Intelligent Document Processing (IDP): Features & Use Cases

Simon Lehmann
Post by Simon Lehmann
August 11, 2021
Intelligent Document Processing (IDP): Features & Use Cases

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) converts documents into structured data by classifying, extracting, and automating its processing.

Often, IDP uses AI technology (such as machine learning) to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the data output, making this type of software increasingly popular across all industries that handle documents.

Table of content 
  • Definition
  • Features
  • IDP vs RPA
  • IDP vs OCR
  • Checklist: How to compare different providers
  • Typical use cases
    • Banking: Income/loan verification
    • Intelligent contract management
    • Invoices
    • Mailroom automation
    • Purchase orders


Definition: Intelligent Document Processing

Intelligent Document Processing automates the processing of data within documents: contextualising the document, understanding the information, extracting it, and sending it to the right place.

It's a solution that transforms unstructured information from your documents into usable data. It can extract, classify, and process data from any document in any language - using AI. 

Since most of your data is locked inside your documents (emails, PDFs, scans, etc.), you only use a tiny percentage of your data.

Video: Intelligent Document Processing Explained in 58 Seconds

Intelligent Document Processing (open subtitles)

(Watch the video on YouTube)

Features of Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)

  • Automated extraction of unstructured/semi-structured data
  • Eliminates manual data entry
  • Fast implementation and easy integrations with other systems
  • Powered by AI and machine learning technology
  • Fastest and most accurate data extraction from any document
  • Available for any language
  • Connects to existing RPA systems

IDP Systems vs RPA

ML Robot

If you’re wondering what RPA software is, it stands for Robotic Process Automation – which supports business process optimisation by automating existing repetitive tasks.

By comparing IDP and RPA, we see that there’re many similarities in what issues they overcome. They automate repetitive tasks. However, RPA software designs and deploys bots to manage simple tasks, whereas an IDP system optimises the automated data to get the best results.

How is IDP different from OCR?

You have most likely heard of OCR, but what is it in more detail?

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and can scan documents and transforms them into a machine-readable form. But it doesn't "really" understand your data like IDP does. 

For instance, OCR can tell us that certain pixels are the numbers 1 9 8 0 – but it does not understand that it's a year and part of your Date of Birth.

💡 IDP does, though. As humans, we quickly understand the meaning behind certain words, and that's what IDP does for you. It understands text and documents.

Infographic: OCR vs Intelligent Document Processing 

OCR vs Acodis Checklist | Acodis

In today's business, we need much more than just numbers and letters; we need to categorise and identify business data in an instance.

In today's business, we need IDP.

IDP Checklist: How to compare different IDP providers

When you’re shopping around for data extraction software, consider the following factors:

  • Document complexity – consider the volume of documents that your business processes and how many of them are complex. 
  • There is no such thing as standard documents; layouts change constantly. Ensure that your system is not based on templates, as templates break whenever your documents change.
  • Can you build your own model with just a few clicks for the highest data extraction accuracy, and does your system also provide pre-trained models for the most common documents for fast results?
  • One last thing: can your system easily combine custom and pre-trained models for fast and accurate results?

Use cases and examples for intelligent document processing

Almost every business process contains documents, and therefore there are endless opportunities to automate business processes with IDP. 

Here is a list of the most common ones:

Banking: Income/loan verification

When applying for a loan, we would like a fast and timely answer whether the request got accepted or not.

Sounds straightforward, but we couldn't believe it when we learned that most institutions still review payslips manually.

Intelligent document processing supports financial institutions in extracting relevant data from payslips and other financial documents. 

Intelligent contract management

Contracts hold valuable information but are typically hard to access. IDP classifies, extracts and validates contracts. 

Typically IDP solves the following three issues:

  1. Search for specific issues or provisions within documents and get the relevant clauses and even sub-clauses that you're looking for.

  2. Detect the similarities and differences between documents such as employment contracts for comparisons.

  3. Search for specific values relating to particular issues within the document (property lease search, extract & normalise termination dates and insurance requirements).

Read more about IDP and Intelligent Contract Management.


Processing large numbers of invoices manually leads to lost or duplicated invoices, meaning a customer isn’t billed at all, or, they’re double billed. Moreover, invoices could take longer to reach your customers, which can potentially delay payments from reaching your books.
Intelligent Document Processing implementation helps avoid these mishaps and releases your staff from stressful and tiring manual data entry.

Mailroom Automation

Mailroom Automation captures incoming mails and their documents attached, classifies and processes them, and sends the extracted data to the responsible person or the appointed system.

The automation of incoming mail not only enables you to shorten your processing and response times - but also helps to lower the costs of sorting, organising, and manually tagging documents.

Also, make information faster available to enterprise business systems faster to initiate, support, and complete transactions. 

Four advantages of IDP for mailroom automation:

  1. Make information faster available to initiate, support, and complete transactions
  2. Gain a real-time understanding of the information entering your enterprise

  3. Lower the costs of sorting, organising, and manually tagging documents

  4. Shorten your processing and response time to customer inquiries
Discover more about mailroom automation

Purchase orders

Business and money never sleep. That's already one reason why one should process incoming purchase orders as fast and as accurately as possible.

With the implementation of an Intelligent Document Processing System, it is possible to react to purchase orders in real-time.

IDP helps you find the information you need:

  • Quantity purchased
  • Product/service purchased
  • Names, models, numbers, etc.
  • Price per unit
  • Delivery date and location
  • Billing address

Plus any other data point that you define. 

Read how to process purchase orders in real-time with IDP.


Contact our experts today to learn how IDP can transform your company's data extraction.




Simon Lehmann
Post by Simon Lehmann
August 11, 2021
Marketing Director