QuickSight Q, Amazon's simple BI tool, moves into GA

QuickSight Q lets users ask a question related to their data in natural language and quickly receive an answer and relevant visualizations.

Amazon Web Services this week announced the general availability of QuickSight Q, a business intelligence tool that lets users visualize their data by typing in questions in natural language. A salesperson could, for instance, ask, "How are my sales tracking against quota?" to see a chart with relevant data. 

QuickSight Q was unveiled during last year's re:Invent conference, stepping up Amazon's challenge to traditional BI tools. 

QuickSight Q uses machine learning to to automatically understand a question and its relationship to business data, providing answers and relevant visualizations in seconds. It also provides auto-complete suggestions for key phrases and business terms. Since QuickSight Q does not depend on prebuilt dashboards and reports, users aren't limited to asking a specific set of questions.

Users can refine QuickSight Q's understanding of questions and its answers with an editor tool, removing the need for the data prep that typically precedes natural language queries. The machine learning models that power QuickSight Q are pretrained on data from various domains (sales reporting, ads and marketing, financial services, healthcare and sports analytics), so it can understand complex business language.

QuickSight Q serves as a companion feature for Amazon's QuickSight cloud service, which was rolled out in 2016. The service provides graphical tools that allow users to more easily build data visualizations, charts, graphs, and tables from data that can be pulled from various AWS and third-party sources.