Each vendor and analyst has a different definition for Capture. Here’s mine:
“Capture is a process that takes a document as input and produces actionable data as output.”
The term “actionable data” is relative to who or what is taking action. Let’s take Accounts Payable as an example. An Accounts Payable department pays invoices. In order to pay an invoice, the accounting system needs to know who the invoice is from, the amount due on the invoice, and when it needs to be paid. So in this case, “actionable data” includes the vendor name, invoice total and due date. These pieces of data are also referred to as “fields” or “metadata.” The part of the process where metadata is produced is typically called extraction.
In some cases, you might not know what type of document you have. This might happen if you receive different types of documents through physical mail, email, fax, etc. The part of the process where you determine the type of document is typically called classification.
Capture is an important tool for businesses to shorten the time from when they receive the document to when they can act on it.