How to Keep OCR Errors from Spoiling Your ediscovery Party

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1 How to Keep OCR Errors from Spoiling Your ediscovery Party ACEDS Webinar, May 21 st Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 1

2 ACEDS Membership Benefits Training, Resources and Networking for the E-Discovery Community! Exclusive News and Analysis! Weekly Web Seminars! Podcasts! On- Demand Training! Networking! Resources! Jobs Board & Career Center! bits + bytes NewsleRer! CEDS CerSficaSon! And Much More! ACEDS provides an excellent, much needed forum to train, network and stay current on critical information. Kimarie Stratos, General Counsel, Memorial Health Systems, Ft. Lauderdale Join Today! aceds.org/join or Call ACEDS Member Services

3 Speaker Introduction Greg Gies Director, Product Marketing, Imaging Nuance Communications Leads go-to-market planning for Nuance s print, capture & PDF solutions Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 3

4 Agenda What OCR is. What are OCR errors and what causes them. Why ediscovery professionals should care. How common these problems are. What can be done to prevent OCR errors. How to correct OCR errors when they happen Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 4

5 What is OCR? Wikipedia: Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic conversion of scanned or photographed images of typewritten or printed text into machine encoded / computer-readable text Computerworld Article: Optical character recognition (OCR) is the translation of optically scanned bitmaps of printed or written text characters into character codes Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 5

6 I say, OCR is the digital transcription of bitmaps containing machine-printed text into encoded text characters, using a coding scheme such as ASCII, which among other capabilities enables indexing software to decipher textual elements contained within bitmaps. Encoded text is searchable text Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 6

7 What are OCR errors and what causes them Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 7

8 Types of OCR errors Transcription errors: Result: misspelled words. Impact: Unsearchable. Proportional fonts are especially problematic. Formatting errors. Deleted metadata: Example, learning becomes leaming Result: poor legibility. Impact: Unsearchable. Example, learning becomes l e a r n i n g Result: data loss. Impact. Metadata is unsearchable Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 8

9 Some image defects and causes Faulty printing equipment DEFECT Toner specks Vertical lines Toner smear Gray background Page skew Light/dark print CAUSE Defective toner cartridge Worn rollers Wrong settings Worn pickup roller Low toner or ink cartridge Clogged nozzles Paper or form elements Faulty scanning equipment Halftones Vertical/horizontal lines Noise Specks Page skew Light/dark image Colored paper Carbon copies Shaded and lined forms Low/high contrast background Dirty platen Feeder misadjusted Worn pickup roller Low resolution Misfeed Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 9

10 Examples of image defects Specks Fuzzy edges Color Background Halftone Gridlines Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 10

11 Cause & effect SKEWED IMAGE DARK TEXT TONER SPECKS Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 11

12 OCR results... ;., 1HIt#~!':tl'Ol\<fLo\i;l;i\~: 'do ~""r.bf...,200., by- ~ ODNEY D~"'!\Ob$Y~s.IN(;.. ~~"""""" Iaws "'''''.S_",c.rm",,;, ~,-"'"'_U "s.,.",) JOE STANDUi' ~Irnown """,,"). _ and SclIa _<01"'"""y 'l>eknowhllereinasutlj.e paiti~s",' " Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 12

13 Formatting errors Original Image OCR conversion to.docx Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 13

14 Why should ediscovery professionals care about OCR errors? Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 14

15 PDF Files Created by Scanners Aren t Necessarily Searchable 1. Unlike PDF Files that were born digital, a PDF file from a scanner is an image of a paper document. 2. While the text in an image may appear similar or the same as text in a born digital PDF, it s invisible as far as search algorithms are concerned. 3. Images aren t searchable until processed with OCR. 4. Searchable PDF contains OCR output in its metadata Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 15

16 Digitized Versus Native Documents Why special handling is required Electronic Originated online Many native file formats Encoded text machinereadable ediscovery software designed for these documents Digitized Scans of paper originals TIFF & PDF common formats Text is a bitmap; not encoded OCR makes scans machinereadable Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 16

17 All Searchable PDFs Aren t Equally Findable Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 17

18 All Searchable PDFs Aren t Equally Findable OCR Word Accuracy Matters Character vs. word accuracy 1character error = 1 word error 1 char / 10,000 = word / 1,000 =.001 Seemingly small differences in OCR error rate lead to very large differences in errors 98.25% vs % 948 pages ~ 2% delta Over 12,000 more word errors Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 18

19 PDF Isn t Just PDF Anymore Improper handling may lead to data loss Electronic sticky notes & stamps obscure text behind PDF contains native pages or elements PDF contains digitized pages or elements OCR software may flatten the image, i.e., convert PDF to TIF, then OCR Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 19

