Amazon QuickSight Redshift Integration: Easy Steps

• March 10th, 2022

Amazon QuickSight Redshift Integration | Cover

As data collection within organizations is growing at a rapid rate, organizations are struggling to harness the power of data effectively. Usually, organizations hire analysts to analyze the stored data and then share the insights and dashboards with decision-makers. However, this decreases productivity since decision-makers rely on analysts to make decisions.

To mitigate such challenges, organizations are leveraging QuickSight Redshift in combination with Amazon Redshift to allow everyone in the organization to generate insight and make decisions quickly. While Redshift eliminates the need for decision-makers to clean data, QuickSight Redshift enables users to query in natural language to obtain insights into a colossal amount of data.  

In this tutorial, you will learn to use the Amazon Redshift service with Amazon QuickSight Redshift.

Table of Contents

  1. Prerequisites
  2. What is Amazon Redshift?
  3. Advantages of Redshift
  4. What is Amazon QuickSight Redshift
  5. Advantages of QuickSight Redshift
  6. Authorize Connections from Amazon QuickSight to Amazon Redshift Clusters
  7. Conclusion

Prerequisites 

Basics understanding of business intelligence tools

What is Amazon Redshift?

Amazon QuickSight | Amazon Redshift logo
Image credit: AWS

Amazon provides a fully scalable, reliable, and fast data warehousing service called Amazon Redshift. It is a column-oriented database mainly designed for connecting SQL-based clients with business analytics tools. Amazon Redshift’s objective is to provide data to different users in real-time. Several organizations use Amazon Redshift to streamline business analyses and make informed decisions across teams. You can start using Amazon Redshift with a set of nodes called Amazon Redshift Clusters. After creating Clusters, you can upload your datasets and perform queries for analysis. 

Amazon Redshift handles all the underlying settings, operations, and scalability of a data warehouse. It consists of tasks like monitoring and backing up clusters, creating and managing clusters, reserving nodes, controlling clusters’ access and security, and more.

Advantages of Amazon Redshift

  1. Wider Adoption

Since Amazon Redshift can perform complex queries on large amounts of data and give quick results, several organizations have embraced Redshift to handle and analyze data faster.

  1. Performance

Amazon Redshift is built as a Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) database. It provides excellent performance due to the efficient implementation of columnar storage algorithms and data partitioning techniques.

  1. Scalability

Amazon Redshift consists of hardware expansion, VM resizing, rebalancing of data handled through the UI button or REST API call, which makes Redshift highly scalable.

  1. Pricing

Amazon Redshift offers data warehousing for almost every other company, regardless of its size. It has a variety of pricing models which are flexible for deployment. Amazon Redshift has pricing models like pay-as-you-go, on-demand, and more.

What is Amazon QuickSight?

Amazon QuickSight | Amazon QuickSight logo
Image credit: AWS

Amazon QuickSight is a business intelligence tool developed by Amazon to help users understand their data. With QuickSight, anyone in an organization can ask questions to data in natural language and gain insights immediately. It also uses machine learning capabilities to identify patterns and outliers in data and creates visualizations that can help organizations make better business decisions.

While everyone can leverage QuickSight, complex dashboards can be built by analysts and shared across every other user in an organization through the web, email, or embedded applications. QuickSight provides updates every two weeks, ensuring that users have the latest features without downtime or version conflicts.

Advantages of QuickSight

  1. Access to different data sources

Amazon QuickSight allows users to access data from different sources like Amazon Aurora, Redshift, DynamoDB, Kinesis, S3, Oracle, MySQL, SQL, PostgreSQL, and more.

  1. Fast calculation

Amazon QuickSight performs fast calculations because it consists of SPICE, which is the most advanced in-memory calculation engine. 

  1. Scalability

Many business domains can use Amazon QuickSight to measure business metrics. It can scale up to thousands of users who can work independently and simultaneously on different data sources.

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Authorize Connections from Amazon QuickSight to Amazon Redshift Clusters

You need to create a security group instance for connecting Amazon QuickSight Redshift. When you conn3rect Amazon Redshift with QuickSight, you are given access to all tables and instances of Amazon Redshift.

