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Today, business intelligence is the key to data mining, data visualization, and making data-driven decisions that drive your business growth. While working on the cloud terrain, integrating BI into your business offers numerous advantages that streamline data integration, and enhance data accessibility, which improves business operations.

AWS QuickSight from Amazon Web Services is a business intelligence platform that provides quick and easy-to-access data insights into your team. It offers advanced data visualization features, interactive dashboards, and seamless integration with other AWS services. This article delves into what Amazon QuickSight is, its key features, and the benefits of using Amazon QuickSight.

What is AWS QuickSight?

Amazon QuickSight is an AWS business intelligence service designed to help users analyze and visualize their data efficiently. It enables organizations to create and publish interactive dashboards that can be accessed from any device. With its pay-per-session pricing model and serverless architecture, AWS QuickSight is both cost-effective and scalable, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Amazon QuickSight offers a range of powerful features like interactive dashboards, paginated reports, natural language queries, and embedded analytics. With the introduction of Amazon Q in QuickSight, business analysts and users can leverage natural language processing to build, discover, and share meaningful insights quickly and efficiently. This capability allows users to transform insights into actionable impacts with unprecedented speed.

AWS QuickSight, AWS QuickSight pricing, AWS QuickSight console, AWS QuickSight charts
Source: AWS

Understanding the Key Features of Amazon Quicksight

Amazon QuickSight offers a plethora of features that cater to various data visualization and analysis needs. Here are some of its standout features:

Interactive Dashboards: AWS QuickSight allows users to create highly interactive dashboards that can be shared with team members. These dashboards can include a variety of visualizations, such as bar charts, line charts, and pie charts, all of which can be customized to fit specific needs.

SPICE Engine: The Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine (SPICE) is a core component of QuickSight. It enables rapid data retrieval and analysis, allowing users to explore large datasets without delays. The SPICE engine enables quick data retrieval and supports complex calculations, providing a smooth and responsive user experience for business intelligence tasks.

Generative BI: Amazon Q in QuickSight is a feature that boosts business productivity using generative BI capabilities. It enables business analysts to quickly build, discover, and share insights using natural language prompts, enhanced dashboard authoring, executive summaries, and interactive data stories.

Create Paginated Reports: Users can easily create, schedule, and share reports and data exports with a fully managed cloud-based BI service. AWS Quicksight delivers business-critical information through operational dashboards and paginated reports, ensuring that the users can access the data they require, as and when needed.

Use of Embed analytics: Incorporate embedded analytics in your applications to offer interactive visualizations, sophisticated dashboard authoring, and natural language query capabilities, enhancing user experiences. This embedded analytics solution differentiates your offerings and provides users with powerful insights.

Seamless Integration: AWS QuickSight can seamlessly integrate data from other AWS Services like Amazon Athena, Amazon Aurora, AWS S3, Amazon Redshift, etc, and third-party sources like Google BigQuery, Trino, etc.

What is the Role of AWS SPICE in QuickSight?

Amazon SPICE (Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine) is a powerful in-memory data store used by QuickSight to deliver fast and responsive data analysis. AWS SPICE allows users to perform complex queries on large datasets quickly, making it possible to explore data interactively without long wait times.

Amazon SPICE automatically scales based on the data volume, ensuring that performance remains consistent even as data grows. This scalability, combined with its speed, makes SPICE a critical component of QuickSight’s ability to handle large volumes of data efficiently.

Answering Questions with Amazon Q in QuickSight

Amazon Q in QuickSight is a generative AI assistant that can build and consume data insights. It can significantly boost business productivity by incorporating generative BI capabilities that expedite decision-making. With enhanced dashboard-authoring features, Amazon Q empowers business analysts to swiftly build, explore, and share valuable insights using natural language prompts. This tool simplifies data comprehension for business users through executive summaries, a sophisticated context-aware data Q&A experience, and customizable, interactive data narratives.

Amazon QuickSight, Amazon Q for Quicksight, AWS console, amazon quicksight q,
Source: AWS

AWS QuickSight Standard vs Enterprise Edition

Amazon QuickSight is available in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. Both editions offer features for creating and sharing data visualizations.

AWS QuickSight Standard Edition

Amazon QuickSight Standard Edition is ideal for individual users and small groups who require authors to design and publish interactive dashboards. The Standard Edition offers essential functionalities such as interactive dashboards, ad-hoc analysis, and the SPICE engine. Unlike the Enterprise Edition, the Standard Edition does not include extensive sharing, distribution, and AI features. This edition is perfect for those seeking fundamental BI capabilities without the need for advanced features.

