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Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced the launch of QuickSight, a new business intelligence (BI) service based in the Amazon cloud. It’s available in preview now.

It will be available for “a tenth of the cost of traditional business intelligence providers,” AWS senior vice president Andy Jassy said at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas today.

The tool is meant to be very easy to use — providing visualizations in as little as 60 seconds, Jassy said — and comes powered with Amazon’s new proprietary Super-Fast Parallel In-Memory Computation Engine (dubbed SPICE). The tool can automatically figure out which type of visualization to show first. And of course, it’s integrated with other AWS services. “As soon as we recognize an AWS customer and we take all of their data and store it in the various AWS stores,” Jassy said, “we move it to our query engine.”

Unlike some other news coming out of the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week, this particular announcement is not a surprise. Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal reported on AWS’ plans to announce the service.


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AWS QuickSight.

Above: AWS QuickSight.

Image Credit: Screenshot

The rollout of the tool 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.

AWS is the biggest public cloud of them all, larger than both SoftLayer and Microsoft’s Azure. So today’s announcement is a big deal in the land of BI, which data analysts use to ask questions of data and produce charts and dashboards.

AWS is clearly aware of the impact here: AWS product strategy executive Matt Wood even said today that Domo, Qlik, Tableau, and Tibco BI tools can plug into QuickSight’s SPICE engine and run queries. AWS provides visualizations and dashboards of live data that anyone can log on and access. They can also be shared over email or embedded into websites.

AWS has brought out several types of cloud-based software over the past several years. Just last week it entered the managed Elasticsearch market. Earlier this year AWS got into the API management business. Last year it started competing with GitHub, Dropbox, and Parse.

But BI is a core component in enterprise tech — this is different. Today’s news demonstrates just how far Amazon has gone since launching AWS in 2006. Back then, AWS just comprised compute and storage services for individual developers. Some entire companies run all of their computing on AWS. Now that it has its very own BI tool, AWS — with its $7.3 billion in annual revenue run rate — can legitimately be called an enterprise software vendor.

A blog post has more detail on QuickSight.

Find all our coverage of AWS re:Invent here.

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