From ballot papers to betting slips, from voting to final exams: our scanners and OMR digitize, sort and evaluate. They are the reliable link between paper and the digital world.
Sebastian Blümel, DATAWIN Team Leader Development
Document archiving is an ongoing task of every organization: whether it is due to the statutory archiving obligation or whether it is required by the particular business model or the activity of the organization.
Thus on the one hand companies, institutions and administrative departments are obliged by law to preserve at least as digital images, commercial correspondence, book-keeping vouchers and other tax-relevant documents for a set period of time.
On the other hand, it is a matter of vital interest to many organizations to keep certain documents and information permanently available, for example in health care systems, in the insurance business but also in criminology (e.g. fingerprint archives).
High-performance scanners are hereby employed in order to assure clarity and simple handling of the documents involved and to avoid large haptic paper archives, or to transfer these archives instead or additionally to digital archives.
Portable high-performance scanners offer the possibility of performing the digitalization of the documents on site. One can then dispense with the transport logistics imposed by data protection laws which are so time-consuming and personnel-intensive, since the confidential documents need not leave the record office.
A digital signature, which can already be applied using the image processing board (IPB) thus excluding the possibility of external influence, guarantees absolute immunity to forgery.
One finds multiple choice processes (multiple selection, voting procedure answers) in use in the field of education and in public opinion research : on the one hand, in tests and examinations at universities and other schools and on the other, in opinion trends and attitudes in surveys and market research situations.
Multiple choice formats offer various pre-formulated answers and assessment possibilities to a question or statement. Selection is made by manually marking the corresponding answer or rating, usually by inserting a cross or ticking or blackening a box preceding one of the answers or ratings with a pencil or ballpoint pen.
Optical mark readers recognize these marks on exam forms, questionnaires and polarity profiles and pass on the marking coordinates to a PC. The application software interprets the marks that were made, analyzes them and then very quickly and reliably calculates the test results, survey ratings or queried attitudes. The findings can subsequently be imported directly into databases.
In cases in which a statutory archiving obligation is required, high-performance scanners or OMR/scanner hybrids simultaneously prepare a digital image of the filled in test form or similar document for digital storing.
The conducting of political elections – e.g. presidential elections – besides intelligent organizational concepts, requires highly reliable and certified technical equipment. When electoral law prescribes elections by means of ballots and absentee ballots, sometimes thousands, sometimes millions of ballots must be evaluated.
In order to avoid the high error rate and extreme costs of counting by hand, governments, administrative bodies and election organizers employ high-end and peak performance scanners, so-called “election scanners”.
These election scanners process up to 200,000 balllots per day. The ballots – even including folded documents – are thereby checked for authenticity and plausibility, evaluated, sorted and archived as images.
The preparation of the images is effected using a CCD line camera and a powerful image processing board. Here in the image processing board the image is compressed and, if required, digitally signed. Initial data (e.g. barcodes, marks, etc.) can be extracted beforehand from the uncompressed raw data of the image. The compressed image is transmitted to the integrated PC. The latter’s counting and evaluation software registers and qualifies the marks and identifies ballots as correctly or incorrectly filled out and issues the corresponding disqualification commands. Any double document copies are detected by an ultrasound sensor, a document tracing system on the basis of light barriers detects jams, infeed disorders and full output trays.
In addition to marks, election scanners also recognize handwritten remarks (write-ins) and separate these out for individual inspection.
Whether general assemblies of clubs or associations, legislative assemblies (state parliaments) in politics or shareholders’ meetings in the realm of economy: each democratic organization or institution conducts voting procedures at regular intervals, in order to arrive at decisions and to adopt resolutions.
The methods of conducting the voting differ according to the respective by-laws, statutes, constitutions or standing orders. Common methods are the submission of “yes”, “no” or “abstain” voting cards as well as alternative voting.
Voting can be conducted openly or secretly. Depending upon the voting method employed, the passing of a resolution may require a relative, simple, absolute, qualified or unanimous majority. The greater the number of eligible voters and/or the greater the differentiation in the distribution of the voting shares, all the more necessary is the machine-supported automatic counting of the votes.
Above all, when a multitude of different votes must be evaluated or when the outcome of the voting is needed immediately as the basis for further decision-making, fast, reliable and in some cases detailed results must be available.
