Amazon QuickSight Review

Scalable with good self-service analytics but needs better integration capabilities


What is our primary use case?

We have used it as rapid prototyping for exploring visualizations and analytics with the data. It seems to work quite nicely.

What is most valuable?

Our clients are looking for advice. To the extent that they were on AWS, we pointed them to this rather than using Power BI, which frankly we had an awful experience with. We were comfortable with the AWS stack, everything on AWS, and we pointed them to that for some of their analytics and with us holding their hand. Rather than investing in another product, we found a good cost model there. If you're running on AWS and paying for those services, the whole QuickSight thing was a nominal add-on cost for its services. It's actually pretty efficient.

From an analytics perspective, it's really good for self-service analytics.

What needs improvement?

It's not a Tableau. It's not a TIBCO Spotfire. They could do further integration with some data governance and data cataloging. You can't tell a data story as well in QuickSight as you can on others, especially in TIBCO Spotfire. If they integrated it more with some data cataloging and had some guided analytics where it will walk you through everything, that would be ideal. Most clients don't expect it to do that. That said, once again, it isn't a Tableau. The results are as good as Tableau, and yet, it doesn't, from an engineering perspective, tell the data story or allow a user to be able to access a data catalog that lets you drive how your analytics need to go. I don't if they're working on that, however, that would be a lovely enhancement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution within two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been quite good. I don't believe we've had any major issues with the stability. I can't recall dealing with bugs or glitches and it doesn't seem to crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't really tested the scalability. There's no reason to think it wouldn't, given AWS's general capability. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm aware of other solutions. however, rather than licensing Tableau or Power BI, or TIBCO, we found that we needed an introductory analyst tool for our clients that we could help them use. The more sophisticated users are using things like TIBCO on AWS, or Tableau, or Looker. However, with QuickSight, we find it to be really good as an introductory tool for our clients that want to do simple analytics.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost of the solution has a minimal cost if users are already on the AWS stack.

There are additional service fees based on the services it consumes. However, the cost is pretty mild. 

It's not like it's a few pennies a day. However, it's a per service or CPU and disc storage, and it's mostly CPU. It's a minimal surcharge as you're consuming more services on AWS.

What other advice do I have?

I'm very excited about their product. We were using others, other things for visualization analytics, however, within the AWS stack, it's actually proving to be pretty capable.

It was a whole AWS stack that we're shaping out. Given our partnership with Amazon, they've been pushing a lot of different services and products at us. But the QuickSight was something that was remarkably quick to stand out and recreate some use cases within, for example, Power BI. So we have found that to allow for a really rapid, quickly produced prototype. 

I would recommend QuickSight as, if you were a citizen developer, it's very approachable. Learning something like TIBCO or Power BI is a bigger learning curve. What I do like about QuickSight, is that it gives a relative beginner the ability to really start seeing results quickly. I don't think it's a competitor yet for some of the more sophisticated tools. However, if a developer or developer's client was relatively unsophisticated, it's a very smooth and quick place to start.

I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten simply due to the fact that, in its class, it does well, however, in comparison to some other tools, it's not as robust.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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