Build Interactive Dashboards from Excel Online Data in Amazon QuickSight

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CData Connect



Create a virtual MySQL database for Excel Online data in CData Connect Cloud and import Excel Online data into Amazon QuickSight SPICE to build interactive dashboards.

Amazon QuickSight allows users to build interactive dashboards in the cloud. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, you get cloud-to-cloud access to Excel Online data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for Excel Online in Connect Cloud and build dashboards in Amazon QuickSight with access to Excel Online data.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for Excel Online, allowing you to easily build visualizations from Excel Online data in Amazon QuickSight. By importing your Excel Online data into the Amazon QuickSight "Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine" (SPICE), you can leverage the powerful data processing features of the Amazon ecosystem to build responsive dashboards. And with the ability to schedule refreshes of the data stored in SPICE, you control how up-to-date your dashboards are.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Excel Online Data

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Excel Online" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Excel Online.

    You can connect to a workbook by providing authentication to Excel Online and then setting the following properties:

    • Workbook: Set this to the name or Id of the workbook.

      If you want to view a list of information about the available workbooks, execute a query to the Workbooks view after you authenticate.

    • UseSandbox: Set this to true if you are connecting to a workbook in a sandbox account. Otherwise, leave this blank to connect to a production account.

    You use the OAuth authentication standard to authenticate to Excel Online. See the Getting Started section in the help documentation for a guide. Getting Started also guides you through executing SQL to worksheets and ranges.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Amazon QuickSight.

Import Excel Online Data into SPICE and Create Interactive Dashboards

The steps below outline creating a new data set based on the virtual Excel Online database in Connect Cloud, importing the dataset into SPICE, and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Amazon QuickSight and click "Manage data."
  2. Click "New data set," select MySQL as the data source, configure the connection to your Connect Cloud instance, and click "Create data source."
  3. Select a table to visualize (or submit a custom SQL query for your data).
  4. Click "Edit/Preview data" to customize the data set.
  5. Select "Import to SPICE for quicker analytics" and click "Visualize."
  6. Select fields to visualize and a visual type.

Schedule Refreshes for SPICE Data Sets

QuickSight users can schedule refreshes for data sets that are imported into SPICE, ensuring that data being analyzed is only as old as the most recent refresh.

  1. Navigate to the QuickSight home page.
  2. Click "Manage data."
  3. Select the data set you wish to refresh.
  4. Click "Schedule refresh."
  5. Click Create, configure the refresh settings (time zone, repeat frequency, and starting datetime), and click Create.

SQL Access to Excel Online Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to Excel Online data from your Amazon QuickSight dashboard. You can create new visualizations, build interactive dashboards, and more. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Amazon QuickSight, refer to our Connect Cloud page.