Optical mark readers (OMR) and high-performance scanners evaluate great volumes of voting cards in extremely short times. As an option, they can test the voting cards for plausibility, verify them and by means of integrated barcode printing, assign each vote counted to the corresponding card so that the results can be validated if necessary.
In order to inform their shareholders and to involve them in fundamental decisions, corporations, limited partnerships by shares and public European companies hold ordinary and extraordinary shareholders’ meetings.
Among others, these meetings include supervisory board elections, the election of the annual auditor, dividend payments and procedural rules, but also capital increases, restructuring measures or company mergers.
Not rarely up to 100 decisions are made and voting procedures conducted at a single shareholders’ meeting.
Since voting results are often needed immediately as the basis for further decision-making, reliable and sometimes very detailed results must be available quickly, e.g. when simple majorities are not sufficient to reach a decision. Acclamation or manual vote counting do not satisfy these requirements.
Public opinion research and market research employ qualitative and quantitative methods to determine dispositions and attitudes of certain target groups. A widely used method is the multiple choice process (multiple selection, voting procedure answers).
Optical mark readers recognize these marks on questionnaires and polarity profiles and pass on the marking coordinates to a PC. The application software interprets the marks that were made, analyzes them and then very quickly and reliably calculates the survey results or queried attitudes. The findings can subsequently be imported directly into databases.
In betting offices, sports betting shops and at racing tracks, certified and licensed betting operators, organizers of sporting bets and bookmakers offer bets on the outcome of many different types of events. The person placing the bet thereby marks the outcome of the sporting event (the game) that he predicts on a betting slip.
A variety of games can thereby be marked on each betting slip so that various traces are present on the slip. Possibilities include among others single bets, combination bets and system bets.
Optical mark readers and high-performance scanners are responsible for carrying out the recording of the betting slips. They are either operated by the personnel at the counter of the betting shop or they are built into terminals into which the better inserts his betting slip and from which he then receives a receipt for the bet he has placed.
Betting terminals, scanners and readers substantially reduce the expenses in terms of time und staff for the betting provider. Their usage in the automated acceptance of sporting bets has proven their worth thousands of times and has been the national and international standard for many years now.
Every year over 12 million emergencies occur in Germany alone. These cases are handled by doctors on emergency call and paramedics who use the so-called emergency protocol to document their work.
In the emergency protocol, these emergency doctors, rescue personnel and paramedics document the emergency situation as they found it, the initial measures carried out by them on site, the transportation to the clinic as well as any of the patient’s previous illnesses or premedications.
Documentation is generally effected using a standardized paper protocol according to the MIND standard (Minimal Emergency Data Set).
Optical mark readers transfer the paper-based data of the emergency protocol (original document) quickly and without loss to digital data records which are then directly available for further processing in the respective databases, for example, for the preparation of emergency statistics or payroll accounting.
An anesthesia protocol contains the written documentation of all perioperative incidents, measures or medications, chronologically and with time specification.
These measures preceding, during and after the operation extend from the immediate preoperative patient identification to the adjusting of the surgical indication along with the preparation of the requisite operating area and finally up to the checklist-supported inspection of the entire anesthetic equipment and all the procedures.
The anesthesia protocol documents premedication, introduction and maintenance of the anesthesia as well as all data and vital parameters regarding the anesthesia and the operation and furthermore, all measures and materials relevant to the anesthesia: among others, anesthetic procedures, types of tubes, respiratory techniques, anesthetic machines, accesses established, positioning, AV blocks, drainages, intervention types and also the surgical and anesthetic personnel.
Anesthesia protocols are prepared by making marks and entries in ready-made protocol forms. The set of documents consists of the three forms premedication, documentation of the operation and recovery room documentation.
Optical mark readers are responsible for transferring the paper-based data of the anesthesia protocol (original document) quickly and without loss to digital data records which are then directly available for further processing in the respective databases, for example, for the preparation of statistics, for quality assurance in anesthesia or for archiving purposes.
OMR special development halves counting time of votes
In the Bavarian State Parliament, more than 200 members vote on all Bavarian laws. The exact voting results must be available within a few minutes. We perform the count with an OMR special development of DATAWIN. The mark reader, which has been optimized for our processes and voting cards, and its evaluation software are user-friendly, perform reliably and reduce the processing time of a vote by up to 50% compared with earlier solutions from other manufacturers. We are also very satisfied with DATAWIN's order processing and customer proximity.
