Digitizing consumption across the operational spectrum
Branham, Andrew R.
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U.S.Marine Corps logisticians and operational planners must simultaneously plan for the sustainment of current operations while planning for future operations. Currently, this process is hindered by the manual correlation of force consumption data from electronic and hardcopy documents. In order to refine this process, this thesis presents a process for converting, analyzing, and storing these documents in an electronic format. In order to aid in the conversion process, three optical character recognition (OCR) applications are compared: an open-source and freely-available online application, Microsoft OneNote®, and Nuance OmniPage®. Two data extraction programs were created and compared to assess the feasibility of automating the analysis phase. The first program concentrated on automated analysis with user review at the end. The second program concentrated on continual user interaction throughout the entire process. The results of these comparisons advocate the use of professional-grade OCR software such as OmniPage® to create a standard file that can be accepted as an input by a data extraction program. Based on the consumption documents reviewed by this thesis, a manual data extraction program is advised to create a universal output format for later use in an appropriate data storage method.
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