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AWS QuickSight vs. Power BI

Business Intelligence is important to a firm in order to understand the data gathered from its various operations. Amazon does provide a service called QuickSight which is more tailored to use-by-use cases. By comparison, Microsoft has Power BI on offer with a much more universally applied pricing model but extensive customizability and modularity. Both do have a lot to offer on top of their compatibility to their respective organizations.

Main Features

Both services do provide visual charts to aid in understanding the provided data points, but each does provide much more.

 

Power BI

The biggest selling point for Microsoft’s offering is the customizability and versatility of the platform.  Additionally, many of the charts that Microsoft offers are also highly customizable all at the behest of its open-source repository.  Because of its compatibility with the rest of the Microsoft suite of workplace tools, it works exceptionally well with Office 365.  By that extension, sharing visuals is made much easier.

 

QuickSight

Amazon intends on leveraging QuickSight’s simplicity to appeal to users as well as its integration with other AWS services.  Even with larger datasets and multiple users from either AWS or other sources, it can work seamlessly and efficiently.  Users who don’t have an AWS license can also afford to view these charts relatively cheaply at a per-use rate, making it an incredibly attractive option for teams who don’t regularly have access to business intelligence software.

Main Features

Both services do provide visual charts to aid in understanding the provided data points, but each does provide much more.

 

Power BI

The biggest selling point for Microsoft’s offering is the customizability and versatility of the platform.  Additionally, many of the charts that Microsoft offers are also highly customizable all at the behest of its open-source repository.  Because of its compatibility with the rest of the Microsoft suite of workplace tools, it works exceptionally well with Office 365.  By that extension, sharing visuals is made much easier.

 

QuickSight

Amazon intends on leveraging QuickSight’s simplicity to appeal to users as well as its integration with other AWS services.  Even with larger datasets and multiple users from either AWS or other sources, it can work seamlessly and efficiently.  Users who don’t have an AWS license can also afford to view these charts relatively cheaply at a per-use rate, making it an incredibly attractive option for teams who don’t regularly have access to business intelligence software.

Main Features

Both services do provide visual charts to aid in understanding the provided data points, but each does provide much more.

 

Power BI

The biggest selling point for Microsoft’s offering is the customizability and versatility of the platform.  Additionally, many of the charts that Microsoft offers are also highly customizable all at the behest of its open-source repository.  Because of its compatibility with the rest of the Microsoft suite of workplace tools, it works exceptionally well with Office 365.  By that extension, sharing visuals is made much easier.

 

QuickSight

Amazon intends on leveraging QuickSight’s simplicity to appeal to users as well as its integration with other AWS services.  Even with larger datasets and multiple users from either AWS or other sources, it can work seamlessly and efficiently.  Users who don’t have an AWS license can also afford to view these charts relatively cheaply at a per-use rate, making it an incredibly attractive option for teams who don’t regularly have access to business intelligence software.

Shortcomings

Power BI

The variety and complex customization on offer from Microsoft can be a double-edged sword under the wrong circumstances.  User-submitted documentation might be hard to come by or is non-existent altogether if users are unlucky enough.  Additionally, Power BI’s more advanced features might have a steep learning curve to them.  Optimization could also prove to be a significant issue, taking up too many computer resources and slowing down functionality as a direct result.  Finally, the pricing model is a bit less forgiving compared to some others - though AWS’ model might prove more so by comparison.

 

QuickSight

Similar to Microsoft’s offering, QuickSight’s speed could just as easily backfire.  The extensive customization however does not extend to its library of graphs and charts, especially compared to other business intelligence services.  This is not helped by how some users have reported the user interface to be counterintuitive and confusing at times, or that AWS services tend to require specialized knowledge.  This also glosses over just how new QuickSight is in Amazon’s existing catalog of cloud utilities.  With many features being adjusted and added to QuickSight, this will inevitably result in countless issues for current users.

Shortcomings

Power BI

The variety and complex customization on offer from Microsoft can be a double-edged sword under the wrong circumstances.  User-submitted documentation might be hard to come by or is non-existent altogether if users are unlucky enough.  Additionally, Power BI’s more advanced features might have a steep learning curve to them.  Optimization could also prove to be a significant issue, taking up too many computer resources and slowing down functionality as a direct result.  Finally, the pricing model is a bit less forgiving compared to some others - though AWS’ model might prove more so by comparison.