20 Four Important Ways PDF is Different 1. PDF files can be assembled from multiple files Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 20

21 Four Important Ways PDF is Different 2. PDF elements can be rearranged. User copied snip of scanned document Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 21

22 Four Important Ways PDF is Different 3. PDF files can have multiple layers Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 22

23 Four Important Ways PDF is Different 4. PDF files can be born digitally or created by a scanner Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 23

24 Why These Differences Matter When these properties converge with scanned text ediscovery pitfalls arise that can lead to inadvertent data loss due to processing errors Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 24

25 Single PDF Page Can Contain Both Born Digital and Scanned Content This PDF contains 2 scanned pages Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 25

26 Notes, Text Boxes, Callouts, Stamps, Etc Can Be Overlaid On Images Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 26

27 How Data Gets Inadvertently Destroyed OCR may flatten objects overlaid on text, making the text underneath unreadable and metadata unsearchable Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 27

28 Why Is Data Destruction A Problem? Spoliation is the destruction or significant alteration of evidence, or the failure to preserve property for another's use as evidence in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation. Source: Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 28

29 Penalties for Spoliation $2,750,000 United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. Source: Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 29

30 What If The Data Was Destroyed Unintentionally? I m Okay Right? The intent to alter or destroy electronic data is not required for spoliation to occur. Source: Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 30

31 Other Reasons Data Loss is Bad Spoliation isn t the only concern Destruction of evidence affect case outcome. Time wasted recreating lost data reduced profitability. Client relations loss of credibility and future business Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 31

32 How common are OCR errors? Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 32

33 Typical OCR Word Accuracy Rates Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 33

34 Firms With Initiatives To Convert Paper Documents And Process To Digital 100% Percentage of Respondents 80% 60% 40% 20% Don t know No Yes 0% Total Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 34

35 What Percentage Of The Knowledge Workers Have Access To Scanners? 100% 80% 72.8% 66.7% 75.2% 64.5% 78.6% 80.9% Workers 60% 40% 20% 0% Total Education Financial Healthcare Insurance Legal Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 35

36 The Use Of Scanning Within Organizations 100% Percentage of Respondents 80% 60% 40% 20% Decreasing Stay the same Increasing 0% Total Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 36

37 Why scanning is increasing 100% Percentage of Respondents 80% 60% 40% 20% More people have been given access to scanning Mix of more documents being scanned and more people gaining access to scanning Individuals are scanning more documents 0% Total N = 158 Respondents who have seen an increase in scanning Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 37

38 What can be done to prevent OCR errors from occurring Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 38

39 Image enhancement filters out defects Despeckle Smooth Characters Halftone Removal Remove Gridlines Color Background Removal Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 39

40 Selectively Processing PDF Files Isn t a Viable Strategy Client delivers a disk with millions of files, how do you know which PDF are compound that require special handling? It s kind of like looking for needles in a haystack Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 40

41 Segregate All PDF Files Before Conversion After collecting documents, but before processing, review and analysis Identify all PDF documents Move them to a separate directory to be run through OCR Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 41

42 Pre-process all PDF files with OCR Text images are potentially hidden within files Newer OCR tools will make image text searchable, without disturbing the rest of the data within the document Ensures all text within every PDF document can be searched by ediscovery system Should also convert to PDF/A at the same time so files are ready for court filing Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 42

43 How to correct OCR errors when they happen Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 43

44 Post processing error-correction options 1. Proofreading too time-intensive 2. Run an automated spell check Effective at identifying and correcting spelling errors Doesn t solve contextual errors Example, How is you day? Spelled correctly but clearly is wrong If searching for your this instance won t be found No commercial solutions today solve this problem Helps to understand this potential problem Can either manually review and correct or adjust search strategy to minimize the impact, e.g., fuzzy search techniques Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 44

45 Final Thought Why You Should Care Important enough to print, then to scan, it is important! General business / transaction documents Purchase orders, invoices, contracts, employee identification documents Healthcare organizations / patient medical records Physician s notes, discharge summaries, test results, post operative reports, etc Personal identification documents Driver s licenses, social security cards, professional certificates Public institutions / Police records Incident / accident reports, police logs, court records Insurance & banking Claims documents, medical records, financial records Schools Inoculation records, transcripts, applications Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 45

46 Q&A Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 46

47 Next Steps A recording of today s Webinar will be available shortly for you to review at your leisure Contact Nuance with any questions you may have: or For more information visit: Try our 30-Day free trial of Power PDF at Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 47

48 Thank you Nuance Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 48

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