Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced some notable new natural language querying capabilities that enable nonanalysts to forecast future business outcomes.
By way of a quick recap, AWS first introduced its QuickSight business intelligence service back in 2015, allowing customers to visualize their data through dashboards and reports without requiring the technical prowess of a developer. Fast-forward to 2020, and AWS introduced natural language queries to the mix via QuickSight Q, enabling users to find answers simply by typing plain-English questions into a search bar, such as “show me this month’s sales by segment.”
Today’s announcement builds on that by serving answers to future-gazing questions.
“ML-powered forecasting with Q,” as AWS CEO Adam Selipsky referred to the new feature onstage at AWS re:Invent today, allows users to view business performance forecasts without involving any analysts or data scientists. All they have to do is enter “forecast” or “show me a forecast” into the search bar, followed by up to three metrics (e.g., “sales”), and Q will deliver the appropriate visualizations for that query.
On top of that, users can include filters — for example, if they want to see sales for a specific region over a specific timeframe.
Additionally, QuickSight Q will also now support natural language “why” questions, allowing nonanalysts to drill down into the data and figure out what factors led to a particular outcome.
For example, if a graph shows that enrollment in a course dropped, the user might also want to know why it dropped. So they would start such a query with the word “why” and then follow it up with a metric and a timeframe. In this case, the question could be: “Why did enrollment drop in 2021?”
Both forecasting and “why” questions are available to users from today.