Key Differences Between OCR and IDP? - iCustoms

To do this, businesses rely on modern technology, such as intelligent document processing (IDP) and optical character recognition (OCR). IDP and OCR play important roles in automated data extraction and document processing, although their capabilities and applications differ. In this blog post, we will look into the fundamental differences between IDP and OCR and their respective commercial benefits.

This blog will walk you through the differences between OCR and IDP and their similarities. It will also discuss how the transformation took place and what the new iCustoms IDP offers.

What is OCR?

Optical character recognition was used in the early stages of reading the documents into the computer. To read the text and convert the machine-readable document from scanned photos or handwritten text. It is defined as:

OCR converts handwritten or scanned text into machine-readable text. It recognises and converts letter shapes, patterns, and combinations into editable and searchable data using algorithms and pattern recognition.

Working of OCR

The optical character recognition process is straightforward and uses a simple framework. It includes the input, reading, and giving the output in the form of machine-readable language. Its workflow operates on the following steps:

  • Preprocessing: OCR software preprocesses images for analysis. Image improvement, noise reduction, deskewing, and normalisation guarantee optimal character identification.
  • Analysing Images: OCR detects text in images. It segmented lines, paragraphs, and characters from the background. This step uses pattern recognition and machine learning.
  • Analysing Images: The OCR algorithm then recognises characters within text regions. Recognition methods include feature extraction, template matching, statistical modelling, and artificial neural networks.
  • Post-processing: Post-processing by OCR software improves accuracy. Language modelling, context analysis, and error correction refine text recognition. This step fixes recognition issues and improves output.
  • Generating Results: Post-processing by OCR software improves accuracy. Language modelling, context analysis, and error correction refine text recognition. This step fixes recognition issues and improves output.
IDP Intelligent Document Processing

What is IDP?

IDP or intelligent document processing, is an advanced form of the OCR feature that uses artificial intelligence to read and extract the data. It is defined as:

“Intelligent document processing software used for innovative document processing. It deliberately takes the documents, reads them, and also extracts the required information upon request.”

Working of IDP:

  • Document intake: IDP technology uses the document in the form of either a text file (PDF or Word) or images for formatting it. Email or document management platform connectors can upload these documents manually or automatically.
  • Document class: IDP classifies incoming documents. This process classifies documents by content, layout, or other properties using machine learning algorithms or established criteria.
  • Data extraction: Intelligent processing of documents provides better extraction according to one’s particular requirements. While developing the software, one can specify the documents and things that need to be extracted.
  • Data validation: IDP systems evaluate extracted data against patterns, formats, and business rules using predefined rules, templates, or machine learning algorithms. This stage detects data errors.
  • Integration and automation: Organisational systems and workflows use validated data. The IDP system automatically populates databases, ERP systems, and other applications with extracted data. Predefined rules or conditions can trigger processes, actions, or notifications.
  • Exception handling: The IDP system flags and sends exceptions to humans. Poor quality documents, imprecise data fields, and unrecognised patterns are exceptions. To verify data, humans can evaluate and correct exceptions.
  • Analytical insights: The IDP system may analyse extracted data for insights and decision-making. Reports, trends, and data-driven analysis can be done with extracted data.
  • Enhancing learning: Using machine learning and AI, advanced IDP systems learn from user interactions, document feedback, and data validation. It improves accuracy, recognises new document types, and adapts to changing document structures.
OCR Optical Character Recognition

What is the difference between OCR and IDP

Optical character recognitionIntelligent document processing
OCR technology reads scanned or handwritten text.IDP extracts text and contextual information beyond OCR.
OCR only extracts text and does not automate operations.IDP automates end-to-end document-centric procedures using business process management solutions.
Complex document formats for fonts could result in OCR issues. IDP handles exceptions automatically. It handles OCR exceptions, reducing manual involvement.
OCR extracts text and offers searchable and editable data, but it does not provide insights or analytics.IDP analyses extracted data.
OCR works well for simple text extraction. Complex documents, tables, and unstructured data may challenge it.IDP handles tables, forms, and unstructured data. It better understands context and extracts data from various document types.

What is unique about iCustoms IDP?

Learn about the special qualities that make iCustoms IDP a revolutionary solution for customs automation. Below is an overview of its features and user-friendly design:

1. Customised for customs automation

iCustoms IDP is carefully designed to meet the unique requirements of customs automation, yielding precise outcomes.

2. Flexible acceptance of documents

supports a range of document types, giving users freedom when submitting their data, including PDF files and photos.

3. User-friendly interface

With its simple UI, iCustoms IDP guarantees a smooth experience for all users, regardless of their level of expertise.

4. Utilising modular services

Customise your experience by selecting one service, such as classification, or by selecting many services in accordance with your particular needs.

5. Smart document management

The procedure of clearing customs is made more convenient and efficient by the safe storage of documents for later use.

6. Personalised extractions

Adaptability is increased by giving consumers the choice to extract fresh data or previously unutilised data.


With the advent of IDP and OCR, document processing and data extraction have received a major technological boost. OCR lays the groundwork for digitising documents and automating basic data extraction; IDP expands upon this with its superior capabilities.

Organisations may make educated decisions about which option is best for them based on an awareness of the key distinctions and benefits of IDP and OCR. IDP and OCR can play critical roles in optimising processes and unlocking the true potential of digital transformation by increasing efficiency, enhancing data correctness, and achieving end-to-end automation.


What is the difference between IDP and RPA?

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) is concerned with information extraction from documents, whereas Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is concerned with automating rule-based operations such as data processing and input.

What is IDP in AI?

Intelligent Document Processing, or IDP for short, is a technology that leverages artificial intelligence to extract and manage information from documents effectively.

What is the IDP workflow?

The Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) workflow defines a system for receiving, processing, and using extracted information from documents.

How does iCustoms IDP improve efficiency?

iCustoms IDP automates picture and PDF data extraction to boost productivity. Its user-friendly interface enables customisation, document storage for future use, and customs clearance efficiency.

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About iCustoms

iCustoms is an all-in-one solution helping businesses automate customs processes more efficiently. With AI-powered and machine-learning capabilities, iCustoms is designed to streamline your all customs procedures in a few minutes, cut additional costs and save time.


Struggling to Extract, Catagorise & Validate Your Documents?

Intelligent Document Automation

Capture & Upload Data in Seconds with AI & Machine Learning,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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