Image Data Extraction: What It Is and How to Extract Data from Images

“What extraction text from an image encompasses?” You’re in the right place if you also ask yourself this question. It’s because this article deconstructs the topic of extracting text from images and the benefits of doing it with the help of AI technology. 

The cherry on top is the intuitive step-by-step platform created by Alphamoon to guide users in getting the best out of image data extraction.

Regardless of the industry, if you aim to:

  • Optimize the workflow,
  • Create space for innovation,
  • Improve the life-work balance for you and your staff, 

image data extraction is for you.

Data Extraction Deconstructed

Nowadays, using automation has become the norm. Regarding data extraction, categorization, and interpretation, its use has long surpassed manual processes. 

It’s mainly due to the ever-increasing data volumes and keeping one’s sanity, if anything. Still, jokes aside, our human eye can only do so much when dealing with many informational layers.

Let’s first look at how we migrate and use data extraction.

Data extraction is when businesses obtain data from databases or SaaS platforms and duplicate it to a data warehouse for reporting, analytics, or machine learning (ML) use.

We traditionally categorize data extraction based on its design and structure: logical vs physical data extraction.

Let’s give examples and skip any technical buzzwords:

Logical Data Extraction

Logical data extraction refers to exporting a table in CVS.

Flat files such as CVS are usually simple text docs and don’t require any metadata. Did you know that Microsoft Excel accounts for 90% of flat file databases?

Physical Data Extraction

Physical data extraction refers to transferring data such as photographs, biometrics, and more complex file formats from one device to another. In a physical extraction, the contents of a device’s memory are copied bit by bit.

By the way – did you know that although faster and quicker, logical extraction produces less information? Physical extraction is more complex and time-consuming, giving more insights than logical extraction.

Want to learn more? Check out this data extraction tools comparison.

data extraction tools comparison

What is image data extraction?

Image data extraction uses feature extraction and heavily relies on metadata. In image processing, feature extraction transforms raw data into numerical data for better conservation of the data and improving the machine learning results. 

In simple terms, image data extraction equals recognizing specific fields on your image (like name, address, due date, etc.) and getting this data in a structured format for further processing or analysis.

Businesses and employees have used image data extraction for many years. So far, only pre-outlined reading skills have been used to extract their visual data. 

Thanks to machine learning, deep learning, and auto-identification text, intelligent picture data extraction is the new, cutting-edge technique to grow your company units.

You can’t begin explaining intelligent image data extraction without first addressing computer vision and OCR – at Alphamoon, we call it “the body and soul” of any image data extraction platform.

Computer Vision

Although the current iteration of computer vision is a recent development, it results from decades of research. Midway through the 1960s, MIT released “Project MAC,“ an acronym for Project on Mathematics and Computation. 

It goes back to the XIXth century, starting with Herman Hollerith’s tabulator sorter and culminating with the punch machine.

computer visionSource: MIT

One of the most recent developments of Hollerith’s discovery is computer vision, a branch of artificial intelligence that teaches computers how to see 2D and 3D pictures and objects.

Deep learning techniques like computer vision are skilled at swiftly and precisely classifying and processing large amounts of visual input and formulating conclusions or suggestions based on the data.

In a nutshell, it teaches the computer to process an image on a granular level for an accurate object prediction. In image data extraction, we think of computer vision as “the body.”

Image Data Extraction and Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Imagine you wanted to digitize a printed contract, a letter, or a handwritten note. You would end up typing and retyping, correcting errors for hours. Sounds challenging and boring, huh?

Fortunately, there is an alternative. You can use an optical character recognition program and a scanner (or a digital camera) to convert all the necessary materials into digital format in minutes. 

OCR, or optical character recognition, operates through vectors. This feature classifies and reports back to the data bank, where it compares with existing feature vectors stored in the bank.

OCR is “the Soul” of image data extraction and processing.

Although the precise methods by which humans can recognize objects are not yet fully understood, scientists already know the three fundamental principles of integrity, purposefulness, and adaptability. 

