AWS re:Invent 2015: Amazon QuickSight for Business Intelligence

There’s no question that Andy Jassy’s presentation at the AWS re:Invent 2015’s first keynote address covered a lot of ground across the spectrum of cloud technology. But his introduction of Amazon’s new cloud-based business intelligence solution, Amazon QuickSight, captured a lot of attention.Fast insights with SPICE slideQuickSight, by leveraging the integration of AWS data-oriented services, is built to reduce both the cost and complexity long associated with converting streams of data into useful business intelligence. In fact, Amazon claims that QuickSight can cut 90% off the cost of traditional solutions.

Part of the trick is capitalizing on the sheer volume of raw data your AWS-based operation might already have available. There’s a good chance that you’re already at least reasonably invested in storage (S3), data warehousing (DynamoDB, Redshift), streaming data (EMR, Kinesis), and big data analytics (Amazon Machine Learning): why not bring them all together to see what extra value you can access?

What might really help QuickSight take off, though, is the fact that Amazon has placed business intelligence squarely in the hands of the people who need the answers the most. You’ll get full functionality right from the browser interface without the need for data professionals (in fact, at this point there isn’t even a native API). Or, in Amazon’s own words:

Just log in, point to a data source, and create your first visualization in minutes

Slide stacks of visualizations – or “stories” as AWS calls them – can be saved and shared among colleagues, adding to the value of the insights.

QuickSight’s in-memory calculation engine (called SPICE, for “Super-fast Parallel In-memory Computation Engine“) can easily scale to smoothly deliver visualizations to hundreds of thousands of users in a particular organization.

Here are some notes based on the Q&A session:

  • Using SPICE as the main storage repository for your computational data is NOT recommended (even though SPICE data are archived and never automatically deleted).
  • You can mask data while generating reports, which will be a great feature for organizations with multiple security levels. Intelligent filters also allow you to open up access only to those parts of the dataset needed by a particular dashboard user.
  • You can incrementally import new data.
  • You can export XLS reports.
  • For best performance, feel free to import denormalized data from your DBMS. SPICE will generate all the needed views/tables and compress the dataset (up to 10x compression).
  • Use either Lambda functions or the dashboard to perform ETL! (Think: column or row level transformations using formulas and so on).

Still to come: support for streaming datasets for real-time and for GEO data, and ODBC/JDBC and Salesforce external data connections.

Explore the Analytics tools provided by AWS, including QuickSight, Elastic Map Reduce (EMR), Data Pipeline, Elasticsearch, Kinesis, Amazon Machine Learning in the Cloud Academy’s Analytics Fundamentals for AWS course.

Avatar

Written by

Antonio Angelino

Antonio is an IT Manager and a software and infrastructure Engineer with more than 10 years of experience designing, implementing and deploying complex webapps using the best available technologies.


Related Posts

Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— January 6, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More

Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...

Read more
  • agile
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Linux
  • OWASP
  • programming
  • red hat
  • scrum
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 24, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more

Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you.  Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...

Read more
  • AWS
  • azure best practices
  • blog digest
  • Cloud Academy
  • Google Cloud
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— December 12, 2019

Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 10, 2019

New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level

Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • hands-on
  • labs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 5, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS solution architect
  • AZ-203
  • Azure
  • cyber security
  • FCCS
  • Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— December 4, 2019

Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration

What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Data Migration
Wendy Dessler
Wendy Dessler
— November 27, 2019

6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year

In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
  • certified
Avatar
Andrea Colangelo
— November 26, 2019

AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around

The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Dzenan Dzevlan
— November 20, 2019

Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer

What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...

Read more
  • ALB
  • Application Load Balancer
  • AWS
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • ELB
Albert Qian
Albert Qian
— November 13, 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Microservices
Nisar Ahmad
Nisar Ahmad
— November 12, 2019

Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud

Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 31, 2019

AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know

The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS IoT Events
  • AWS IoT SiteWise
  • AWS IoT Things Graph
  • IoT