Get Started with QuickSight: AWS Business Intelligence Service

July 18, 2017 | Comments(0) |

What is QuickSight
AWS is providing its customers a very fast cloud-powered business intelligence service – QuickSight. It enables business users to peer inside the data residing in various AWS repositories, including RedShift Data Warehouse, Elastic MapReduce and Amazon Relational Database Services.

QuickSight makes it easy for customers to build visualizations, perform ad-hoc analysis, and quickly get business insights from data by uploading CSV and Excel files, connect to databases like SQLServer, MySQL or PostgreSQL, in the cloud or on-premises.

Why QuickSight

  • We can get started very quickly by creating our visualization of Expert line in minutes, QuickSight also suggests the best visualizations for our data using its innovative Autograph technology.
  • We can import massive amount of data from various data sources; QuickSight: Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory, Calculation Engine (SPICE) works in the cloud to get fast responses – just connect to the data, visualize and share.
  • QuickSight is 1/10th of the cost of traditional BI solutions with no upfront investments, no expensive hardware to purchase or infrastructure to manage and no additional license or maintenance fees.

QuickSight Supported Data sources

  • Amazon Athena
  • Amazon Aurora
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Apache Spark 2.0 or later
  • Maria DB 10.0 or later
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 or later
  • MySQL 5.1 or later

QuickSight Features

  1. Choose your Data Source
    We can upload CSV or Excel files data from AWS data sources such as Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS and Amazon S3 etc. We can also connect to databases like SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, in the cloud or on-premises; or connect to SaaS applications like Salesforce.
  2. SPICE – The Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory, Calculation Engine
    Amazon QuickSight’s Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory, Calculation Engine (SPICE) uses a combination of columnar storage, in-memory technologies enabled through the latest hardware innovations, machine code generation, and data compression to allow users to run interactive queries on large datasets and get rapid responses. SPICE supports rich calculations that help customers derive valuable insights from their analysis without ever having to worry about provisioning or managing infrastructure.
  3. Smart Visualizations
    Amazon QuickSight comes with a built-in suggestion engine that provides us with recommended visualizations based on the properties of the underlying datasets. As we drill in to the data, Amazon QuickSight provides the most appropriate graph types to visualize the data using Autograph, a collection of algorithms that learn over time the best visualizations that matches your analytical patterns.
  4. Use Anytime, Anywhere
    The dashboards created from QuickSight can be made easy to access through web browser or the QuickSight iPhone app. Amazon says it will come up with Android app and tablet support, including viewing in offline mode in future releases.
  5. Share and Collaborate
    QuickSight allows us to easily share business insights by packaging them up as interactive stories that we can share with others. Using the Storyboard features in QuickSight, we can combine visualizations into business dashboards and share in a secured manner with individuals or groups in the organization.

Pricing

STANDARD EDITION ENTERPRISE EDITION
First User (USD/user/month) Free (1GB SPICE included) Free (1GB SPICE included)
Additional Users (USD/user/month) $9 (10GB SPICE included)* $18 (10GB SPICE included)*
Additional SPICE(/GB/month) $0.25 $0.38

Team trial:
Free, 60 days, 4 users, Standard or Enterprise Edition.

Connecting MySQL Database with QuickSight

  • Login to QuickSight Console
    QuickSight_Service_Image_1

  • Create New analysis
    QuickSight_Service_Image_2
  • Create a New data set
    QuickSight_Service_Image_3
  • Connect with MySQL specifying details
    QuickSight_Service_Image_4

    Specify the following details:

    • Data source name: Name of the source
    • Database server: Public IP of the EC2 Instance
    • Port: MySQL Port (3306)
    • Database Name: Name of the database created
    • User Name: Username of the database
    • Password: Password of the database
  • Validate to establish MySQL connection with QuickSight
    QuickSight_Service_Image_5
  • Select the database you want to visualize. Here, I have used Wikipedia data.
    QuickSight_Service_Image_6
  • Select Visualize to visualize the data selected
    QuickSight_Service_Image_7
  • Select the Fields you want to visualize. Here, I have selected fields as Views of Wikipedia data by languages.
  • Once the Analysis Graph Is displayed, click on Capture each time when you create and analyze the dashboard to see the analysis in the Storyboard.
    QuickSight_Service_Image_8
  • Create the second Analysis Graph as created previously by selecting different fields and visual types. Here we are visualizing Views of Data by Hours.
    QuickSight_Service_Image_9
  • You can also format the X-axis and Y-axis values of the individual analysis dashboards by selecting the fields of respective Axis as shown below:
    QuickSight_Service_Image_10
  • Select the Story on left pane and select the first dashboard as shown
    QuickSight_Service_Image_11
  • Storyboard will play all the analysis screens if you have captured analysis created previously. We can make use of Next, Previous and Stop Story Options to play storyboard analysis.
    QuickSight_Service_Image_12

 

Summary of my first impression of QuickSight
It seems a pretty good Service. The SPICE data engine is fast, as the response was always instant. The number of data source options available, number of visualizations and storyboard suggestion is good and interactive.

I encountered a few problems while I was playing around. Sometimes charts errored and at times got some errors while connecting MySQL with QuickSight, but at the end of the day it worked. I could easily start using QuickSight, get some great reports with AWS Accounts Billing and dashboards knocked up in very little time.

Give it a try and enjoy 🙂

If you have any query or need more Information about QuickSight, please feel free to write to us at https://forum.cloudthat.com or share your experience, views, etc. in the comments section below.


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