highlight the opportunity for organizations to better capture content from forms.  According to the survey:

  1. In most organizations, hand-written fields are prevalent on a significant number of forms.  42% of respondents indicated they have hand-written data fields on half or more of their forms. In addition to being prevalent, these hand-written forms are also important to the efficiency of the business process. 40% of respondents say they are quite important; 20% say they play a key role.
  2. However, many organizations are not taking advantage of this information.  88% of respondents say they scan forms, but only 32% say they perform text recognition to automatically make that data readily available for use in their organizations. The majority of respondents (55%) report they scan images and manually re-key the data as part of their workflow.
  3. At the same time, survey participants estimate that they would achieve a considerable level of productivity savings if they were able to automate the recognition of hand-written text. The average estimate is a 34.8% improvement. The median is 23% more productive.  36% of respondents would expect a 50% or greater increase in improvement.
  4. The majority cite localized decision-making and difficulty in accommodating different types of form layouts as the main reason for not adopting forms scanning, followed by a lack of designated owner.

“Despite the adoption of tablets, smartphones, and other electronic means of data capture, paper forms remain the backbone of information gathering,” said Dwayne Ritchie, “Today, as we enter the ‘big data’ era, making use of information on forms is more important that ever.  Handwritten fields can be key in gleaning details for product improvement, sentiment analysis, fraud detection and customer service. Our research with AIIM confirms that there is tremendous opportunity to capture this information, and we continue to further tailor our product set to support this need.”

Results quoted in this report were taken from a survey carried out between March 9 and March 29, 2012, with 324 responses from individual members of the AIIM community surveyed using a Web-based tool. Invitations to take the survey were sent via email to a selection of AIIM’s 70,000 registered individuals.  The research paper identifies trends, opportunities and recommendations in forms processing and enterprise content management.

About Parascript, LLC

Parascript is a leading developer of cursive, handprint and machine print recognition technology. Leveraging digital image analysis and advanced pattern recognition, its software enables business automation in areas like forms processing, postal and financial automation, fraud prevention and medical imaging. Parascript’s award-winning technology draws on a proven 15+-year track record and processes billions of document images annually. Fortune 500 companies, postal operators, major government, and financial institutions rely on Parascript products, including the U.S. Postal Service, Bell and Howell, Fiserv, Selex Elsag, Lockheed Martin, NCR, Siemens, and Burroughs. Visit Parascript online at

About AIIM 

AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for nearly 70 years. The association’s mission is to ensure that information professionals understand the current and future challenges of managing information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founded in 1943, AIIM builds on a strong heritage of research and member service. Today, AIIM is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. AIIM represents the entire information management community, with programs and content for practitioners, technology suppliers, integrators and consultants.