It seems just about any time I am shopping for something I find a larger selection and lower prices through Amazon. Competing with Amazon is an obvious challenge for any business. So when Amazon announced their own cloud based BI product called QuickSight it got my attention. QuickSight will allow users to visualize their Amazon Web Service (AWS) data as well as data from other sources. Amazon claims that their price is 1/10th the cost of local BI options. Their Standard Edition is $108 per user per year, with the Enterprise Edition being twice that.
QuickSight is not limited to reading AWS cloud data. They are providing outbound connectivity so you can also analyze data that you store locally and data in other cloud services like SalesForce. All of the data is then processed by a new calculation engine they have created named Spice. QuickSight has it’s own visualization designer, but Amazon also provides inbound connectivity so users can tap into the Spice engine from partner tools like Tableau and Qlik.
According to an article on VentureBeat.com, cloud based BI is on the upswing from many vendors:
The rollout of [QuickSight] comes a couple of months after Microsoft’s cloud-based business intelligence service, Power BI, became generally available. And last year IBM brought its Cognos business intelligence software to its SoftLayer public cloud. Salesforce came out with its comparable Analytics Cloud last year, while startups like BIME, Birst, Domo, and GoodData offer standalone cloud BI tools.
They don’t mention that SAP has put their analysis engine, Lumira, in the cloud. You can get a free (trial) Lumira account just by registering. So it sounds like the future of both large scale data storage AND large scale data analysis may be in the cloud, with the biggest cloud provider of them all taking the lead.