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A new open-source tool to help organizations to manage AWS costs

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides the Cost Explorer as the standard report tool for exploring costs related to an account. Using that service you can see your consumption using pre-defined reports or customize one report for your needs.

But what if you want to be able to analyze your AWS spending based on different criteria that are not supported by the existing reports?  What if there are multiple organizations worth of data and you would like to analyze based on different projects and users?    Wouldn’t it be nice to  have access to that data and combine it with data from other sources for some custom reports?  Wouldn't be great if we had access to that information in a modern BI platform?  Turns out that you can, using Qlik Sense in combination with the AWS Cost Explorer API!  By bringing the AWS spend data into Qlik Sense, you can make it easy for a broader audience to consume that data and get access to insights that would be otherwise not available.

Two months ago Qlik Partner Engineering was asked separately by both a customer and our own IT Team for a better and more sophisticated solution for AWS spend management.  One of the key questions was “Would it be possible to connect Qlik Sense to AWS and extract our spend data?  We want to leverage the power of Qlik Sense to better analyze our AWS spend.”    

The biggest challenge we faced was around figuring out how to perform the authentication. The highly secure authentication method that AWS uses for their API is just beyond what Qlik Sense can do using the regular REST connector.   Thinking outside the box, I found a scripting solution to collect that spend data and then place the data into a location where Qlik Sense can easily read using an existing connector.

The Qlik AWS Spend solution consists of two parts:

  • A script to extract spend data from AWS and land that data into an S3 bucket
  • A Qlik Sense application that connects and reads the spend data from that S3 bucket

The best part?  The solution is published on the Qlik Partner Engineering Github page (https://github.com/Qlik-PE/qlik-aws-cost-explorer) where you can download and use it for free.

Let me know your thoughts on how to improve this solution!