OMR Manager which allows Ethnos users to proceed the rapid and smooth optical entry of masses of data in just a few minutes.
Optical reading of documents is a tried and tested technique which saves you a considerable amount of time and effort. Up until now, it was difficult to set up, and its use was confined to heavy applications. The user had to print documents according to strict norms after which a special file, detailing the structure of the different pages had to be programmed for the optical reader. Once the documents had been read, the user obtained a raw file which had to be transferred to a software program especially adapted, in order to make use of the information.
To improve the access to the optical reading of documents for all clients, SOFT CONCEPT has developed "OMR Manager" an outstanding solution, unmatched on the world market.
With OMR Manager and an optical document reader you can now manage with ease, on your micro computer, all the stages of the optical reading - from the conception of a document to its handy automatic reading and an immediate analysis of the data using Ethnos.
OMR Manager is structured in 2 modules:
1. Design of the document
This module allows you to draw-up, format and then print out your questionnaires.
It is possible to download a questionnaire already designed in Ethnos or to directly draw-up a new one. The user just has to enter the wording of the questions and the answer. Images and texts like titles or remarks can be added, tables of questions can be defined and the questionnaire can be organised into sections each with a different presentation.
Once the content has been decided, all that remains to be done is the layout. OMR Manager accomplishes the technological feat of automatically formatting the document whilst at the same time respecting the norms required by the optical reader. The user can add personal touches to the format, and intervene in any part of the document, using the mouse to modify the set up as they please. The user can move a question or an answer, alter the dimension of an image, change the enforcement of the character of a component, add drawn elements such as arrows, rectangles etc.
The final document obtained, which could be composed of several pages, can then be printed double or single sided on a normal office computer and for as many copies as necessary. Of course, for very large quantities, the process can be transferred to a special printer.
The optical reader :
During the printing of the document, OMR Manager generates a transparent pilot file of the reader for the user.
The reading module, with the help of this pilot file, allows the quick and easy acquisition of data.
Once the documents have been completed, they have to be placed in the optical reader, the name of the questionnaire has to be chosen and then all you have to do is click on the "start reading" button. The documents then begin to file through the entry tray at great speed. In this way between 1,000 and 5,000 documents can be read per hour. The responses are clearly displayed on the screen as it goes along.
During this process, OMR Manager carries out a coherence (double marking) test of the data read. If the questionnaire has been incorrectly completed, the reader rejects the document by the rear and makes a clear sign on the screen to alert the user, who can then intervene using the keyboard to correct the mistake , where necessary.
Once the files have been read, they are automatically stocked in Ethnos format; it is therefore possible to see the results straight away once the reading is either partially or totally finished. Such co-ordination between the optical reader and a software program especially designed for data analysis, is unprecedented and allows the envisaging of many new applications which require the achievement of rapid results.
2. The scanning option
There is often confusion between scanners and optical readers, two pieces of equipment which differ greatly in performance and objectives;
Optical readers are machines with a very high output, the models at the start of the range begin with an output of 1,000 pages per hour, and the models at the top of the range process up to 7,000 double-sided pages per hour. Only the required data is read, controlled and sent to the computer, which works out as less than 0.1 kilobytes per page.
Scanners on the other hand, read all the information contained on the sheet and sends an image of less than 100 kb. The computer must then analyse this image which takes between 5 and 30 seconds per page. Scanners have the advantage of being able to read areas containing manuscript and drawings.
Despite this marked difference in performance for the reading of questionnaires, it is often worthwhile to use a scanner rather than an optical reader, either for budget reasons or because of the need to read areas of manuscript.
It is for this reason that OMR Manager has a scan option which allows the user to power any TWAIN compatible scanner. This version reads and interprets between 1 and 3 pages per minute. The figures written in special squares are decoded and manuscript texts are stored in image form which can be worked on later using the keyboard. Please note that an OMR document can pass through an optical reader as well as a scanner.
The scanners with OMR Manager and option scan must be compatible with the standard TWAIN. We are available to advise you with your choice if necessary.
OMR Manager works in French, English and German. Documentation comes in French and English only, but material in other languages can be provided on request.