Document capture is any one of several processes used to convert a physical document to another format, typically a digital representation.
At its simplest, document capture involves scanning a physical document and saving it as a digital image. However, in the context of enterprise information management (EIM), creating a digital image file is often not adequate for business purposes. For text documents, capture usually includes processes like optical character recognition (OCR), so that the information contained in the document can be accessed and integrated with an organization’s information systems.
The ability to capture documents and make their information available has become increasingly important for a number of reasons, in particular regulatory compliance requirements, information security, and the competitive business environment.
An enterprise document management (EDM) system creates a single view of an enterprise's documents and provides workflow tools to monitor and control modifications. To facilitate those processes, it's important that documents in all formats, including multimedia, are tagged and indexed so they can be found quickly by keyword or full text search.
See also: digitization, Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC), business intelligence (BI), business analytics (BA), enterprise content management (ECM), records information management (RIM)