These ideas form the basis of Alphamoon’s intelligent document processing platform, which includes the AI OCR feature – among other components used as building blocks to solve various document workflows.

AI OCR enables the platform to mimic real-world or human-like recognition. More so, while conventional OCR software is constructed using a rule-based model, Alphamoon’s model uses intelligent document processing.

What is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)?

IDP refers to transforming unstructured data extracted from documents into structured and relevant information. Intelligent document processing has many benefits for business, saving time and money being the most popular. 

But let’s get back to image-to-data processing. We’ve established the difference between AI OCR and conventional OCR.

Why is This Light Years Ahead of Other Platforms?

In a nutshell, by using IDP, the platform combines machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and natural language processing (NLP) to provide highly accurate data extraction and classify the extracted information.

Classification is the keyword here, and thanks to its accuracy, the data can be further streamlined and successfully used regardless of the industry and language you’re operating in. 

The character recognition is so sensitive that it can pinpoint even handwritten calligraphy on a microscopic level.

With IDP, your processes level up in a snap.

Mario jumping

Are you curious how it all works? Process the first 20 documents for free with Alphamoon Workspace. 

What About the Final Readable Format?

If the tabulator operated on paper, contemporary AI can recognize and process various formats. Users may extract data from several files, including a scanned PDF file, TIFF, BMP, TXT, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, EML, and more.

Later, you can export extracted data to various formats, including CSV, JSON, etc.

Fun fact: this is all possible thanks to this 27-year-old lad named EXIF, a format for storing metadata in images.

EXIF (Exchangeable image file format) is a standard that outlines the picture, sound, and supplemental tag formats that digital cameras (including smartphones), scanners, and other devices handling image and sound files captured by digital cameras will accept.

Now that you know “the body and soul” of image data extraction, let’s explore how to use it.

quote about image data extraction

Which Industries can Benefit from Image Data Extraction?

What are some industries that heavily rely on image data extraction?

IndustryUse of Image Data Extraction
BankingImage data extraction can automate processing documents such as loan applications, account opening forms, and statements, making the workflow more efficient.Image extraction can be used to capture and process information from checks, facilitating quicker and more accurate transaction processing.
Debt CollectionExtract information from identity documents, proof of income, and other images to verify the authenticity of a debtor’s information.Extracting and validating data from images helps ensure that the information provided by debtors is accurate, speeding up the debt collection process and reducing errors.
AutomobilesIn the event of accidents or damage, image data extraction can assist in processing insurance claims faster by analyzing and extracting relevant information from images of the vehicle and incident.During the sales process, image data extraction can be employed to automatically analyze and catalog details from images of vehicles, streamlining inventory management.
HealthcareImage data extraction can be utilized to digitize and extract information from medical records, prescription images, and other healthcare-related documents, enhancing record-keeping and retrieval.In health insurance, image extraction can speed up claims processing by extracting and validating relevant information from medical bills and supporting documents.
ManufacturingImage data extraction can assist in quality control processes by analyzing images of products to identify defects, ensuring that only high-quality products are released into the market.Extracting data from images of inventory items can streamline inventory management, helping manufacturers keep track of stock levels and reduce errors.
TravelImage data extraction can be used for processing receipts and invoices related to business travel expenses, making expense management more efficient.In the travel and hospitality sector, image data extraction can aid in verifying passports and IDs during check-in processes, enhancing security.

Let’s see a short summary of how different industries can benefit from getting image data.

Industries relying on Image Data Extraction

What big fish use image data extraction worldwide, and what do they use?

CompanyHow they use image data extraction
SofteqComputer vision – object tracking and recognition capable of face, gesture, movement recognition, and background separation.
IBM WatsonAI – fast processing of medical images and efficient data interpretation with information from various databases.
EnliticDeep learning – enables radiologists to read cases 21% faster.
TeslaComputer Vision – The software behind Tesla’s self-driving cars.

How Does Intelligent Image Data Extraction Improve Your Company’s Operations?

