Low-code document extraction: Import data from PDFs into your database using Zapier and Sensible

Updated on
October 16, 2023
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Low-code document extraction: Import data from PDFs into your database using Zapier and Sensible
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Turn documents into structured data
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Getting data from PDFs into existing databases can be a real challenge. For example, imagine your proptech company analyzes mortgage applications, but your company’s process for getting data from 1040 forms into databases is really slow. 

With Sensible's beta Zapier integration, you can take a low-code approach to transforming data in PDFs and other documents into emails, databases, Google sheets, and other supported Zapier destinations.

For example, you can extract data in 1040 tax forms:

1040 form

And send the data using Zapier to a database, so that each document gets its own record:

data extracted from 1040 forms, ingested into a database


This blog post describes how to send extracted data from 1040 documents into a database using Sensible's Zapier integration. 

We’ll assume that you’ve already:

  • got a destination database in place (we focus on Airtable for this tutorial) 
  • Signed up for a free Sensible account and used our prebuilt config library to start extracting data from 1040 forms using our tax_forms document type. For more information, see our Quickstart and config library.

Configure Zapier

Take the following steps to connect Sensible to Airtable using Zapier:

1. Sign in or create a Zapier account.

2. Navigate to the Sensible example Zap, and click Try this Zap.

3. Take the following steps to connect your Sensible account to Zapier:

- Click to expand the Trigger section.

- Click to expand the Choose account section, then follow the prompts to enter your Sensible API key.

4. In the Sensible quick extraction tab, upload and run an extraction for the following example 1040 document:

5. Wait a few minutes for Zapier to poll and receive the extraction. Then, In the Set up trigger section, select the tax_forms document type you previously created in Sensible with our prebuilt library, select the Production environment, and select the Complete status.

Select Sensible extraction filters

6. Continue to the Test trigger section and follow the prompts to test. Verify that the recent 1040 document extraction you created in the Sensible app is selected:

Select a recent Sensible document extraction

7. Continue to the Action section and follow the prompts to connect your database account to Zapier. For this tutorial, we’ll assume you choose Airtable.

8. In the Set up action section, map Sensible extracted field IDs to the corresponding database field names. Zapier displays the data from the recent document extraction as examples. Use the following screenshot to complete the configuration:

Map extracted data pieces to destination database fields

9. (Optional) If you created extra fields in the database, map each one.

10. Follow the Zapier prompts to test the action. You should see the extracted data from the 1040 example document as a record in your database. For example, in Airtable:

Example 1040 extracted to 1 database record

11. Follow the prompts to publish your Zap.

Test your integration

Congratulations, your integration is now published and running! Take the following steps to continue building a database from example documents:

1. Navigate to the Sensible quick extraction tab.

2. Upload and run extractions for the following example 1040 documents:

3. Verify the extractions show up in your destination database. For example, in Airtable, your results might look like something like this:

Multiple 1040s extracted to database records

Zapier can take up to 15 minutes to pull data from Sensible. To avoid waiting, manually run the Zap in the Zap list.

Scale up your document extraction

You can extract from more documents automatically by building a more complex Zap so that you can trigger Sensible extractions with file actions in Google drive, email, or other supported Zapier apps.

Then send the extraction to the destination of your choice with a Sensible action:


Sensible action

For more information, see Sensible documentation.

Start extracting

Congratulations, you've learned how to parse 1040 documents using Sensible’s Zapier integration. There's more extraction power for you to uncover, from other tax and business forms, to extracting from your own custom documents using SenseML, Sensible’s query language for extracting data from documents. Sign up for a free account (100 docs a month, no credit card required), check out our prebuilt Tax form configs in our open-source library, and peruse our docs to start extracting data from your own documents.

Turn documents into structured data
Get started free
Share this post

Turn documents into structured data

Stop relying on manual data entry. With Sensible, claim back valuable time, your ops team will thank you, and you can deliver a superior user experience. It’s a win-win.