AWS QuickSight Enterprise Edition

The Enterprise Edition is tailored for larger organizations that require advanced features and enhanced security capabilities. It includes everything in the Standard Edition, plus additional functionalities such as encryption at rest and integration with Microsoft Active Directory. In this edition, you can choose a Microsoft Active Directory directory within AWS Directory Service. This directory is then used to identify and manage your Amazon QuickSight users and administrators, streamlining user management. Enterprise edition supports more extensive collaboration and data sharing, making it ideal for complex business environments.

How much does Amazon QuickSight cost?

Amazon QuickSight pricing model offers flexible pricing tailored to different user needs. AWS QuickSight comes with pay-per-session pricing. Thus, users are charged only when the users access the dashboards or reports. AWS QuickSight pricing can be categorized based on its two editions: Standard and Enterprise Edition.

AWS QuickSight Free Tier

Before diving into standard and enterprise edition pricing, let us understand what the AWS QuickSight free tier has to offer.

Amazon QuickSight offers 30 days of free tier usage with 10 GB of SPICE capacity for the first 30 days for free for a total of 4 users.

Amazon QuickSight pricing, Amazon Quicksight free tier
Source: AWS

QuickSight Standard Edition Pricing

QuickSight Standard Edition is available in either a monthly or annual plan. The Annual plan costs around $9 per user/month and the Monthly plan costs around $12 per user/month. Both plans are included with SPICE capacity. 

Plan TypePriceIncluded SPICE Capacity
Annual plan$9 per user/month10 GB per user
Monthly plan$12 per user/month0.25 per GB for additional capacity
AWS QuickSight Pricing Table for QuickSight Standard Edition

QuickSight Enterprise Edition Pricing

Amazon QuickSight Enterprise Edition pricing is based on the user role and offers the flexibility to choose the pricing model that best suits the user’s business needs. Users also have the flexibility to choose between per-user pricing and Capacity pricing. Two primary user types in AWS QuickSight are Authors and Readers.

Authors

Authors in Amazon QuickSight can connect to various data sources, create dashboards and reports, and share content with other users. It comes in two packages: Author and Author Pro. The average cost of Author is approximately $24 per user/month and Author Pro costs around $50 per user/month. 

AWS QuickSight pricing, AWS QuickSight Author, AWS QuickSight Author pro
Source: AWS

Readers

Readers in QuickSight can explore interactive dashboards, receive email reports, and download data. QuickSight offers two pricing models for readers: 

  • Predictable per-user pricing for organizational BI use cases. 
  • Capacity-based pricing for embedded applications or when user numbers and access frequency are unpredictable.

The User based pricing includes Reader and Reader Pro packages.

AWS QuickSight pricing, AWS QuickSight Reader, AWS QuickSight Reader pro
Caption: AWS

Capacity pricing for embedded applications enables customers to purchase Reader sessions and Amazon Q question capacities in bulk, without having to provision individual users. 

  • Reader Capacity pricing starts from around $250 for 500 sessions/month.
  • Amazon Q Questions Capacity pricing starts from $250 for 500 questions/month

Reader Capacity pricing

Plan TypeNumber of SessionsPriceAdditional Sessions
Monthly500 per month$250 per month$0.50
Annual50,000 per year$20,000 per year$0.40
Annual200,000 per year$57,600 per year$0.28
Annual400,000 per year$96,000 per year$0.24
Annual800,000 per year$162,000 per year$0.20
Annual1,600,000 per year$258,000per year$0.16
Reader Capacity Pricing Table

Amazon Q questions Capacity pricing

Plan TypeNumber of QuestionsPriceAdditional
Monthly500/month$250/month$0.50
Annual60,000/year$18,000/year$0.30
Annual600,000/year$120,000/year$0.20
Amazon Q questions Capacity Pricing Table

What is the Cost for Additional Capabilities?

Pixel-perfect paginated reports

Paginated Reports, you can effortlessly create, schedule, and distribute highly formatted, multipage reports. Utilizing the QuickSight serverless architecture and intuitive interface, you can also schedule data exports at scale. This unifies the traditionally separate systems for building dashboards and reports, offering a seamless experience.

TypeIncluded Report UnitsPriceAdditional Report Unit
Monthly Plan500 per month$500$1.00
Annual plan4,000 per month$24,000$0.50
Pixel-perfect paginated reports Pricing Table

SPICE

SPICE is designed to scale automatically, delivering fast and consistent performance for thousands of users and handling datasets with billions of rows. It costs approximately $0.38 per GB/month. This capability not only enhances efficiency but also saves time and money.

