BubbleScan OMR is the name of our OMR software.
It is the key element to the paper-based data capture solutions we create.
When we first released BubbleScan OMR in January of 2011, it was called Scanner2XLS. Since most of our solutions involve a custom programmed Excel spreadsheet, that seemed a rather fitting name. Of course, as all Microsoft Office users know, the extension XLS is not really used anymore. Within its first year more and more of our customers started using newer versions of Excel and the extension XLS was outdated. Instead of renaming it to Scanner2XLSM, we chose the name BubbleScan OMR.
So here is how virtually all of our OMR solutions work:
1. We create a (custom) PDF of a OMR form. Customers generally print these PDFs themselves on regular paper.
2. Filled-in forms are scanned using a regular document scanner, from Xerox, Epson, HP, Canon, Panasonic,…. A departmental copier with scan capability works beautifully, too. The scanner saves the images of the scanned forms as individual TIF files (200 dpi, black/white).
3. Our software monitors the folder these images are saved into automatically processes new files it finds.
4. The software then writes the data extracted from the images into one of our pre-programmed Excel files.
The data written by our BubbleScan OMR software into the Excel spreadsheet is ‘raw data’. The BubbleScan OMR software scans the intersects of a fixed grid (currently 15 columns x 60 lines) and reports whether or not it found a mark on those intersects. The interpretation of this raw data is left completely to the Excel spreadsheet. Because is relatively easy to customize an Excel spreadsheet using VBA macros we can provide custom solutions without having to charge an arm and a leg for it.
Our Web site features some of the solutions we have created (www.bubblescan.com). These solutions include:
- Session evaluations for conferences
- Event score sheets
- Special standardized tests (such as practice SAT and ACT)
- Ballots for officer/delegate elections
- Ballots for products (best wine, best clam chowder, best hairdresser,….)
- Safety inspections on the shop floor
In all cases the solution involves a custom form AND a custom spreadsheet that presents the data properly and generates the desired report(s).
If you have a project that falls into the category of ‘paper-based data capture’, then don’t hesitate to contact us.