Using Azure AI to Turn Documents into Actionable Insights

I want to show you how Azure AI Document Intelligence turns documents into data. With AI and machine learning, this tool helps you make decisions, extract insights, and streamline document processes. Using computer vision, OCR, and NLP, Azure AI Document Intelligence analyzes and extracts data from various document types, enhancing productivity and reducing errors.

What is Document Intelligence?

Document intelligence is an extension of OCR technology that identifies text in scanned documents and comprehends the structure of the information. This advanced capability also enables organizations to turn several manual processes such as entering receipt data in a database into automated processes.

Key Features

  1. Document Classification: Automatically classifies documents based on content, routing them to the appropriate departments.

  2. Information Extraction: Extracts structured data from unstructured documents, capturing key details like dates, invoice numbers, and amounts.

  3. Customization: Customizable to fit specific document processing needs with custom models.

  4. Integration: Seamlessly integrates with other Azure services, fitting into existing workflows and applications.

  5. Key-Value Pair Extraction: Identifies and extracts key-value pairs, useful for forms and contracts.

Getting Started

Now let’s get started with Azure AI Document Intelligence. Here are the steps to get up and running. We’ll cover setting up your account, accessing the Document Intelligence platform, using pre-built models, creating custom models, integrating with other Azure services, testing, deploying, and optimizing.

1. Access Document Intelligence

  • Log in to Azure and search for the "AI Document Intelligence” service.

Azure Document Intelligence

  • Select “Create Document Intelligence”, and fill in general details like subscription, name, pricing tire, etc.

  • Hit the “Review + Create button”.

Create Document Intelligence

2. Use Pre-built Models

  • Pre-built Models In the Document Intelligence platform, check out the pre-built models for tasks like text extraction, key phrase extraction and entity recognition.

  • To find these, go to the Form Recognizer resource and select "Quickstart". These are ready to use and give instant value without training.

  • Full documentation and examples are available to help you get started and integrate these models into your apps. This includes step-by-step guides, API references, and best practices.

Prebuilt Azure Models

3. Build Custom Models

  • Use the "Custom models" section in Form Recognizer.

Custom extraction model Azure

Upload a few samples of your documents, label them, and train your model following the prompts.

Label data in Azure

4. Integrate with Azure Services

  • Use Azure Logic Apps to automate workflows by integrating Form Recognizer with Azure Storage and other services.

5. Test and Deploy

  • Test your solution using the Form Recognizer API or SDK. Adjust as needed to ensure it meets performance and security needs.

Personal Insights

In my experience using Azure AI Document Intelligence, I have seen significant improvements in efficiency and accuracy. For example, with invoices, it not only extracts data faster but also reduces human error. And the integration with other Azure services like Logic Apps means you can automate workflows seamlessly.

Custom models are super useful as you can tailor them to your business needs so the data extracted is precise and relevant. The community support and extensive documentation provided by Azure are invaluable resources that have helped me troubleshoot and optimize the use of this technology.


Azure AI Document Intelligence revolutionizes document management by transforming it into actionable insights. Automating document processing and reducing errors leads to faster, more informed decision-making. Its seamless integration with other Azure services makes it an essential tool for modernizing workflows and boosting productivity. Adopting this technology helps businesses stay agile and enhance performance.

Follow Umesh Pandit

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Umesh Pandit by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!