Tag Archive for: Business Intelligence

Today, Amazon QuickSight Announced Paginated Reporting; Cited Ironside as a QuickSight Delivery Partner

Connecting the Past to the Future

The past decade has seen a tremendous shift in how we consume analytics – from enterprise, templated, and paginated reporting to interactive, embedded dashboards with ML-augmented capabilities. It’s no surprise organizations have been eager to put these new tools in the hands of their employees. Unfortunately, they quickly realized a lift-and-shift approach for BI platforms requires extensive planning and training because of the fundamental differences between how legacy and modern BI tools address reporting needs.

Enterprise reporting has been the standard for decades. It’s what many business leaders and users alike are used to – and for good reason. Consumers could receive reports tailored to their individual needs and in various formats (PDF, CSV) on a scheduled cadence that contained all of their KPIs and performance metrics. Within the legacy BI space, organizations have been able to scale this extremely custom and robust reporting solution to their hundreds of users with great success for many years.

But in the age of big data, enterprises needed to approach data discovery and analysis differently. Data analysts became a highly valued and growing community within organizations. Companies rightly prioritized empowering these analysts to better leverage their technical skills and business acumen to drive meaningful impact. This meant migrating to modern BI platforms that favored interactive dashboards over reports numbering in the tens-of-hundreds of pages.

Among the many challenges of migrating from legacy to modern platforms was the reality that legacy users could no longer access reports with the same look and feel they’d grown accustomed to for years. Companies found that even with robust migration strategies, careful execution, and exhaustive change-management programs, they were left with reporting needs that neither a legacy system or modern BI tool could meet on its own. Instead, they had to maintain multiple systems to meet analysts’ needs for powerful dashboards and legacy users’ needs for robust operational reports.

Bridging the Gap

So – how do organizations move to a platform that incorporates the modern analytics movement of cloud-based, self-service and augmented analytics, while also creating limited friction for users entrenched in legacy reporting models? Amazon QuickSight Paginated Reporting is beginning to bridge the gap.

This release is centered around paginated reporting, distribution and analysis – the core tenets of an enterprise reporting implementation. The disparity between platforms continues to shrink, allowing organizations to spend more time evolving their new ideas rather than reimagining existing ones. Lastly, this release addresses an important piece to a successful adoption – creating a smooth transition for the user community.

Enterprise Reporting in the Cloud

Enterprise reporting entails the delivery of insights in templated and tabular formats on a regular basis. Some users prefer fewer visualizations and more granular data, including pivot tables spanning multiple pages. Amazon QuickSight has new features that allow report authors to design, build and distribute presentation-ready formats from within the same platform.

  New report creation tools

  • Headers & Footers
    Gives the author the ability to add custom report information within dedicated sections to make reports easier to scan and absorb
  • Page Margins, Padding Controls & Guardrails
    New formatting tools allow authors more flexibility in customizing how reports appear
  • Repeating Content
    Allows authors to quickly build stories by taking different slices of a particular chart and recreate them within a report

New report distribution and analysis tools

  • Custom schedules with enhanced features
    Gives administrators the flexibility to address the wide variety of distribution requirements from the user community
  • Historical snapshots
    Allows administrators to audit report delivery and track usage to inform scheduling
  • PDF or CSV
    Provides two options so users can receive reports in the desired format for effective analysis

Amazon QuickSight customers can rely on ongoing innovations. Some AWS releases feature exciting new technology. Other releases are about incorporating existing legacy functionality to better meet user needs. The goal is to help companies envision a future within a modern BI platform – and make getting there easier. Paginated Reporting accomplishes both.


If you have questions about migrating to Amazon QuickSight, and how Ironside can help, email us at AscentIQ@IronsideGroup.com

Looking back now that we’ve reached the one year anniversary of the Take30, we appreciated the opportunity to share our perspective on a range of Business Intelligence (BI) topics with a wide and diverse audience.  

The topics we covered ranged from the strategic and thought provoking, to the deep technical and “how-to” with a consistent focus on how to improve the analytics experience for you and your user community.

Over the course of the year we hosted 28 sessions focused on BI, most were either focused on a specific technology (Amazon QuickSight, IBM Cognos, Microsoft Power BI or Tableau) or a comparison on how these technologies addressed a capability such as Natural Language Query (NLQ), Embedded Analytics or Cloud BI.

Many of our sessions focused on our heritage as the go-to Cognos experts including deep dives into the modern BI features in Cognos Analytics including Data Modules, Data Sets and Explorations.  In one of our most highly anticipated (and highly attended) sessions, Rachel Su from IBM Offering Management joined Ironside to lead an overview of Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 – a role she reprised last month for Cognos Analytics 11.2).

In a number of other sessions, we explored Tableau new features, touched on many of the enterprise capabilities of Power BI and introduced Amazon QuickSight to our audience. 

