Amazon bursts into cloud BI market with QuickSight


Amazon Web Services has applied its trademark ‘low barrier to entry’ approach to business intelligence, with the launch of Amazon QuickSight.

According to Amazon, QuickSight brings the scale and flexibility of the AWS Cloud to BI, enabling business users to build visualisations, perform ad hoc analysis, and quickly get business insights from their data – starting at $9 per user per month.

When customers log in, QuickSight automatically discovers their data sets stored in AWS services such as Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS, and Amazon S3, formats the data and moves it to Amazon’s Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine (known as SPICE), for manipulation and visualisation – avoiding the need for ETL tools.

QuickSight also provides a SQL-like interface to query data stored in SPICE so customers can continue using existing BI tools from AWS partners such as Domo, Qlik, Tableau, and TIBCO. Users can also share their analysis with others in their organisation using a StoryBoard feature.

“In a world increasingly dominated by connected devices and mobile users and where corporate data is moving to the cloud, our customers continue to collect and store massive amounts of their data across a wide range of AWS’s data services. These customers have been asking AWS for an analytics solution that can enable every one of their users to gain insights and make rapid decisions using this data,” said Raju Gulabani, vice president of database services, Amazon Web Services.

“And, after several years of development, we’re excited to bring Amazon QuickSight to our customers – a fast and easy-to-use BI service that addresses these needs at an affordable price. At the heart of Amazon QuickSight is the brand new SPICE in-memory calculation engine, which uses the power of the AWS Cloud to make queries run lightning fast on large datasets. We’re looking forward to our customers and partners being able to SPICE up their analytics.”

Upon the launch, AWS had several customers providing their support for the new product – and Intuit was one of those customers.

“Based on our initial preview of Amazon QuickSight, we think this service is going to challenge the status quo. It appears to be intuitive to our business users, particularly those in marketing who need an easy-to-use tool with super-fast performance. Plus, the ability to scale to very large datasets and many thousands of users with push button ease is attractive to us. We are looking forward to the pilot and to understanding how to better balance the cost and complexity of managing our software and infrastructure.”