Amazon QuickSight is set to blaze through the BI market

February 15, 2018

In the recent years, we have seen exponential increase in the amount of structured and unstructured data. Extracting insights from such vast amounts of data is nearly impossible.

Amazon Web Services has been a market leader in providing scalable services to support the changing data landscape. AWS released their BI offering, QuickSight a couple of years ago and here are some of the key features:

  • Extremely fast, cloud-powered, BI service for 1/10th the cost of traditional BI software.
  • Fast Calculation with in-built SPICE (Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine)
  • Easily scalable with thousands of customers and terabytes of data.
  • Data analyses can be derived from a variety of data sources:
    • Relational Data Sources (SQL engines, S3, Redshift)
    • File Data sources (Excel files, Delimited text files, and Common Log Format Files )
    • Software as a Service Data Sources (Salesforce)
    • Provides SQL-like interface for other BI Tools to access data stored in SPICE.


Traditional BI solutions like SAP BO, IBM Cognos, and Oracle BI need substantial efforts in drawing the first visualization. The more recent and agile BI solutions like Qlik and Tableau have some limits in terms of processing and customizations.

One of the major features of Amazon QuickSight is SPICE- a Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine. Based on the technique of columnar storage coupled with in-memory technologies, SPICE helps in running queries at a lightning rate producing results in a few milliseconds.

QuickSight is also a self-discovery tool which does not require people to have in-depth knowledge of data visualization. The Autograph feature automatically predicts the best visual for data to be displayed.

Will QuickSight fit in my environment?

QuickSight is best suited for data that is stored in AWS’s cloud and for lightweight visualizations. Many companies still keep their data outside of AWS’s cloud and other tools like Tableau integrate with almost any source.

QuickSight is also very aggressively priced, almost 90% cheaper than other BI tools. There are two service options, Standard and Enterprise. The Enterprise Edition provides up to twice the throughput & fine-grained access control, supports encryption at rest, integrates with your organization’s Active Directory. At Payoda, we have seen that Amazon’s customer base ranges from small scale to leading organizations. We have helped many organizations shift from on-premise to AWS Cloud. And we have also come across some enterprises who still prefer to store their critical datasets on their local premise for legal and security reasons.

AWS has been a promising player in providing customer satisfaction with most organizations using AWS for storing massive data[Read more about AWS DB Migration Service]. Payoda is partnering companies with AWS environments in their natural progression of adopting QuickSight.  Whether QuickSight will dominate the BI services market is still unanswered, but it has made a good impact.