Amazon QuickSight is a cloud business intelligence platform recently announced by Amazon and can be trialed for free via a ‘Preview’. Low pricing and speed of execution seem to be the main selling points, and for sure Amazon, along with Microsoft (Power BI), will commoditise the BI market. Connecting to data and producing charts and dashboards isnt exactly rocket science and we should expect this market to commoditise. It is certainly going to rattle the cages of bottom end BI products that do little more than produce charts and dashboards.
The speed of the platform is largely attributed to the Amazon ‘Super-fast, Parallel, in-memory, Calculation Engine’ (SPICE), and the fact that QuickSight integrates with Amazon Web Services (AWS) means the platform scales very easily. Connectors obviously exist for AWS data services such as Redshift, RDS, Aurora, EMR, DynamoDB, S3, and Kinesis. Spreadsheets and CSV files can be uploaded and some third party data sources (e.g. Sales force) are also supported.
QuickSight will infer data types and relationships between sources, and also provides suggested best visualisations for selected data. The SPICE engine guarantees fast processing of queries on large data sets. In common with many other contemporary BI platforms QuickSight supports storyboards and the annotation of charts and dashboards in a collaborative environment.
Native applications for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices mean mobile support is good, and extends to the offline use of dashboards with synchronisation when a device reconnects with a network.
Pricing is very reasonable and starts at $9 per user per month (one year contract). The platform comes in two editions – Standard and Enterprise and each subscription comes with 10GB storage, which can be increased at extra cost. The Enterprise addition adds support for Active Directory integration, encryption at rest, fine-grained user access control, audit logs via AWS CloudTrail, custom domain, branded site, and up to 2X the query throughput of the Standard Edition.