The Role of Humans in Automated Document Processing

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Document Processing

Humans play a huge role in document processing.

Enterprises around the world process data in zettabytes. In fact, IDC predicts that worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes by 2025. That’s equivalent to 175 trillion gigabytes. With this amount of information, automated document processing solutions are the key to making sense of this mountain of data.

Most of this information is locked in paper documents, emails, PDFs, and scanned files, posing a real challenge to automation and digital transformation. Intelligent data capture and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have empowered businesses to accomplish more in terms of document processing with fewer manual steps.

However, it is a misconception to deduce that automated document processing can be a complete substitute for people. In fact, more than half of RPA workflows still require human intervention. This is also called attended automation, which serves as a testament to human judgment's crucial role in automated business workflows.

Attended vs. Unattended RPA

RPAs are categorized into attended and unattended. Unattended bots have the ability to fully automate tasks independently. Attended RPA, on the other hand, requires human inputs. Both RPA types have the common goal of accelerating repetitive components.

But the distinction between these two types of RPA plays an important role in document processing. By nature, documents are usually unstructured or semi-structured, except for templated forms. When processing these documents, these are the steps involved:

  • Digitizing the document
  • Data extraction
  • Validating that the data is accurate

These three major steps often include sub-processes, depending on the data capture technology being used, such as natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI). Despite the differences, what these data capture solutions have in common is less-than 100% accuracy. They lack the ability to extract highly accurate data, prompting a manual review by an actual human.

You might think that manual review is counterintuitive to attend RPA since the latter’s goal is frictionless automation. However, human intervention actually addresses the main weakness of RPA, which is accuracy.


Document Processing

RPA facilitates the integration of information from web-based systems so that business processes can be executed faster. For unstructured information sources, including documents, emails, and attachments, IDP utilizes OCR and Intelligent Data Capture to automate document processing. IDP boosts the capability of RPA, allowing it to automate more and more of the processes.

IDP automates the processing of unstructured data in documents and emails, while RPA automates repetitive manual tasks. Together, these two technologies can automate both electronic data and document capture.

Advantages of Combining IDP and RPA in Automated Document Processing

Business data is the core of digital transformation. However, the majority of all this business data is in unstructured form. Intelligent document processing helps transform unstructured data into a usable format.

Intelligent document processing boosts automation processes by capturing, retrieving, and analyzing information from a variety of formats. By combining IDP with RPA workflows, it enables businesses to automate any process that involves documents.

IDP is an important component of smart automation processes. In standard RPA systems, data retrieval is the first step in automation. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are not equipped with the resources to maximize this gold mine.

Document processing is the foundation of your entire workflow, so the data capture process needs to be efficient but accurate. Combining intelligent document processing with your RPA platform enables businesses to fully automate end-to-end processes. With IDP and RPA on the same platform, working in sync effortlessly, you enjoy two of automation's main components.

Here are some of the benefits of integrating IDP with RPA:

1. Fast processing of data.

IDP- integrated RPA tools allow you to execute workflows faster than when you focus on one component only. The benefit is not as simple as one plus one. With IDP, you can ensure that the data you extracted is accurate, preventing errors and repeat jobs along the way.

2. Lower your processing costs.

Boost productivity while reducing labor expenses by automating manual and data-heavy processes. Automated document processing also increases your productivity and efficiency by letting you process more documents than manual processing over the same amount of time. It helps to reduce the overall cost of operations of the company, increase profits in return.

3. Business user-friendly.

IDP is easy to integrate with RPA so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Most platforms provide intuitive and easy-to-use UI. Most businesses don’t have time to figure out how things work, so they need a technology they can use without a lot of training.

4. Enterprise-level automation.

You can tie your IDP solutions into other business areas to get a fully integrated RPA system, minus the expensive upgrades. It also streamlines operations and reduces risk. By simplifying and automating manual processes across various areas of your business, you eliminate processing errors and reduce operational risk.

5. Process any document.

By combining IDP and RPA, you give document processing the capability to process any document. Whether it’s a scanned invoice or a survey form, you can easily convert it into a digital format that you can use for your business process automation.

Industries That Will Benefit the Most From IDP + RPA

Combining IDP with RPA is the next-generation of automation. Although the benefits have been outlined above, some industries and processes tend to benefit more from this setup.

Financial services

  • Confirmations and pre-/post matching
  • Customer onboarding
  • Account opening
  • Loan applications
  • Compliance-related processes
  • Receipt processing
  • Vendor onboarding
  • Claims handling
  • Mortgage processing


  • Sales order processing
  • Accounts payable/ receivable
  • Parts requests from customers
  • Remittance processing


  • Employee onboarding
  • Extracting key data from candidate CVs
  • HR records processing

Supply chain management

  • Order scheduling and tracking of shipments
  • Bill of lading
  • Transport notes


  • Billings and claims management
  • Insurance processing

Government sector

  • Immigration applications
  • Education system applications
  • Passport management applications


Although automation has presented tremendous value for businesses, a lot of processes still require human intelligence. Attended RPA, or automation workflows with human intervention, fill these requirements. Instead of replacing humans, this platform empowers instead. With this setup, businesses can focus their efforts on more intelligent tasks while bots can automate repetitive jobs. As a result, companies can boost their productivity, improve data quality, and minimize transaction costs.

DocDigitizer is one of the upcoming leaders in automated document processing, using an innovative document analysis technology that enables data capture from any document, regardless of its format or layout.

DocDigitizer’s team delivers you professional and human-quality data extraction at scale. The team combines its effective document processing algorithm with the accuracy of human supervision to ensure a high level of accuracy for every single document.


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