Is There REALLY A Need For Extracting Data From Annual Reports?
by Mark Clark, on February 13, 2020 7:00:00 AM PST
True or false? Extracting data from Annual Reports is time-consuming.
Extracting data from Annual Reports is painful.
Extracting data from Annual Reports has to be a mostly manual process.
If your company is like most in need of the data trapped in Annual Reports, odds are you called all these statements true. But, what if you’re mistaken?
There’s a reason most find extracting data from annual reports difficult, time-consuming, and/or costly. Because until recently, the common ways to address the challenge were inadequate.
These days, there’s another way. But the only way to reveal it is to ask yourself some tough questions.
Are you game? Read on...
QUESTION 1: Is There REALLY A Need for Extracting Data from Annual Reports?
It may seem obvious. If you’re not really using the data, then why bother with it in the first place?
Before you give up and decide the best way to address the data extraction problem is to ignore the need, put some critical thought into it.
Ask yourself, “How can we use this data in ways we may not be considering?”
Answering this question is about recognizing there may be a need you’re not considering…
It also can help you create more time...either by removing the data extraction process for annual reports altogether or by learning about how you CAN automate this particularly manual chore.
QUESTION 2: What Are the Business Possibilities If You Could Automate Data Extraction from Annual Reports?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Imagine the possibilities?”
That’s what answering this question is all about.
Take some time and think critically about what could happen if you could automate nearly all data extraction from annual reports.
- The time it would save.
- What those people currently are tasked with manual extraction would be able to do.
- How more data could benefit your company.
- The potential new offerings you might be able to create.
- Any other possibilities...think big!
QUESTION 3: If You Could Get More Accurate Data from Annual Reports, Faster, How Would It Help Functional Areas or Improve Processes?
When you can extract more data with better accuracy at a faster rate, there are repercussions...and they’re all positive.
Thing is, I can’t tell you what they are. You have to identify that for yourself.
So...Things to consider regarding how functional areas could be affected:
If more data didn’t cost you time spent to extract it, who would take advantage of that time?
What could they do instead?
How would—or could—their department is affected?
And, things to consider regarding business process improvement:
If you were able to extract not just more accurate data, but MORE more accurate data, how could your processes be improved?
Could you expand processes to take care of more things?
What are other processes that could use the data you can’t extract fast enough right now?
QUESTION 4: You’ve Probably Tried Automating Data Extraction from Annual Reports...What Were the Barriers to Success?
Did you try OCR and learn that OCR can’t do this well enough?
Did you try out cloud tools from Google or Amazon and learn that they’re truly not meant for data extraction at this scale?
Have you tried other things? What were they? Clearly, they didn’t work either...I mean, you’re still reading this, right?!
A hard truth...many try to automate data extraction from annual reports. And many learn it’s not so easy.
The good news? There is a way.
QUESTION: 5: Have You Thrown Up the White Flag and Given Up on Automating Data from Annual Reports?
Well, that would be sad.
Even when you think what you’re dealing with is too complex…
...there is a way to automate data extraction.
For example...consider a well-known investment advisor.
As a part of their investment research, this recognizable brand’s analysts had to manually review slews of annual financial reports and documents from across many different companies.
We’re talking hundreds of thousands of documents, including financial data like balance sheets, income statements, cash flow...you get the gist.
Plus, these weren’t always in just one language. When you’re a global investment firm, you deal with data from virtually every language!
Perhaps a bigger problem?
Each of the documents was always massive, each totaling hundreds of pages!
It all resulted in major challenges that cost the investment firm time and money.
Infrrd provided a platform for the automatic translation and extraction of two million financial documents annually, covering 37 languages.
As a result, the investment firm reduced time and costs in their financial analysis processes by 63%.
Can you achieve this result?
Answering these critical questions is the first step toward finding out.
What do you say we explore the possibilities together?
Start by checking out about how others have addressed their data extraction challenges head-on and lived to tell the tale.