You might have worked on various data processing techniques, machine learning algorithms from understanding the business requirement, building the machine learning model to the model’s validation process. Through this series, we are going to learn how to build an ML model from scratch using Microsoft Azure Services i.e. on the cloud for fraud detection.

In part-1 of this tutorial, I have given a brief introduction about cloud computing, how to use the Azure notebook and the steps followed to create a machine learning model.

[Image Source: Azure]

Table of Content:

  • What’s the Cloud computing?
  • What’s the need of cloud services for machine learning?
  • What is Azure notebook?
  • What are the steps to build the model in Azure notebook?
  • Microsoft Azure service?
  • How to build machine learning model using Microsoft Azure?

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a process through which companies offer cloud services through the internet. Services may include servers, data storage, access to different software, etc.

What’s the need for cloud services in machine learning?

Most of the time for learning purposes machine learning model is created and validated on the local machines.

Okay! Then what’s the need of using cloud services and pay for it

  • Machine learning model require a lot of time and space for training. It’s quite difficult to get access of high computing power devices to everyone with low cost. Cloud services offer cheap solution for such problems. They provides high computing hardware and storage option on real time basis.

For this post, we will discuss a Fraud detection case. You can download the data from the following GitHub link.

What is Azure notebook:

Azure notebook is an IDE that is used to develop the code in various languages (R, Python, Julia). It works in a similar manner as Jupyter notebook does.

Steps followed to create a project in Azure notebook:

  • To access Azure notebook, first create an Microsoft account, login and start new project from ‘My projects’ section.
  • Either create a new notebook or you can upload from local machine using the upload option.
  • Import the data required, now notebook is ready to run.

Build machine learning model on Azure notebook


Remember, the goal of this article is to explain how to use the Azure notebook and how to use the Azure portal to build a machine learning model. So I am skipping the model development part. Still, if you are interested you can follow the steps given. You can check the code on the GitHub link given below:

To build a machine learning model, we need to follow these steps:

  • Data pre-processing
    • Data cleaning (remove missing values)
    • Label Encoding
    • Feature Selection
  • Apply machine learning model
  • Check accuracy of the model

What is Azure machine learning service?

Microsoft Azure service is a platform that allows its users to build, train, deploy and manage machine learning models. To use Azure services, we need to create an account on its portal.

How to use Azure machine learning service?

  • To use Microsoft cloud service, first make an account on Microsoft Azure portal. Microsoft provides 30 days free trial on login first time.
  • Azure Notebook after login;
  • Create new resource and select machine learning category to create workspace
  • Once selected, fill the details required. Region specifies the location from where cloud services will run. Here I have selected basic edition of workspace. You can find more details on Microsoft documentation.
  • Once details are filled, hit on review + create, then it will review the details and then create the resource.
  • Workspace is created after deployment.
  • Download the configuration file. This file contains information about subscription_id, resource_group and workspace name.
  • Workspace can be created using Azure notebook as well using following step:


Sometimes, it shows an error as azureml.core does not exist. In that case, install the package using the command:
!pip install azureml-core

  • After creating workspace in Azure notebook, create config file so that this workspace can be used in multiple environment.
  • Load workspace from config file
  • Now train the machine learning model on Azure network and save the model using joblib package in the form of ‘pickle’ file.
  • After training, register the model on workspace created on Azure portal so that this model can be used anytime to test the data.

After running the above command, you can check the model created on the portal.


So far, we have learned how to build a machine learning model on a local machine and how to save it on the cloud so that it can be used for further deployment.

In the next post, we have discussed how to deploy a machine learning model on the cloud to use for production.