There are three ways to establish QuickSight Redshift connect:

  1. Manually Enabling Access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC

Follow the below steps to manually enable a Redshift Cluster in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for authorizing QuickSight Redshift connect. 

Note: You need to have a Redshift Cluster before enabling access to it in VPC.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console, then open the Amazon Redshift console.
  1. Select the details page icon next to the Cluster, as shown below.
Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. Under the Cluster Database Properties section, select the port and note down its value.
  1. Similarly, under the Cluster Properties section, select the VPC Id and note down its value.
  1. To open the Amazon VPC Management Console, select the view VPCs as shown in the below image.
Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. Select the Security Groups under the navigation Panel in the Amazon VPC Management Console.
  1. Select the Create Security Group.
  1. Enter the security group information asked on the Create Security Group page as follows:
  • For name tag and group name, enter Amazon-QuickSight-access.
  • For Description, enter Amazon-QuickSight-access.
  • For VPC, you will select the VPC of your instance. The VPC in the below image is the VPC you noted above.
Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. Click on the Yes, Create tab. You will see the new security group on the screen.
  1. Select the new security group, and then the Inbound Rules tab.
  1. To create a new rule, click on Edit and use the below values.
  • For Type, select the Custom TCP rule.
  • For Protocol, enter TCP(6).
  • For port range, you will have to enter the port number of the Amazon Redshift Cluster to which you are providing access.

For Source, you have to enter the CIDR address block of the AWS region where you want to use Amazon QuickSight. In this example, the CIDR is 52.210.255.224/27 (Ireland).

Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. To save your new inbound rule, click on the Save button.
  1. Go to the Clusters page of the Amazon Redshift Management Console and open the details page for the Cluster you want to provide the required access.
  1. Click on Cluster from a drop-down menu, and then select modify as shown in the below image.
Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. The currently assigned security groups are selected for VPC Security Groups. You can press CTRL and select Amazon-QuickSight-access in addition to the other selected security groups.
  1. Manually Enabling Access to Amazon Redshift Cluster, Which is Not in VPC

Follow the below steps to access the Amazon Redshift Cluster, which is not in VPC.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Amazon Redshift console.
  2. In the navigation pane, click on the Security tab.
  3. Now, click on the Create Cluster Security group.
  4. For the Security Cluster group name, enter Amazon-QuickSight-access and then click on Create.
  5. Now, click on the details icon next to the Security group, as shown in the below image.
Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster, which is not in VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. Then, click on Add Connection Type.
  1. Enter the below connection information.
Amazon QuickSight | Manually enabling access to Amazon Redshift Cluster in a VPC
Image credit: amazon
  1. Click on Authorize.
  1. Go to the Clusters page of the Amazon Redshift Management Console and open the details page for the Cluster you want to enable access. Select Cluster and then click on modify.
  1. The currently assigned security groups are selected for VPC Security Groups. You can press CTRL and select Amazon-QuickSight-access in addition to the other selected security groups.
  1. Click on modify to provide access to Redshift Clusters from QuickSight Redshift.
  1. Enabling Access to Amazon Redshift Spectrum

If you want to gain insights into unstructured data from QuickSight, you can leverage Amazon Redshift Spectrum. One of the most widely used services for unstructured data on AWS is S3. You can query data from S3 using Redshift spectrum instead of relying on Amazon Athena, a query service used for analyzing data. You can combine the datasets of Amazon Redshift and Amazon S3 and then access them using queries.

To connect with Redshift Spectrum, follow the below steps.

  1. Create an IAM role associated with the Amazon Redshift Cluster.
  1. Add the IAM policies like AmazonS3ReadOnlyAccess and AmazonAthenaFullAccess to the IAM role.
  1. Register the external schema for the tables you want to use.

In the Redshift spectrum, you only pay for the queries you run. You do not need to grant Amazon QuickSight access to Amazon S3 or Athena for connecting Redshift Spectrum tables. Amazon QuickSight needs access only through the Amazon Redshift Clusters.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you learned about connecting Amazon Redshift data warehousing with the Amazon QuickSight data visualization tool. However, you can also explore the Amazon QuickSight tool with other Amazon storage services like Amazon S3, Amazon EBS, Amazon Storage Gateway, and more.

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