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Evaluate exams and examinations fascinating fast
Munich University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest universities for applied sciences in Germany. Over 18,000 students write their exams and examinations here at the end of each semester. Evaluating and correcting them on time is a mammoth task. That's why we use DATAWIN optical mark readers and evaluation software. The devices work fascinatingly fast and contain excellent mechanics. An exam with 220 students used to take 12 hours of correction work. With the help of the DATAWIN OMR, it now takes just under 2 hours - including the import of results into our IT system.
Counting supervisory board elections, general meetings, works council elections and general meetings quickly and cost-efficiently
HVBEST Event-Service GmbH is a leading full-service provider for supervisory board elections, general meetings, works council elections and general meetings. For our customers, we count many votes and elections. In the past, this was done with mobile data capture devices, among other things. In order to become faster, less error-prone and more cost-efficient, we were looking for a user-friendly automated solution. We found this in the DATAWIN HEMERA S high-performance scanner. The scanner, which is individually adapted to our needs, processes and digitizes up to 25,000 different documents per hour. DATAWIN's high product quality, competent service and special flexibility speak for themselves, as do the people with whom we have been working successfully for years.
Custom OMR evaluates questionnaires - without the need for maintenance
With over 80,000 visitors annually, the Natural History Museum in Neuchâtel is one of the most popular museums in its region. As a special highlight and interactive element, we enrich special exhibitions with visitor quizzes. Visitors can then answer knowledge questions about the exhibition on the basis of a questionnaire during the tour. The evaluation of the questionnaires takes place via a specially designed device consisting of a simple door mailbox and a DATAWIN OMR installed on the back. Visitors see their results on a screen within seconds and can compare their results with those of previous visitors. We are very happy with this solution: it is fun for our visitors and works flawlessly - without any need for maintenance or downtime.
Express archiving of large volumes of confidential documents
As a financial services company, TELIS FINANZ AG manages millions of contracts for its clients. These must be digitally archived in defined time windows. For a particularly time-critical archiving project, we commissioned DATAWIN to scan over 80,000 documents within a few hours, archive them and deliver them to us on CD. The original documents were to be captured 100 percent loss-free and in a predefined sequence, and then destroyed. The entire process had to comply with data protection guidelines for confidential documents. Although our request was on short notice and the time frame was tight, DATAWIN left no doubt at any time that all documents would be available to us in digital form on time. The image resolution of the scans is impressive, and DATAWIN's service exemplary: technically, organizationally, and not least in terms of personal contact.
Reliable hardware for capturing and evaluating betting slips
As a supplier to Europe's most successful betting providers, we offer our customers several options for accepting bets at their outlets, including at the counter and at the terminal. For the counter, almost all of them use the DATAWIN OMR 19E. The device is considered a classic for betting slips, is used thousands of times worldwide and is valued for its high capturing and operating reliability. In order to be able to realize this capturing and evaluation quality at the terminal as well, we commissioned DATAWIN with the development of a slip reader for integration into terminals. The result is the OMR 23E built-in mark reader. It is 100% compatible with the counter device and is just as efficient and reliable. The compatibility of the devices makes handling much easier for both our customers' employees and their customers.
Special development sorts documents and prepares enveloping
rcDDM GmbH was one of Germany's market leaders in digital and classic document management. In order to be able to perform the output management of such companies resource-efficiently, whose document volume did not justify the use of large inserting lines, we were looking for a way to prepare the manual insertion of documents automated and in accordance with data protection. Since the market did not offer a standard solution, we commissioned DATAWIN with a new development that would offer maximum sorting security. In just 6 months, DATAWIN developed a prototype that processes up to 5,000 documents per hour, reliably recognizes the documents to be bundled for the respective shipment based on specifications in QR code, barcode or text, and separates them by colored separator sheets depending on the addressee. The device detects faulty documents, outputs them to a separate sorting tray and informs the user via touchscreen about the type of error and appropriate corrective measures.
A DATAWIN press release (German language).
Peter Schrittenlocher in DOK.mag (German language).
What our customers say about DATAWIN scanners and OMR.
A report from the Landshuter Zeitung (German language).
A DATAWIN press release.
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