Users have the flexibility to add and remove SPICE at any time of the month. Each SPICE dataset in the QuickSight Enterprise edition supports a maximum of 1 billion rows per 1 TB size.

Alerts and anomaly detection

QuickSight offers threshold-based or automatic machine learning-powered anomaly detection alerts that notify you of significant changes in your data. The cost of these alerts is determined by the number of metrics evaluated.

Metrics evaluatedPrice per 1,000 metrics evaluated
1–1,000,000$0.50
1,000,001–10,000,000$0.25
10,000,001–100,000,000$0.10
>100,000,000$0.05
Pricing for Alerts and anomaly detection for AWS QuickSight

Best Practices to Optimize AWS Quicksight

Amazon QuickSight is a powerful tool for data visualization and business intelligence, but to get the most out of it, it’s essential to follow best practices. These practices will help you optimize performance, ensure security, and effectively manage your cloud costs. Here are some key best practices for using AWS QuickSight:

Efficient Data Preparation

Ensure that your data is clean, well-organized, and optimized before importing it into QuickSight. Use AWS Glue or other ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools to preprocess your data, eliminating redundancies and ensuring consistency.

Leverage SPICE for Speed

Use SPICE to accelerate data retrieval and analysis. SPICE allows you to perform rapid queries on large datasets, making your dashboards more responsive. Make sure to regularly monitor and manage your SPICE capacity to avoid unnecessary costs.

Role-Based Access Control

Implement Role-Based Access Control to manage user permissions effectively. Define roles and assign appropriate access levels to users based on their responsibilities. This ensures that sensitive data is only accessible to authorized personnel.

Utilize Pay-Per-Session for Readers

Leverage QuickSight’s pay-per-session pricing model for readers, which proves especially cost-effective for organizations that have many occasional users. With this model, you are only charged for actual usage, ensuring you get maximum value without excessive overhead. This approach not only optimizes your expenditure but also scales flexibly with your organization’s fluctuating needs, making it an ideal solution for managing costs efficiently

Incorporate Machine Learning Insights

Leverage QuickSight’s built-in Machine Learning capabilities to gain deeper insights from your data. Use ML Insights for predictive analytics, anomaly detection, and trend analysis to make data-driven decisions.

Use QuickSight Q for Natural Language Queries

Enable QuickSight Q to empower users to engage with data through natural language queries, facilitating instant responses in the form of intuitive visualizations. This enhancement dramatically simplifies data exploration, making it accessible and user-friendly for non-technical users.

Conclusion

AWS QuickSight stands out as a robust and versatile business intelligence tool, offering a comprehensive range of features to meet diverse data visualization and analysis needs. With its interactive dashboards, powerful SPICE engine, and innovative capabilities like QuickSight Q, businesses can transform raw data into actionable insights with ease.

With AWS QuickSight, the future of business intelligence is not only about understanding your data but also about making it work for you in the most efficient way possible. Embrace the power of QuickSight to stay ahead in the competitive business landscape and unlock the full potential of your data.

AWS QuickSight FAQs

What does AWS QuickSight do?

AWS QuickSight is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It allows users to create and analyze interactive dashboards and visualizations from various data sources.

Is QuickSight a visualization tool?

Yes, QuickSight is a visualization tool that can create and analyze interactive dashboards and visualizations from various data sources. With Amazon QuickSight, users can transform raw data into meaningful insights through a variety of visual formats such as charts, graphs, and tables. 

Is QuickSight free on AWS?

AWS QuickSight is not entirely free. However, AWS QuickSight offers a free trial for new users. The free trial includes access to the Standard Edition for a limited period, usually 60 days.

How do you compare AWS QuickSight vs Power BI?

AWS QuickSight and Power BI are both powerful business intelligence (BI) tools, but they have different strengths, features, and integration capabilities. AWS QuickSight integrates well with AWS services with features like machine learning insights and natural language querying, making it ideal for organizations heavily using AWS.

Power BI integrates well with Microsoft products, with features like advanced analytics, custom visualizations, and strong collaboration tools within Microsoft 365, making it a preferred choice for organizations within the Microsoft ecosystem.

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Heera Ravindran

Content Marketer at Economize. An avid writer and a zealous reader who specializes in technical content and has a passion for all things Cloud and FinOps.

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