PDFs are full of valuable data and the amount of data on them is difficult for human eyes to collate, gather, analyze, and interpret. But PDF data extraction takes these manual methods and supercharges them into advanced automated techniques that can take data from PDF tables, text, documents, reports, and financial records. These techniques go beyond gathering data, but also into data calculation, PDF character counts, and calculating taxes, debts, accounts payable, and accounts receivable so you’ll never make a miscalculation again. This article will highlight all the ways that PDF data extraction can help you perform crucial data analysis and interpretation.
PDF Data Extraction: What is it?
PDF data extraction involves converting data from PDF documents into usable formats for analysis, calculations, and decision-making. These functions are much more advanced than the typical check data in PDF with the naked eye, which can work for a single PDF, but is much harder to do with an endless amount of files and documents. PDF data extraction is also different from converting PDFs, as that only changes the document format.
You can take an Excel file and convert it to a PDF, but that operation does not make any calculations or structure the data into any discernible format. With specialized PDF data extraction tools you can take only the relevant data from an Excel file or Google Sheet and edit pdfs and create a new format that inserts it into the right columns, so you don’t have to do it manually. You can also program these PDF extraction tools to extract PDF data about its creation – metadata.
If PDF word and PDF character count matter to you, PDF extraction tools help gather that important PDF data as well, so you can determine whether you need to shorten the overall length of the text or whether it is fine as it is. Some platforms will prevent you from uploading forms or documents that are over a certain word or character count, so these tools can help you make any necessary changes.
PDF Data Extraction: How is it Done?
Manual PDF data extraction is time-consuming and labor-intensive. It’s also prone to errors. That’s why automated PDF extraction is so valuable as it can help perform many valuable operations in less time and with greater accuracy. Automated data extraction transforms manual processes into efficient, accurate, and time-saving operations. For example, since you often have to verify data through contrast or comparison, an automated process allows you to enable data validation to ensure that all the relevant data is analyzed and transferred correctly.
But if you are making the switch to automated PDF data extraction there are many ways to make the transition. The easiest way is to buy dedicated PDF extraction software, such as Tabula, PDFTables, and Camelot. These tools can pick apart data in all formats, from tables, charts, and graphs to photos, spreadsheets, and entire PDF documents. You can always manually transfer this information, but a PDF data extraction tool can also perform data calculation, saving you time afterward the data has been extracted.
If you want to extract text from a PDF, you can do it manually, which is the easiest option, but that works best only when you have only a few PDF files. When you have thousands of PDFs being produced every day, then you’ll need something more powerful, and efficient. PDF editors such as PDFelement, or Docparser can scan a PDF for specific keywords, or extract the entire text and insert it into another format.
PDF Data Extraction: What to do with PDF Data?
Extracting PDF data is one thing, but what do you do with all that data when you have it? The first thing you should do is make sure the data is “clean”. While advanced, many PDF data extraction tools can still make mistakes such as duplicating numbers, transferring errors in the original text, and carrying over inconsistencies in the format. These flaws are something you can find manually by looking through the data or assigning a data-cleaning tool to spot them.
If your data needs to be transformed into something else – a different programming language, or a new data set – something like Microsoft Power Query can help. Power Query is a premier business intelligence software platform that can perform multiple data extraction and cleaning tasks quickly and effectively. But if your data is “clean” and has been extracted from a standard spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets, then you can simply copy and paste the data into these programs. You can then access standard data analysis and data calculation tools and perform whatever operations you need.
The choice of tool depends on the specific type of data you’re extracting, the complexity of the PDF documents, and your intended analysis. If you only need to perform simple tasks, such as count words in PDF online, or check word count in PDF, then manual extraction may be best. But if you have a large volume of text and other content, it’s best to use specific PDF data extraction tools that will do the job accurately, and quickly.