"One cannot survive in the scholastic testing sector without an efficient and accurate image processing. And ABBYY certainly offers the best solutions".
Mr. Fernando Botelho,
Leading Researcher, FIPE
Brazil is the largest national economy in Latin America and has been predicted to become one of five largest economies in the world in decades to come. Both Brazilian government and private organizations work to support the economy with highly qualified staff: education and training of the country’s workers is believed to be a major factor in determining how well the national economy will do.
One of such private organizations was founded in 1973 on the basis of Faculty of Economics and Business in the University of São Paulo (FEA-USP) - the Foundation Institute of Economic Research (A Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas - FIPE). The FIPE studies economic and social phenomena with the aim of contributing to formulation of policies of the country, increase of competitiveness, better income distribution and poverty elimination.
One of the recent FIPE initiatives was to develop instruments to measure proficiency in mathematics and language of elementary and middle school students, and to investigate how it relates to socio-economic conditions and personality traits.
That idea was completely new – nothing similar has been ever organized before. The task was to hold tests in mathematics and language among the students of elementary and middle school, get some feedback from their parents, estimate the results and publish them at a website. Teachers can see the results obtained by their students in each subject on the same website.
The scale of the project was more than bold. There was an urgent need to automate the process: to organize scanning, recognition of the answer sheets and structured questionnaires filled in by the students and their parents, and acquisition of the statistic results.
Basing on the cost effectiveness and reliability characteristics among numerous offers on the market the FIPE chose Macrosolution – one of the biggest suppliers of both software and hardware for conversion of paper documents into digital formats in Latin America. The company took up the challenge to provide a complete set of hardware and form processing and data capture technology able to deal with forms filled with handwriting in Portuguese. Being a partner of one on the world leading document recognition and linguistic technologies vendors – ABBYY – Macrosolution took ABBYY FlexiCapture as a core element of the project.
Elementary and middle school students took tests in mathematics and language two times per academic year: in the beginning and in the end of it. The answer sheets were collected and scanned. At the next stage the electronic documents were recognized with the help of intelligent, accurate and highly productive data capture and document processing software – ABBYY FlexiCapture. The system automatically transformed the stream of different forms into business-ready data with document classification and data capture features and significantly increased efficiency. Then the data were transferred to 2 working stations of the system for verification and export into a database for further analysis and storage.
The whole process involved only 7 people working at different stages – this is a considerably smaller implication of human resources and time expenditure in comparison with manual processing of the output data.
Test results were published at a special website where the teachers of elementary and middle-school levels could estimate their students’ proficiency in each subject and their personality traits.
Also the FIPE submitted the data as a report to the Municipal Secretary of Education, which took them into consideration to influence the formation of the education policies in Brazil and to estimate socio-economic conditions in the country at the given moment. In the future, the questionnaires developed within this research project may become a part of the regular evaluation procedures usually undertaken in Brazil by the Federal Government.
«The solution, based on ABBYY FlexiCapture technology and implemented by Macrosolution, totally fulfilled the task to show high speed and high quality performance in this project», commented the case Mr. Marcos Lucania, Macrosolution’s Leading Consultant responsible for this project and its implementation.
The Foundation Institute of Economic Research (A Fundação Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas - FIPE) is a private entity, nonprofit organization, established in 1973 to support the Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP), with outstanding performance in research and teaching.
Today Macrosolution is one of the biggest suppliers of systems for conversion into the digital format, both software and hardware in the region. The company has solid partnership with diverse international manufacturers from the USA, France, Germany, Austria, Taiwan and Russia. Its general mission is to offer its clients complete and creative solutions and products, perfecting Macrosolution into one of the strongest national suppliers in the sphere.
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