Creating a Centralized Metadata Model in Power BI (4/16/20)

In our first session of the Take30 series, we explored the concept of shared datasets in Power BI and offered our point of view that, for many organizations who are maturing their Power BI capabilities, shared datasets mapped well to the “traditional” approaches of centralized (and governed) metadata, yet offered a degree of flexibility for decentralized teams to move at their own pace.  (Checkout this Playlist for Power BI)

Cloud BI: A Comparison of Leading Technologies (6/25/20)

As a majority of organizations see Cloud-based analytics as critical to their current and future analytics strategies, we thought it an opportune moment to take our audience through a review of the leading BI tools we work with on a daily basis.  

We reviewed the benefits of Cloud BI, including serverless and subscription-based licensing, then provided a comparison of vendors including Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, IBM Cognos and Amazon QuickSight.  

Amazon QuickSight – New Features (10/1/20)

While relatively new to the BI marketplace, we were excited to continue our focus on Amazon QuickSight and the significant progress the AWS team is making toward a solid enterprise featureset.  

Since that time, the roadmap and feature releases have become even more aligned to the enterprise reporting use case, especially in consideration of the compelling licensing story and scalable serverless architecture on which it is based.  (you may also want to check out this intro to QuickSight session  Introduction to Amazon QuickSight (5/7/20))

Enterprise Reporting: Assessment, Simplification and Migration (2/18/21)

Lastly, we wanted to address a topic that is of increasing prominence in our day to day conversations with clients – that of enterprise reporting migrations.  

In this session, we provided our point of view on the reasons why organizations migrate from their legacy tools, offered perspectives on approaches to migrations and the important pitfalls and lessons learned when considering such an initiative. 

We touched on tooling and accelerators we’ve developed to help those who have embarked on this journey reach their destination more quickly.


Throughout 2020, the Take30 webinar series gave our BI Experts a new way to connect with our clients and prospects in what was otherwise a challenging year. We confirmed that our participants are not only interested in diving deep into tool functionality, they are looking for guidance in managing multiple BI tools at enterprise scale, and understanding how cloud BI can enhance their analytics capabilities without breaking enterprise reports and functionality which are critical to their business operation.

Looking forward, we are going to explore those and other questions with you as we continue to share our knowledge and provide a mix of content; from the tactical to the strategic, across all the tools we help our clients with on a daily basis.

As we enter into the Independence Holiday weekend, I wanted to drop a quick note. It’s hard to believe three months have passed since my last letter. The world is evolving daily and technology continues to play a critical role in how we all connect, track information and communicate worldwide. Despite the shift toward working remotely, the executive team and I continue to be impressed with the level of productivity, cohesiveness, employee engagement and strength as an organization that we have seen demonstrated by our team. 

Here are a few highlights:

Teamwork. My team has pointed out how their interaction with each other has expanded — collaboratively tackling projects, sharing knowledge to prepare for webinars, and helping clients deal with COVID-19’s impact on their data and business analytics. We’ve hosted weekly Town Hall forums and internal Step competitions that have promoted teamwork company-wide.Under our Strategies for Success free content offerings to our clients, we’ve rallied around our Take30 Series. 

These sessions hosted by Ironside’s Data Science, Data Advisor and Business Intelligence Leads, have made it important for Senior Consultants, Partners and Clients to come together to offer the best of our thinking. The planning and delivery has been mutually beneficial for our team and the ever-growing number of participants who we have shared 30 minutes together, multiple times per week since the start of the pandemic.

Education. This unprecedented time when we are not traveling to clients has offered a time for our consultants to learn additional skill sets and to expand their certifications. One of the greatest values we offer to our clients is understanding best practices related to integration aspects between our key partners: IBM, AWS, Precisely, Microsoft, Trifacta, Tableau, DataRobot, Snowflake, Alteryx, Matillion and Alation. For us, to continue to excel with these partners — cross-training between our Business Intelligence, Information Management and Data Science practices on our most utilized tools — has created many “a-ha” moments toward streamlining our delivery services.

Client Engagements. Despite the sunsetting of “business as usual” for now, Ironside’s business is strong. COVID-19 has impacted businesses in various ways, whether they are operating and accessing data differently or needing to measure the impact of the global environment on their businesses’ analytics. Perhaps now, more than ever, the demand for information and analytics is a “must-have” versus a “nice-to-have.” Some of our clients have found themselves busier than ever and racing to keep up with the demand for new analytics and reports. Other clients are compelled to be more hands-on with analytics that used to be automated by machine learning models that have been rendered invalid. In these cases and beyond, Ironside’s Analytics Assurance Service is here to help. Our team’s expertise is being leveraged for immediate, short term assistance to support organizations running as efficiently as possible, allowing clients to use their own skills for other tasks to avoid stifling tradeoffs. 

Thank you for your continued relationship with our team. From myself and my team to you and yours, we wish you a wonderful Independence Day. Stay safe and remain strong, both in business and in health.


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