Prepare, Blend, and Analyze Amazon Athena Data in Alteryx Designer

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Amazon Athena ODBC Driver

The Amazon Athena ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Amazon Athena, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Amazon Athena interactive query services data like you would a database, through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Build workflows to access live Amazon Athena data for self-service data analytics.

The CData ODBC Driver for Amazon Athena enables access to live data from Amazon Athena under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with Amazon Athena data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to Amazon Athena data using an ODBC connection in Alteryx Designer to perform self-service BI, data preparation, data blending, and advanced analytics.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Amazon Athena data in Alteryx Designer due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Alteryx Designer to Amazon Athena, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Amazon Athena and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Amazon Athena data using native Alteryx data field types.

Connect to Amazon Athena Data

  1. If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can configure the DSN using the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the Help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

    Authenticating to Amazon Athena

    To authorize Amazon Athena requests, provide the credentials for an administrator account or for an IAM user with custom permissions: Set AccessKey to the access key Id. Set SecretKey to the secret access key.

    Note: Though you can connect as the AWS account administrator, it is recommended to use IAM user credentials to access AWS services.

    Obtaining the Access Key

    To obtain the credentials for an IAM user, follow the steps below:

    1. Sign into the IAM console.
    2. In the navigation pane, select Users.
    3. To create or manage the access keys for a user, select the user and then select the Security Credentials tab.

    To obtain the credentials for your AWS root account, follow the steps below:

    1. Sign into the AWS Management console with the credentials for your root account.
    2. Select your account name or number and select My Security Credentials in the menu that is displayed.
    3. Click Continue to Security Credentials and expand the Access Keys section to manage or create root account access keys.

    Authenticating from an EC2 Instance

    If you are using the CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 from an EC2 Instance and have an IAM Role assigned to the instance, you can use the IAM Role to authenticate. To do so, set UseEC2Roles to true and leave AccessKey and SecretKey empty. The CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 will automatically obtain your IAM Role credentials and authenticate with them.

    Authenticating as an AWS Role

    In many situations it may be preferable to use an IAM role for authentication instead of the direct security credentials of an AWS root user. An AWS role may be used instead by specifying the RoleARN. This will cause the CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 to attempt to retrieve credentials for the specified role. If you are connecting to AWS (instead of already being connected such as on an EC2 instance), you must additionally specify the AccessKey and SecretKey of an IAM user to assume the role for. Roles may not be used when specifying the AccessKey and SecretKey of an AWS root user.

    Authenticating with MFA

    For users and roles that require Multi-factor Authentication, specify the MFASerialNumber and MFAToken connection properties. This will cause the CData Data Provider for Amazon Athena 2018 to submit the MFA credentials in a request to retrieve temporary authentication credentials. Note that the duration of the temporary credentials may be controlled via the TemporaryTokenDuration (default 3600 seconds).

    Connecting to Amazon Athena

    In addition to the AccessKey and SecretKey properties, specify Database, S3StagingDirectory and Region. Set Region to the region where your Amazon Athena data is hosted. Set S3StagingDirectory to a folder in S3 where you would like to store the results of queries.

    If Database is not set in the connection, the data provider connects to the default database set in Amazon Athena.

    When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  2. Open Alteryx Designer and create a new workflow.
  3. Drag and drop a new input data tool onto the workflow.
  4. Click the new input data tool and under Connect a File or Database, select Database Connection -> New ODBC Connection.
  5. Select the DSN that you configured for use in Alteryx.
  6. In the wizard that opens, select the fields you wish to include in your query. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Amazon Athena, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.
  7. If you wish to further customize your dataset, you can open the SQL Editor and modify the query manually, adding clauses, aggregations, and other operations to ensure that you are retrieving exactly the Amazon Athena data you want.

With the query defined, you are ready to work with Amazon Athena data in Alteryx Designer.

Perform Self-Service Analytics on Amazon Athena Data

You are now ready to create a workflow to prepare, blend, and analyze Amazon Athena data. The CData ODBC Driver performs dynamic metadata discovery, presenting data using Alteryx data field types and allowing you to leverage the Designer's tools to manipulate data as needed and build meaningful datasets. In the example below, you will cleanse and browse data.

  1. Add a data cleansing tool to the workflow and check the boxes in Replace Nulls to replace null text fields with blanks and replace null numeric fields with 0. You can also check the box in Remove Unwanted Characters to remove leading and trailing whitespace.
  2. Add a browse data tool to the workflow.
  3. Click to run the workflow (CTRL+R).
  4. Browse your cleansed Amazon Athena data in the results view.

Thanks to built-in, high-performance data processing, you will be able to quickly cleanse, transform, and/or analyze your Amazon Athena data with Alteryx.