 

QuickSight

Similar to Microsoft’s offering, QuickSight’s speed could just as easily backfire.  The extensive customization however does not extend to its library of graphs and charts, especially compared to other business intelligence services.  This is not helped by how some users have reported the user interface to be counterintuitive and confusing at times, or that AWS services tend to require specialized knowledge.  This also glosses over just how new QuickSight is in Amazon’s existing catalog of cloud utilities.  With many features being adjusted and added to QuickSight, this will inevitably result in countless issues for current users.

Pricing Models

Power BI

Microsoft charges different rates and provides different benefits for their Pro edition and Premium edition.  Pro users are charged $9.99 per month and are offered 10GB of storage, a 1GB dataset limit, and all of the visualization and BI features.  By comparison, Premium users are charged $20.00 per month for a single license or $4,995 to license an organization and provide access to big data analytics, on-premises deployment, 100TB of storage, and a 10GB dataset limit.

 

QuickSight

Amazon charges different rates and provides different benefits for the Standard edition and the Enterprise edition of QuickSight.  Standard edition costs $9.00 per month for a yearly subscription or $12.00 per month on a monthly subscription with 10GB storage on the side with additional storage costing $0.25 per GB.  Enterprise edition furthermore has additional pricing whether the user is going to be a Reader or Author.  Authors pay $18.00 per month for a yearly subscription or $24.00 per month on a monthly subscription with 10GB of storage on the side and additional storage costing $0.38 per GB.  Readers - depending on how often they use the service - will cost anywhere from $0.30 to $5.00 per 30-minute session, per user, per month.  By default, AWS’ pricing model is incredibly complex.

Pricing Models

Power BI

Microsoft charges different rates and provides different benefits for their Pro edition and Premium edition.  Pro users are charged $9.99 per month and are offered 10GB of storage, a 1GB dataset limit, and all of the visualization and BI features.  By comparison, Premium users are charged $20.00 per month for a single license or $4,995 to license an organization and provide access to big data analytics, on-premises deployment, 100TB of storage, and a 10GB dataset limit.

 

QuickSight

Amazon charges different rates and provides different benefits for the Standard edition and the Enterprise edition of QuickSight.  Standard edition costs $9.00 per month for a yearly subscription or $12.00 per month on a monthly subscription with 10GB storage on the side with additional storage costing $0.25 per GB.  Enterprise edition furthermore has additional pricing whether the user is going to be a Reader or Author.  Authors pay $18.00 per month for a yearly subscription or $24.00 per month on a monthly subscription with 10GB of storage on the side and additional storage costing $0.38 per GB.  Readers - depending on how often they use the service - will cost anywhere from $0.30 to $5.00 per 30-minute session, per user, per month.  By default, AWS’ pricing model is incredibly complex.

Quick Recap

Power BI is simple to configure reports, log historical data comparisons, and makes navigating back and forth between tabs simple, data is easy to break down into smaller datasets, and real-time data can get actionable results much sooner.  As noted earlier though, it does have some optimization issues, lacks a MacOS version of the desktop app, on-premises versions lack claims-based authentication, and Premium costs comparatively more than other services.  QuickSight is also incredibly simple to set up and comes optimized for other AWS services out of the box.  Users are charged only for what resources they use similar to other AWS services, making it a really cost-efficient solution.  Like most AWS tools, it can be a bit esoteric at times.  This isn’t helped by how the service is comparatively new to other parts of the AWS cloud, meaning that it only has roughly half the components other BI services already have.

Quick Recap

Power BI is simple to configure reports, log historical data comparisons, and makes navigating back and forth between tabs simple, data is easy to break down into smaller datasets, and real-time data can get actionable results much sooner.  As noted earlier though, it does have some optimization issues, lacks a MacOS version of the desktop app, on-premises versions lack claims-based authentication, and Premium costs comparatively more than other services.  QuickSight is also incredibly simple to set up and comes optimized for other AWS services out of the box.  Users are charged only for what resources they use similar to other AWS services, making it a really cost-efficient solution.  Like most AWS tools, it can be a bit esoteric at times.  This isn’t helped by how the service is comparatively new to other parts of the AWS cloud, meaning that it only has roughly half the components other BI services already have.

Dolan Cleary
Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician.

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