Analytics and BI

Let’s now have a look into analytics. If you have a look at the Data Lakes and Analytics on AWS landing page, you can see that there is a broad range of options to run analytics on AWS. As always, we want to give our customers the choice to use the best tool for their job. Next to the options of using AWS services, you obviously can also run additional analytics software yourself on AWS or purchase EC2-based or SaaS solutions from the AWS Marketplace.

In the following two sections we’ll be having a look at Amazon Athena and Amazon Quicksight.

Amazon Athena and AWS Glue

Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage, and you pay only for the queries that you run.

Athena is easy to use. Simply point to your data in Amazon S3, define the schema, and start querying using standard SQL. Most results are delivered within seconds. With Athena, there’s no need for complex ETL jobs to prepare your data for analysis. This makes it easy for anyone with SQL skills to quickly analyze large-scale datasets.

Athena is out-of-the-box integrated with AWS Glue Data Catalog, allowing you to create a unified metadata repository across various services, crawl data sources to discover schemas and populate your Catalog with new and modified table and partition definitions, and maintain schema versioning. You can also use Glue’s fully-managed ETL capabilities to transform data or convert it into columnar formats to optimize cost and improve performance.

AWS Glue is a fully managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) service that makes it easy for customers to prepare and load their data for analytics. You can create and run an ETL job with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. You simply point AWS Glue to your data stored on AWS, and AWS Glue discovers your data and stores the associated metadata (e.g. table definition and schema) in the AWS Glue Data Catalog. Once cataloged, your data is immediately searchable, queryable, and available for ETL.

Amazon Quicksight

Amazon QuickSight is a fast, cloud-powered business intelligence (BI) service that makes it easy for you to deliver insights to everyone in your organization.

QuickSight lets you create and publish interactive dashboards that can be accessed from browsers or mobile devices. You can embed dashboards into your applications, providing your customers with powerful self-service analytics. QuickSight easily scales to tens of thousands of users without any software to install, servers to deploy, or infrastructure to manage.

With the industry’s first pay-per-session billing model, you only pay for what you use. This allows you to give all of your users access to the data they need without expensive per-seat licenses.

In the next two sections we will have a practical look at those services.