CloudZero observations of trends and recommendations for potential optimizations in your cloud cost

Insights provide recommendations that will help you save money or avoid costs by addressing the issues referenced in the insight. An insight may include observations of costs that are not inline with expectations, optimization recommendations, trend information, or potential issues that may be causing unnecessary and unexpected costs. The information for insights is collected through different methods, including information and recommendations from the cloud providers, billing and usage data, and human observations.

Each insight includes the following data:

TitleA short descriptive title for the insight. This field can only be modified for manual insights.
DescriptionA more in-depth description that provides information on what data and what conditions are checked for the insight. This field can only be modified for manual insights.
SourceThe source of the insight. See the table below for the different sources.
StatusThe status help manage a workflow for addressing insights. See the table below for the possible status values and their descriptions. This field is usually updated by end users as they manage their insights. However, insights generated by the CloudZero platform or by the Trusted Advisor in AWS may be automatically updated as conditions change.
Effort LevelThis field indicates how much effort - Low, Medium, or High - is required to address the insight. Often this field is left blank until a member of an organization sets it as part of an initial triage process.
CategoryThis field will indicate the type of insight. It may indicate that the insight is an Optimization that can be applied to services, an Observation of ways that costs of a particular service are out of line with normal expectations or a Trend of increasing costs.
Cost ImpactThis field indicates the current expectation of the potential savings by addressing the conditions of the insight. This value does not indicate a guaranteed amount of savings as different approaches to address the insight may result in different levels of savings or maybe not all issues and resources indicated in the insight can be addressed. See the section on Potential Savings and Cost Avoidance for more information.
Cost AvoidanceThis field is calculated for automated insights with a source of CloudZero and manually created insights with an explorer link when the insights are marked as Addressed. This field uses data from the insight to calculate how much savings were realized by addressing the insight. See the section on Potential Savings and Cost Avoidance for more information.
LinkThe link will take you to the Explorer showing a window of spend that highlights the issues indicated in the insight. This link should be useful when digging deeper into the data to understand and address the issues.
ResourcesSome insights may have a table of resources that are contributing to the issues in the insight.
CommentsUsers can add comments to an insight to help facilitate discussions on how best to address an insight.

The fields for Status, Effort, and Comments, enable you and your team to stay actively engaged with the insight and collaborate on addressing the issues.

Source Values

[Empty]An empty source indicates that this insight was manually created either by the CloudZero team or your own team.
CloudZeroThis is an automated insight created by the CloudZero platform using billing and usage data to identify problems and/or optimization opportunities.
Trusted AdvisorThese insights are generated by the AWS platform and are pulled into the CloudZero platform for better visibility.

Status Values

NewThe insight has recently been created and likely not reviewed or acted upon in any manner.
In ProgressThere is active work going on to address the insight.
On HoldThe insight will be addressed, but work is not actively underway for that insight.
IgnoredThe insight will not be acted upon. When this status is set, the insight's cost impact is no longer used in the Potential Savings calculation. Automated insights that are marked as Ignored will not be updated with any additional findings.
AddressedAll possible work to mitigate the issues referenced in the insight has been completed.

Insights Summary View

Viewers, Editors, and Admins can access their organization’s insights at The summary information provides information about total potential savings and cost avoidance for your organization as well as a table of individual insights that can be used to navigate into more detailed views for each insight.

Potential Savings and Cost Avoidance

At the top of the summary page, you will see some top line numbers indicating the potential savings (cost impact) and cost avoidance. These numbers give an overall picture of potential savings and realized savings.

Potential Savings and Cost Avoidance

Potential Savings is the sum of the cost impact of all open insights - any insight that has a status that is not Ignored or Addressed. The potential savings is shown for both a 30 day and 12 month period. These savings are estimates of the potential savings that may be achieved, the actualized savings depends on many factors including how the issues in the insight are addressed and whether all resources referenced in the insight can and should be addressed vs ignored due to many legitimate reasons.

