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What Is Amazon QuickSight, and How Does It Uncover Insights?

If you’re looking for a sophisticated, yet cost-effective, tool that helps you glean insights from your data, Amazon QuickSight might be the answer.
Jun 8th, 2023 8:54am by
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Every modern business collects data, but the most effective businesses know how to analyze that information and make decisions with it. If you’re looking for a sophisticated, yet cost-effective, tool that helps you glean insights from your data, Amazon QuickSight might be the answer.

Amazon QuickSight is an analytics service that provides business intelligence (BI) and data-visualization capabilities to help you make sense of your data quickly. The National Football League (NFL), for example, uses QuickSight to power its players’ Next Gen Stats, which charts every player’s individual movement. Global mining company Rio Tinto uses it to find critical insights on risk management. Meanwhile, Siemens AG creates operational dashboards that automatically scale to its needs with QuickSight.

Let’s look at the features and benefits of QuickSight and how to get the most value from it.

What Is Amazon QuickSight?

QuickSight’s interactive dashboards and visualizations for data exploration help companies uncover actionable insights in their data. The service takes in data from sources such as databases, files or streaming data.

As one of the fully managed cloud-based tools from Amazon Web Services (AWS) , QuickSight replaces traditional on-premises BI tools that require significant upfront investment in hardware. With this type of service, you also save in the long run on software licenses and IT resources required for on-premises options. QuickSight also allows users to access and analyze data in real time, an improvement over complex data modeling and extract, transform and load (ETL) processes.

Here’s a closer look at the key benefits:

Compatibility with Data Sources

Amazon QuickSight is compatible with many data sources, including on-premises databases, APIs, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, CSV files and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. QuickSight also works with various data storage services, including Amazon S3, and can query relational databases such as those powered by Presto.

QuickSight also supports incremental data uploads, enabling users to upload new data to a S3 bucket or file.

Powerful SPICE Engine

The service’s SPICE engine (super-fast, parallel, in-memory calculation) enables you to analyze large volumes of data quickly and efficiently. SPICE uses in-memory calculations to speed up query response times, automatically optimizes queries to minimize data processing and caches data for faster access.

With SPICE, you can perform ad hoc analysis, create data visualizations and run interactive dashboards on large datasets, all while maintaining fast query response times.

Easy to Use

QuickSight’s intuitive, drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create and share interactive dashboards, visualizations and reports. You don’t need to be a data expert to get started with data analysis.

It also automatically formats your data for optimal visualization. You get professional-grade visuals without the need for extensive in-house design or programming skills. This leaves more time and budget for analyzing data and applying ML insights rather than needing to clean up low-quality visualizations.

QuickSight supports 10 major languages, and with free iOS and Android apps, the service is accessible to employees on the go, in the office or anywhere else.

It offers numerous pricing options, including enterprise and standard editions, as well as discounts for bulk purchases and annual subscriptions.

Available Integrations

QuickSight integrates with a range of AWS offerings, including Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS and Amazon S3. The service also integrates with third-party services, including other popular BI tools such as Tableau Software and Microsoft Power BI.

How to Use Amazon QuickSight

Using Amazon QuickSight to analyze and visualize your data is a straightforward process that involves a few key steps. Here’s a closer look at how to get started.

Understand the Interface

Start by understanding Amazon QuickSight’s user interface. The user dashboard provides quick access to visualizations and data sets, as well as links to features such as sharing visuals or personalized settings.

The dashboard is customizable, allowing users to select different metrics or dimensions for each visualization they create. The interface is intuitive, making it easy for users to navigate and find the features they need quickly.

For example, QuickSight comes with drag-and-drop features, enabling users to easily build and customize their visuals with charts, graphs, tables and maps. It also offers prebuilt templates and visualizations for users who need professional-quality visuals but are short on coding or design skills.

Create and Refine Data Sets

Users create data sets by connecting a data source or uploading a file to the platform. Once connected, users refine their data using methods such as filtering, pivoting or joining tables together. Then, they explore that data further with visualizations.

The data preparation capabilities are intuitive, enabling users to clean and transform data quickly and easily.

Analyze Data

QuickSight provides advanced analytics capabilities, such as forecasting and anomaly detection. These features allow users to gain a deeper understanding of their data and previously hidden insights and patterns. Users can personalize their data analysis through custom dashboards, reports and emails.

QuickSight’s forecasting feature uses ML algorithms to predict future trends based on historical data, as well as to spot unexpected and anomalous data patterns. You can also ask data-related questions through the Amazon QuickSight Q offering.

Sharing Visuals

Users can share visualizations internally or through website and application embedding. You control access and permissions, such as whether other users can download or edit visuals or export data. You also can receive alerts about changes in the data.

Maximizing the Value of Amazon QuickSight

Succeeding with Amazon QuickSight is easier with a trusted partner like Mission Cloud to fill gaps in skills and expertise, and unleash the full power of your data. Discover five reasons to work with an AWS partner for data, analytics and machine learning.

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