BusinessDay: Efficiency is vital when capturing reliable data from paper

There is a growing cohort of technology providers helping their clients bridge the gap between structured and unstructured data. At the forefront is SA firm LarcAI.

By Johan Steyn: 3 October 2022

Published by BusinessDay: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/telecoms-and-technology/2022-10-03-efficiency-is-vital-when-capturing-reliable-data-from-paper/


Organisations of all sizes may now collect enormous data sets from their consumers and internal operations in previously inconceivable ways. Leaders across all industries are undertaking a brave journey to turn their firms into data-driven enterprises at their core.


The reality is that for the most part they try to make sense of unstructured data, and are hampered by the inability to efficiently sort, handle, and organise it. It is common for medium to large enterprises to have terabytes of unstructured data that they must manage, back up and maybe recover.


The IT department faces a challenge in maintaining such a large amount of data, and as a result, the firm incurs a significant, albeit not always evident, resource cost (storage space, backup space, backup time, staff resources). Over time the problem grows exponentially as data from clients, in particular, expands nonstop.

Fortunately, there is a growing cohort of technology providers helping their clients bridge the gap between structured and unstructured data. At the forefront is SA firm LarcAI. Founded in 2015 by Jannie Strydom, and initially focused on business intelligence and analysis, they offer expert advice and platforms in robotics, automation and AI.


“Our focus is to drive efficiency with intelligent document processing (IDP).” Strydom recently told me about AIForged, “a ground-breaking platform with the world’s most powerful document AI services in a single point of access”.

Many organisations use a variety of platforms to manage and make sense of the large amount of document data they receive. The interaction between the various platforms and their management is a great challenge.


“Our platform seamlessly integrates multiple services into a single model from industry-leading AI services like that from Microsoft, Google, Amazon and ABBYY. We offer our IDP technology as a ‘platform as a service’ solution, providing end-to-end intelligent document automation capabilities.”

Strydom said his team had successfully helped global clients to capture data error-free by classifying, extracting, enriching and transforming unstructured data.


Some of the prominent use cases for the AIForged platform include procurement, finance and accounting, human resource management and in the healthcare industry.


I was particularly keen to learn more about the platform’s security, as most business documents contain highly sensitive and confidential information. “Our platform has the highest standard of security. We keep detailed audit trails, tracking every single event and transaction, traceable to the source.”


Local business leaders should take note of the incredible talent and solutions built by SA’s technology leaders. AIForged is a game changer for businesses of all sizes.


• Steyn is on the faculty at Woxsen University, a research fellow at Stellenbosch University and the founder of AIforBusiness.net