Cost Avoidance is the sum of the realized savings for all insights in the status of Addressed. This represents savings realized due to costs not incurred because of optimizations or costs saved due to addressing issues. Cost avoidance is calculated for each insight that is marked Addressed and is either an automated insight with the source of CloudZero or a manually created insight with a valid Explorer link filtered to the details of the insight. The cost avoidance of an insight is updated daily for the first 30 days after it was marked Addressed. The calculation is based on the internal queries used for automated insights or the filters in the Explorer link for manual insights.


Cost Avoidance Formula

If X is the number of days since an insight was marked Addressed and is between 1 and 30, then the cost avoidance is the cost of the resources over X days before the insight was created minus the cost of the resources over X days since the insight was addressed. For example, if an insight was opened on September 1st and then marked Addressed on October 1st, and you look at the insight on October 7th, the cost avoidance will be the cost of the resources from August 26th through September 1st minus the cost of the resources from October 1st through October 7th.

The cost impact and cost avoidance numbers are calculated using different data, depending on the source of the insight. The following table describes how they are calculated.

SourceCost Impact CalculationCost Avoidance Calculation
CloudZeroAutomated insights generated by the CloudZero platform use internal queries from the billing and usage data to determine the cost impact of the insight. The cost impact is for the 30 days prior to the creation of the insight.Cost avoidance uses the same formula as cost impact, but applies it over the period of days before the insight was created minus the same time period after it was addressed for a maximum time period of 30 days.
(Manually entered insights)
The cost impact of a manually created insight is entered by the person creating the insight and is based on their own calculations.The cost avoidance uses the Explorer link to calculate the costs for the period of days from before the insight was created and uses the same link to calculate the costs for the same number of days after the insight was addressed, up to a maximum of 30 days. If no link is provided, then the cost avoidance cannot be calculated.
Trusted AdvisorThe cost impact for Trusted Advisor insights is provided by AWS.Cost avoidance cannot be calculated for these insights as the formulas used by AWS are not published.

Insights Table

A table of all insights is shown on the summary page. This table can be filtered and sorted in various ways. Any insight in the table can be clicked on to see details of the insight.


Exporting Insights

You can export all Insights and Affected Resources to their own CSV files.

Filtering and Sorting

Filtering and sorting is enabled across a number of the fields in the insights table. This is intended to help navigating through the insights for various workflows. For example you can filter insights by status to find all New insights in order to triage them, or filter by effort to find all Low effort insights for some quick wins.


Quick Updates

You can also update the Status and Effort directly:


Insight Details Page

Clicking on any Insight will dive deeper into the Insight Details page, where you can:

  • Edit Status, Effort, and other top level metadata
  • Add Comments
  • View Affected Resources


Authoring Insights

You have 3 ways to author insights:

  1. Insights Page
  2. Explorer Page
  3. API

Authoring with the Insights Page

The Create Insight button above the Insights Table opens the Create Insights Modal:

Insights Create

Authoring with the Explorer Page

The Create Insight button next to the page title opens the Create Insights Modal with the Link field pre-populated to match your current filter selection.

Explorer Create Button

Authoring with the API

Alternatively, you can use the /v2/insights API directly via this documentation site.

Insights Sources

Manual Insights

Regularly we (with human eyes) evaluate your company's cloud spend and provide cost trend observations and recommendations for cost optimizations in your cloud environment. Most insights will link to the Explorer or a Report that will enable you to visually understand the insight's cost impact.

Automated Insights

The CloudZero platform will also automatically create Insights from observations across all of your AWS Accounts. Insights created in this way will have the Source field set to 'CloudZero' with a cost impact, title, and description specific to the potential savings identified.

Automated Insights include the following:

AWS Trusted Advisor

The CloudZero platform monitors AWS Trusted Advisor for recommendations, including the affected resources information, from across all of your Connected Accounts. Insights created in this way will have the Source field set to 'Trusted Advisor' with a cost impact, title, and description specific to the potential savings identified.