Understanding and Utilizing Cortana Intelligence Suite

By –

Gopal Tayde

April 27, 2017

Share –

The Cortana Intelligence Suite (CIS) is an extended platform under the Microsoft Azure cloud services designed to enable users to discover and revivify analytical solutions that can provision for rapid and scalable deployment of resources.

CIS is offered in all Azure products and  supports end-to-end flow by acquiring data, processing it and visualizing/obtaining the output, which then enables decision makers to take actions based on that information.

The images below detail the CIS architecture and ingestion process respectively. *



Information management

Azure Data Factory and Event Hub capture the incoming information from various resources. The information is then orchestrated in pipelines, which contain activities that transform it into relevant data, and stored in Azure Data Lake or Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

Big data stores

Big data stores are the technologies and initiatives that involve handling huge volumes of real-time data from a variety of sources. Big Data analytics can uncover patterns, correlations and other insights.

The structured or semi-structured data stored in Data Lake Store can be easily analyzed using various frameworks. Microsoft Azure includes HDInsight clusters which can be provisioned and configured to directly access data stored in Data Lake Store. They also integrate with many common legacy operational stores and data warehouses.

Machine learning and analytics

Machine learning and analytics can offer high-degree analytics, create predictive models and apply machine learning algorithms. This helps users process information stored in Data Lake using various programming languages.

Some real-time models of machine learning and analytics include:

  •  Predictive maintenance: This offers possibilities to improve the operational efficiency of assets. For example, analytics can detect assets that need servicing and trigger a notification to repair companies. Predictive maintenance can be applied to various fields, including utilities, manufacturing, and oil and gas.
  • Prescriptive analytics: This uses technology to understand the impact of future decisions and how to analyze them for the best outcomes. For example, analytics can build a fraud detection system with the help of Azure Machine learning template upon learning about the loophole in security systems.
  • Automate analytics: This part simplifies and automates decision making in situations where dealing with complex problems involves a continuous variable change in real-time, such as automated pilot programs, using synthetic data to train artificial neural networks and detecting an object on LIDAR point cloud.


Intelligence consists of highly advanced services which support users in building smart and interactive solutions using text, speech and other recognition systems. It uses various APIs, some of which are listed in the image below. *


The face and voice API can conduct verification of human faces and voices, search for similar ones, and offer grouping and identification. This helps with gender detection, age and emotion prediction, security and customized responses in online shopping.

Intelligence also can use data history to track user patterns, such as web searches, behavior and preferences. After analyzing these insights, it categorizes the data and makes recommendations. E-commerce sites, for example, can use this to recommend products to customers.

Bot Framework

Bot framework provides necessary API and infrastructure to build and connect intelligent bots that interact naturally in apps where users are communicating, such as text/SMS, Skype, Slack and Office 365 mail. With the help of Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligent Services (LUIS), bots can understand and process natural languages and perform various tasks, such as reserving a room or ordering a pizza.

The image below represents the interaction between a customer and a chatbot regarding the delivery of pizza. *


Cortana  is a digital personal assistant that functions by understanding natural language recognition technique. It simply responds with “Hey, Cortana”. This assistant will complete various kinds of tasks. It not only replaces keyboard commands with the user’s voice but also can perform tasks autonomously.

Power BI

Power BI is a reporting tool which helps in developing highly interactive and engaging reports and dashboards which support graphs and drill down features. Power BI can take data from any source in real-time. Other tools like SQL server Reporting Services (SSRS), Excel, etc., also can be used to extract data from some of the services in CIS. The image below is a representation of a BI dashboard. *


CIS can change the ways businesses are driven by analyzing past information and causes, and then give future analysis of what could happen or how users can make things happen.

It also can offer recommendations or interactions with users. A great platform designed for users under Azure Cloud Services. If you are looking at ways to optimize CIS for your business, Emtec can help. Contact us today.

Subscribe for Latest Content

Want to scale your organizational digital initiatives?

Sign up for insights