What Is OCR?

Amy Hou  |  November 28, 2017   |  Energy & Sustainability  


OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, is a piece of technology that allows you to convert different types of documents into editable and searchable data. These documents include:

  • Electronic PDFs
  • Scanned paper documents
  • Images captured from digital cameras
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Time tables

Energy management professionals and solution providers often resort to OCR as a means of efficiently collecting data from utility bills. They’ll scan and upload paper bills or take electronic PDFs and use OCR to scrape meaningful data points from the file.

OCR works well enough in a pinch when you have no other way of quickly aggregating data. But it can result in costly errors when the technology misreads certain values or dollar amounts. Ultimately, it fails to solve the problem of manual data entry, as it requires a data analyst to comb through the original bill and manually confirm whether the OCR categorized data points correctly. Without this extraneous process, data collected from OCR can’t be relied upon.

That’s why Urjanet’s Utility Data Platform was built to vanquish the errors of OCR by digitally retrieving the original bill directly from the utility provider. The automated data feed then undergoes multiple stages of data quality audits to ensure accuracy.

Looking for a better way to manage your utility data? Talk to an Urjanet specialist today.

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About Amy Hou

Amy Hou is a Marketing Manager at Urjanet, overseeing content and communications. She enjoys writing about the latest industry updates in sustainability, energy efficiency, and data innovation.

Tags   Data & Technology   |   Data Quality   |   Energy Management   |   Technology   |   Urjanet   |   Utility Data   |