Let’s take a closer look at how implementing something as basic as image data extraction can and will instantly increase your performance and generate more revenue.

Suppose you’re part of the mainstream industries such as medical or banking. In that case, you’re most likely already using a vast array of data extraction and sorting tools.

Today, there is probably not one soul working in banking who hasn’t opened an Excel spreadsheet.

Suppose you’re more of a niche or only now finding your footing. In that case, the following features might help you decide on opting for an OCR platform such as Alphamoon.

Why Should You Use an Image Data Extraction Tool 

Feature Extraction From Any Image You Want

Alphamoon quickly extracts visual data and metadata from a vast array of formats and exports in high quality.

  • It helps you save time
  • It helps you minimize errors
  • It helps you verify what data are necessary for further processing
  • It cuts your costs on both resources and payroll

Integrate Alphamoon Workspace With Zapier and via. API With Other Apps

It’s easily integrable with a vast array of software you use daily.

  • Reduces the software clutter.
  • Saves money on extra training for yourself and your staff.
  • It’s measurable and acts as a to-go source of truth.

If you’re new to the automation world and don’t know Zapier, don’t worry. We created integration guides to help you set up time-saving integrations by yourself. And as always – no coding skills are required.

Check how to automate invoice data export to Excel from OneDrive or how to pull invoices from your Gmail inbox to your Google Drive. 

Use Accurate OCR to Digitize Images

Enhanced results are guaranteed from the first use.

  • OCR is sensitive to handwritten papers
  • Operates in most Latin alphabets
  • Highlights and allows you to edit all fields

Zero-shot Learning that Handles Any Type of Image Processing

Zero-shot learning is an innovation in AI that basically lets you extract data from any (even unknown) document out there. It’s a tireless algorithm that keeps on learning.

  • Easily recognizes the type of document
  • Learns how to recognize acronyms in your texts
  • It’s a private source that caters to your extraction and processing needs

Extraction from Images: Guide How to Do it in Alphamoon Workspace

Did you know that one of the biggest roadblocks to implementing new systems is training yourself and your staff to use them? Well, not anymore. Below, we show you a sneak peek of how to convert images to text automatically

Hint: we have a solution called Alphamoon Workspace that has image OCR and data extraction functionality. It’s so intuitive that not only requires minimal to no training but will enable creativity and excellence in 3,2,1…

If you want to follow the step-by-step guide by yourself, you can create an account. You’ll have a chance to test the tool as you get 20 images to get data from for free.

Now, off to the guide.

1. Create a New Process

So, to process new document types, you must create a new process.

When you press the purple button “New Process”, you’ll be taken to a window that needs you to specify which document type you want to get data from.

Say you have a couple of invoices in image format. Thus, we press the “Invoices” tile.

2. Upload Your File

After pressing the “Invoices” tile, you’ll get to the window that needs you to upload this image. Press “Upload” and drag and drop your file. 

When you’re done, close this window and check the file to see if the image data extraction was successful.

As you see, the tool extracted image data correctly. You have to press “Accept” when it’s correct, and “Reject” when the extraction didn’t go well. In this case, we accepted the extraction as it was 100% accurate.

3. Verify Accuracy of The Extraction

If you need to, press the three dots on the right side of the UI and choose “Edit” to change the value of a specific field extracted from this PNG file. And guess what, that’s it.

A natural next step is to export data from your invoice images as a batch. You can export this data by pressing the “Export” button at the top right of the menu. 

Alphamoon’s OCR is taught thanks to the usage of machine learning; it processes thousands of documents and gains expertise by learning from image data extraction.

As mentioned before, the secret really lies in continuous learning. Every batch of documents you upload and process improves the future results. 

What’s more, you can also extract other information from your documents. It’s a matter of creating a new process (for example, a custom process) and choosing what info you want from a specific image. 

This further translates into good ROI in the long term, which means you’re getting back substantially more than what you’re deciding to invest now.

If you like that sound, start with Workspace and process the first 20 documents for free. Additionally, if you choose the pay-as-you-go option, you get another 50 docs for free.

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