A common complaint from customers is the volume of data their business generates – often stored in different systems, formats and in multiple silos. How do you wrap your arms around massive amounts of unstructured data, in a way that adds greater value to your business?

We came across an interesting case when working with a government entity, who was holding onto historically important records, stored on paper. These old written documents dated back to the 1800’s and held important insights on the history of a nation and legislation. They were sitting on a goldmine of information about the historical decisions that shaped the laws of modern day but had no way to make sense of thousands of written records.

Using Artificial Intelligence to uncover history

The challenge was not only that the data was on paper – it was also recorded in different and varying hand-writing styles, often using old-English terms which are no longer used in modern times.

Using Azure Cognitive Services, NovaWorks developed custom handwritten recognition models to decode different handwriting styles and inspect old English terms and translate them to the language of today. This technology enabled the customer to make the data searchable – giving them the ability to understand matters of historical significance, research historical events, understand trends and make the data available to their citizens, offering complete transparency to the history of legislation.

The applications for business are far reaching

Prior to the late 1900’s, most content was documented using pen and paper. The opportunity now is to digitize legacy information like historical data, government data and company records that would otherwise be consigned to the archives.

Beyond this, businesses can leverage this technology to digitally transpose data collected on paper forms, eliminating potential errors which occur when employees manually enter data – and allowing staff to focus on tasks that adds more value to the business. This could include data collected from medical forms, insurance claims, loan applications, form submissions, market research surveys or web scraping.

This is especially useful in industries which accumulate large amounts of data like healthcare providers or legal firms. Digitising written records makes the content more searchable, and by applying machine learning algorithms, meaningful insights can be derived.

Where to next?

The value beyond just digitizing data is the ability to build machine learning algorithms that can derive meaningful insights from data for medical, insurance, or health prediction, as an example.

One customer focused on recruitment was able to use AI modelling to assess locations most favorable for hiring staff and used this information to better target job ads. This type of assessment was done in seconds, not hours, with the help of Azure Cognitive Services.

Applications like Jarvis.ai use artificial intelligence to write high quality content for various types of mediums including blogs, social media posts and even creative stories – making great copywriting accessible to all.

Deriving more value from your data

While many companies have vast amounts of data, very few are fully utilising their data assets to drive real business value. The data analytics consulting services team at NovaWorks can help you build a single source of truth and leverage your data to make smarter business decisions in real time rather than retrospectively. We have found that a hybrid model of both human experts and machines working together is able to provide powerful outcomes. Talk to our team about the right machine learning and AI strategies to meet your business goals.

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