Science & Technology

Amazon simplifies business intelligence questions and answers with QuickSight Q

Amazon Web Services Inc.’s business intelligence service become a lot more useful today with the general availability of Amazon QuickSight Q, a natural language query tool that’s meant to serve as a companion to the QuickSight cloud service.

With Amazon QuickSight Q, a company’s employees gain the ability to ask business questions easily using their natural voice and receive accurate answers in the shape of visualizations based on data. The idea is to help users quickly search and gain insights from company databases in seconds, using everyday language.

Launched in preview in December, Amazon QuickSight Q relies on natural language processing and machine learning that’s been trained on multiple business areas and data points. It extracts terms such as “revenue,” “growth,” “allocation” and the like, as well as the intent of the user’s question, surfaces related data that has the answers to that question, and provides answers in the form of numbers or graphs.

So for instance, a salesperson can ask it, “How are my sales tracking against quota?” while a retailer could ask, “What are the best-selling products sold week-over-week by region?” and the service will instantly provide answers.

The advantage of Amazon QuickSight Q is that it doesn’t depend on pre-built dashboards or reports to create visualizations. That removes the need for business intelligence experts to update a dashboard every time new business questions arise.

Users can also refine the way Amazon QuickSight Q understands questions with an easy to use editor. That in turn removes the need for complex data preparation to be performed before the questions can be asked.

Another useful feature is auto-complete suggestions for key phrases and business terms to help users form questions. The service also has a spell checker and can understand acronyms and synonyms, so users don’t have to worry about typos or use a specific business term to get the answers they need.

The original Amazon QuickSight service debuted in 2016. It’s a scalable, serverless, machine learning-powered BI service that can be embedded into multiple business tools and serves as a rival to popular BI tools such as Tableau Software and Qlik. It enables workers to query their data and prepare it for use in business reporting, and it comes with graphical tools for building visualizations, charts, graphs and tables from data pulled from various AWS and third-party sources.

Holger Mueller, an analyst with Constellation Research Inc., told SiliconANGLE that by adding voice recognition capabilities with QuickSight Q, Amazon QuickSight will see its stock as a reliable enterprise business intelligence tool increase. “Amazon keeps pushing the envelope as it builds out as mass BI product, which is good for customers as long as the bulk of their data resides in AWS,” he said.

AWS Vice President of Business Analytics Matt Wood said Amazon QuickSight is popular because it enables users to perform advanced analytics without any experience in data science.

“Now, with Amazon QuickSight Q, anyone within an organization has the ability to ask natural language questions and receive highly relevant answers and visualizations,” he said. “For the first time, anyone can tap into the full power of data to make quick, reliable, data-driven decisions to plan more efficiently and be more responsive to their end users.”

Amazon said Amazon QuickSight Q currently supports questions only in English. It’s available now for customers running Amazon QuickSight in the US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland) and Europe (London) regions. The company said availability in additional regions is coming soon.

Image: AWS

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