The Truth about 99% Accuracy

Every day when I come into the office I’m greeted with a poster from an old ECM conference that reads, “If 99.9% is good enough, then…” and it proceeds to rattle off staggeringly large consequences of inaccuracy ranging from incorrect medication dosages to parents receiving the wrong newborn child. Even with that perspective, variations of the “99%” accuracy statements are all over in the technology industry. Despite some of these statements being technically accurate, they often lead to misunderstandings and misaligned expectations.

So, what does 99% accuracy really mean? for example, if your organization wants to automate data entry for invoice processing, then you are collecting date, number, and total amount on individual documents. Your objective is to have as much of this data automated as possible, but to be useful data it must be accurate.

Here’s the claim: a solution can deliver you 99% accurate data. While not untrue, this claim can be supported if the only measurement is of the amount of data you need. This measurement should be true regardless of the volume of data, and regardless of the number of fields that need to be automated. If a solution is claiming to be 99% accurate, but only on a small, controlled data set, then overall it is not a useful solution.

This is where we can reframe the discussion to ensure your needs are being met. Measuring specifics like “more than 85% of my data entry fields are now automated at 99% accuracy” provides a clear and measurable goal that defines the true amount of automation required per process. Also, it addresses not just data accuracy, but on the entire set of expectations.

So, the next time you begin a dialog with a solution provider that claims 99% accuracy, ask them, “how much data?”

Process Efficiency for TribalNet

We are excited to attend TribalNet starting Tuesday, November 12th. Our experience working with organizations of sizes and types has taught us the hallmarks of successful projects and those tell-tale signs that automation is necessary and underutilized in most business processes. Taking a look at a few larger Indian tribe websites, or a quick google search for Tribal Enrollment/Membership Verification returns PDF files that would require a printout, then scan and email or fax back. Tribal membership is a sophisticated process and unique for each tribe. A simplified but automated business process can make those important documents associated with the process easy to access and be secure for both the benefit of the member and the tribe. Automated workflows can also kick off personal interactions allowing communication on what documents or time commitments might be required as one moves through an enrollment or verification process. Our experience working with the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington State is something we are looking forward to sharing in more detail with attendees. Come see us at TribalNet booth #211.

Automate and Accelerate

Deciding to replace a document on a website with an electronic form is as simple as collecting or capturing the customer information in a user-friendly format. Most of us have personal data saved in our browser, making it a few clicks away from completion. If your customer has already found the web page relating to their needs, it’s a logical next step compared to working with a PDF that was intended for printing.  What happens next with the information collected? A few years ago, the best next step may have been sending an email to a help desk staff member with the collected information, then a duplicate effort begins where the customer information is keyed into another system. Today initiating a workflow with an electronic form is completely reasonable, and possible next step for automation. Connecting back-office systems and customer-facing interactions reduces the time employees spend duplicating each other’s work and gets your organization closer to its potential for automation while accelerating customer interactions. In the coming weeks, we’ll cover the basics of eForms, and then a deeper dive into second and third phases of eForms automation.

Are PDFs or online files costing you money?

A quick search of state and county websites for PDFs often returns a wealth of results. Anything from DMV forms, to records requests and background checks, are available. It seems reasonable that one would use the form to communicate with the state or local organization. It may appear to be an automated process because it’s a file versus a printout, but it’s broken. The other consideration is the cost of automation. Does it matter if the individual interacting with the PDF form or the website doesn’t like the experience? (For some research on the PDF user experience check out this study It may not matter to your organization, and that’s OK. The reality is that the organization is reliant on a broken process too. The customer fills out the form, only for it to arrive in nearly the same state as a paper document. Extracting the information or initiating the next steps (or workflow) automatically is an achievable benefit that is not addressed by posting a file on a website. The duplication of work costs an organization money. On average companies and organizations miss half of the automation available to them by partially addressing broken processes. On average a full-time employee spends 20% of their time duplicating the effort of someone else (, costing the employer about $14k per employee per year.

Migrating Content-Our experience and our best practices

ImageSource has worked with countless customer partners over the years to migrate data and we have developed a map with known roadblocks, detours and great short cuts to get to your data to its destination intact.

  1. Understand your current system customizations. Over years of use, most organizations optimize/tweak/work around the abilities of a repository or content destination. ImageSource devotes time upfront to document the workflow and use cases of your users. This helps IT decision-makers clearly understand user’s needs, any trade-offs, limitations or improvements that await your migration project. Documenting requirements and limitations, sharing them with users and stakeholders and delivering to them create user acceptance.
  2. Consolidate components. Migration projects are the opportunity to rethink the complex route your data and documents take, in addition to user access utilities and document security tools. Our experience shows organizations have a mix of tools from a mix of providers solving a mix of problems. Going through the planning processes and working closely with a technology partner like ImageSource will reveal opportunities to reply on a single platform or a reduced set of tools for your migration and future document/data storage. This reduces costs, reduces downtime and improves security.
  3. Enable your data. Are your documents fully searchable? Is the taxonomy relevant to user behavior? Are documents in multiple locations? One thing we consistently see is a meaningful document management system already in place, users look for content in it by searching their self-determined keywords and when documents are not found by the user in that single location they are found elsewhere (most likely a departmental file share), then they are saved to a desktop and emailed to a colleague or external recipient. Apply OCR to content to create full-text searchable documents; apply policies to locate and remove multiple documents from multiple network locations; and implement integration to your organization’s established security policies. These examples, to name a few, can save your users hours searching for “lost” documents, reduce wasted storage space, and improve data security.

For more on our experience guiding migration projects successfully check out this link

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