Intelligent Document Processing

RPA and OCR vs IDP? Let’s end the debate!5 min read

July 10, 2023   |   4 min read

Senior Product Marketer

RPA and OCR vs IDP

RPA and OCR vs IDP? Let’s end the debate!5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Are you tired of hearing people argue about which technology is better for automating document-related tasks: RPA, OCR, or IDP? If so, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, let’s settle the debate once and for all. RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, OCR for Optical Character Recognition, and IDP for Intelligent Document Processing. Each of these technologies has its unique strengths and weaknesses, and we’ll explore them in more detail to help you evaluate which one is right for your needs. 

Before we go on and realize which one is better than the other, let’s first get to know in a little bit more detail about these technologies. 

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA is a technology that automates repetitive, manual tasks. It uses software bots to imitate human actions to perform manual tasks such as data entry, form filling, and more. RPA is typically used to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks that do not require a lot of decision-making.

How does it work?

One common use case for RPA in document processing is automating the invoice processing and accounts payable process. Many companies receive large volumes of invoices from suppliers and manually processing these invoices can be a time-consuming and error-prone task. The RPA process can be configured to handle various invoice formats and types, including PDF, Word, and Excel documents. 


The key difference between RPA and IDP is that RPA is a rules-based automation technology that follows pre-defined rules to process data, while IDP uses machine learning algorithms to recognize and understand data patterns, allowing it to process data more accurately and efficiently.

While RPA is a useful technology for automating document processing tasks, IDP offers a more advanced solution that can achieve higher accuracy, handle more complex document types, and ultimately lead to lower costs and improved efficiency.

What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

OCR is technology that recognises text within digital images, such as scanned documents, PDFs, and photos. It can convert images of text into editable and searchable text, making it easier to extract information from documents.

How does it work?

OCR technology is commonly used to digitize paper-based documents such as contracts, invoices, and reports. The software scans the document and converts the scanned images of text into searchable, editable text.


However, IDP is a more advanced technology that goes beyond basic OCR capabilities. Intelligent Document Processing uses machine learning and natural language processing to understand and extract data from unstructured documents, resulting in higher accuracy and improved data extraction and analysis. 

rpa and ocr vs idp - how does it work?
RPA and OCR vs IDP

What is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)?

Intelligent document procesing (IDP) is a platform that uses a combination of optical character recognition (OCR), machine learning, and natural language processing to extract and organize information from documents. IDP can process various document types, including contracts, invoices, and resumes, and automatically classify and route documents based on their content.

How does Intelligent document processing work?

Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) is an advanced technology that automates the processing of various types of unstructured data, such as images, emails and scanned documents. IDP uses computer vision, natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) to understand the content and context of the documents, extract relevant information, and categorize it into structured data.

IDP typically involves multiple stages of processing, including document capture, data extraction, and data validation. IDP’s high level of accuracy allows businesses to extract data from documents with fewer errors and faster processing times, while automation frees up staff to focus on more important tasks. IDP is also highly scalable, making it adaptable to the changing needs of a business.

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How’s IDP works ?

By increasing efficiency and optimizing workflows, IDP can help companies reduce costs, improve productivity, and speed up decision-making. This optimization can also improve the quality of business processes, resulting in more accurate and reliable data for analysis. Overall, IDP is a versatile platform that can provide businesses with a range of benefits, making it a worthwhile investment for companies looking to improve their document processing capabilities.

The final word 

RPA, OCR, and IDP are all powerful technologies that can help organizations automate various business processes. While RPA is focused on automating repetitive, manual tasks and OCR is focused on converting images of text into editable and searchable text, IDP is an advanced form of OCR that can extract and organize information from unstructured documents using machine learning and natural language processing.

It’s important to note that, while all three technologies can be used together to automate various business processes, IDP typically includes additional features such as machine learning and natural language processing. 


When deciding which technology to use, it is essential to consider the specific use case and business goals of the organization. While all three technologies can be used together to automate various business processes, understanding the differences between them can help organizations make an informed decision that meets their needs and leads to greater efficiency and cost savings. Check out’s IDP platform for all your document processing needs!

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Senior Product Marketer

Shruti is a Senior Product Marketer at Mad Street Den, with 4.8 years of experience in EdTech and B2B SaaS startups. She excels at creating compelling narratives that showcase how her products solve customer challenges through captivating storytelling.