Access Excel Data from MySQL in Amazon QuickSight

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Excel ODBC Driver

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

Access Excel Spreadsheet data like you would a database - read, write, and update data through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Connect to Excel and build visualizations of Excel data using a MySQL Connection in Amazon QuickSight.

Amazon QuickSight gives you a way to quickly build visualizations, perform analytics, and get insights from AWS data sources, uploaded files, and other databases in the cloud. When paired with the CData SQL Gateway, you get the same functionality with access to 200+ Big Data, NoSQL, and SaaS sources, both on-premises and in the cloud. In this article, we use the SQL Gateway with the CData ODBC Driver for Excel to access Excel data through a MySQL connection in Amazon QuickSight, either in real time using direct queries, or by importing the data into SPICE.

Connect to Excel Data

If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can use the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to configure the DSN. 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.

The ExcelFile, under the Authentication section, must be set to a valid Excel File.

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.

Configure the SQL Gateway

See the SQL Gateway Overview to set up connectivity to Excel data as a virtual MySQL database. You will configure a MySQL remoting service that listens for MySQL requests from clients. The service can be configured in the SQL Gateway UI.


To connect to the SQL Gateway from QuickSight, you will need to run the SQL Gateway on a web-facing machine. After configuring the SQL Gateway, make note of the following information:

  • The IP address or domain name of the machine hosting the SQL Gateway
  • The data source name (likely CData Excel Sys) of the MySQL service
  • The port number of the MySQL service
  • The credentials of a SQL Gateway user with access to the service

Connect to Excel in QuickSight

Once you have a MySQL Service configured for the Excel ODBC Driver, you are ready to connect to the data in QuickSight. Start by logging in to your QuickSight console. From there, click Manage Data, then click New Data Set and choose MySQL as the data source.


Configure the data set using the values for the MySQL service for Excel you configured in SQL Gateway (be sure to use the DSN for the database name). Validate your connection and click Create Data Source.


Visualize Excel Data in QuickSight

For this article, we will use a custom SQL query for our data visualization. To do so, click Edit/Preview Data and in the resulting Data Prep screen follow the steps below:

  1. Name your data set (for example, Sheet).
  2. If you wish to import your data into QuickSight SPICE, click the SPICE option, otherwise QuickSight will query the data directly.
  3. Under the Tables menu, click Switch to Custom SQL Tool.
    • Give your SQL query a name.
    • Enter your custom SQL query. For example:
      SELECT Name, Revenue FROM Sheet
    • Click Finish.
  4. Click Save & Visualize.


After you have saved the data set, you can configure the visualization. Select the columns you wish to visualize and choose a visual type. Your visualization can be customized, from its name to the way that data is aggregated.


With the CData ODBC Driver for Excel and SQL Gateway, you are able to easily build data visualizations and perform analytics on Excel data in Amazon QuickSight. If you have any questions, such as needing to access your on-premises data from AWS QuickSight, let our Support Team know.