How to Get Access to Amazon S3 Data Directly from Tableau

Customers heavily use S3 as part of their AWS implementations to store large files in S3 in various file formats. The Amazon S3 Connector for Tableau provides simple and fast access to Parquet, CSV, and Excel files stored in the cloud directly from Tableau.

Tableau customers need streamlined direct connectivity to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). We see organizations with Tableau and AWS implementations use S3 heavily as part of their storage strategy for large amounts of data. As more data moves to data lakes with underlying storage in Amazon S3, analysts want to prep, explore, and share insights. They are often slowed down by the complicated and therefore costly data infrastructure to bridge the gap between Tableau and the data. With Tableau's Amazon S3 connector, accessing data in S3 easier than ever.  

Enter The Amazon S3 Connector by Tableau

With the Amazon S3 connector by Tableau, you can see and understand data in common file formats by accessing it from any of your S3 buckets. With Tableau’s Hyper technology providing fast query performance, your analysts can prep, discover, and share insights across the enterprise with ease and efficiency. With the combination of Tableau Cloud Web Authoring, and data in S3, you can have a completely cloud-native analytics experience!

Diagram of Amazon S3 Connector connecting to Tableau Cloud, Server, Prep, and Desktop.

How the Amazon S3 Connector Works

Accessing data with the Amazon S3 connector by Tableau is quick and simple.  You'll need to know the AWS region, bucket name, and have IAM user credentials with read access to the bucket. Once connected, you can browse to the folder and select the file you want to start analyzing. The connector reads compressed and uncompressed CSV, Excel, and Parquet files. Tableau shows you files of the same type in subfolders and you can Union and Join related data. Using the power of Hyper, we take advantage of Parquet’s data optimized format to provide fast, live query processing. For CSV and Excel we transparently extract the data behind the scenes to provide the best analytic performance.

Quick tip: While you can access data in any region, for the best performance you should use a bucket in the same region as Tableau Cloud or where your cloud-hosted Tableau Server is deployed.

Benefits for Analysts And Viewers

The Amazon S3 connector makes it simple and easy for your analysts to use data stored in S3 and there are great benefits for your viewers too. With ETL processes that periodically create new Parquet data files, designing your dashboard with Wild Card Union for live S3 connections ensures new data is automatically reflected as soon as the file is created. With live Hyper queries to Parquet files, Viewers get Extract-like performance without needing to wait for a scheduled extract.

Part of Tableau's Modern Cloud Analytics Initiative

Modern Cloud Analytics (MCA) combines the resources, technical expertise, and data knowledge of Tableau, AWS, and our respective partner networks. MCA helps organizations maximize the value of their end-to-end data and analytics investments. From data strategy and migration to optimizing operations, this collaboration helps organizations at any stage of their digital transformation journey to securely deploy and scale cloud analytics. The S3 connector continues to build on our MCA initiative.

Start Using The Amazon S3 Connector

The Amazon S3 Connector is available on Tableau Cloud 2023.2 and later, and available for download from the Tableau Exchange for Server, Desktop, and Prep 2023.2 and later.