Sourcetable Integration

Export Athena to CSV

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    Welcome to our comprehensive guide on exporting data from Athena to CSV. The ability to transform Athena query results into a CSV file is invaluable, particularly when it comes to transferring that data into spreadsheet software for further analysis, sharing, or reporting. CSV files are universally compatible, easy to work with, and they simplify data manipulation. This landing page is designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of what Athena is, step-by-step instructions on exporting your data to a CSV file, practical use cases for when a CSV export is essential, as well as exploring Sourcetable as an innovative alternative to traditional CSV exports. Additionally, we have included a helpful Q&A section to address common inquiries regarding the export process from Athena to CSV.


    Athena is a noun referring to the Greek goddess of wisdom. In a different context, Athena is also the name of a suite of free software tools designed to assess the environmental impact of various building and infrastructure projects. These tools include the Impact Estimator for Buildings, which allows users to model custom assembly and envelope configurations; the EcoCalculator for Assemblies, a spreadsheet tool that provides quick estimates of building design footprints; and the Pavement LCA, which measures the environmental impacts of roadway designs.

    All Athena software tools are ISO-compliant, utilizing Athena's own Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data sets and data from the US Life Cycle Inventory Database. This integration of data enhances the value of design projects by ensuring that the environmental assessments are comprehensive and credible. Additionally, Athena data services offer support for various web browsers, including Firefox, Edge, and Safari, ensuring accessibility for users across different platforms.

    Exporting Athena Query Results to CSV

    Using SELECT Queries for CSV Output

    Athena only outputs SELECT query results in CSV format. When you execute a SELECT query in Athena, the results are automatically formatted as a CSV file. This method is suitable for users who require their query results in CSV and do not necessitate additional table creation or output in another format.

    Utilizing CTAS for Alternative Formats

    If you need to output data in formats other than CSV, the CREATE TABLE AS SELECT (CTAS) statement can be used. However, it is important to note that CTAS requires the creation of a new table in Athena. After creating the table with CTAS, you can then export the data to your preferred format, although for CSV specifically, the SELECT query would be the direct method.

    Exporting to Non-CSV Formats and Converting

    While Athena's SELECT queries output only in CSV format, you can use the UNLOAD statement to write SELECT query results to other formats such as Apache Parquet, ORC, Avro, and JSON, which may then be converted to CSV if required. This can be beneficial if the results are intended for additional analysis or when a performance advantage is sought. However, since the objective is to export to CSV, utilizing the SELECT query remains the most straightforward approach.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Streamline Your Data Workflow with Sourcetable

    If you're accustomed to exporting data from Athena to a CSV file and then importing it into a spreadsheet, consider the streamlined approach offered by Sourcetable. This powerful tool syncs your live data directly from Athena into a dynamic spreadsheet without the need for interim CSV files. By bypassing the export-import cycle, Sourcetable not only saves valuable time but also reduces the risk of data transfer errors. It's an efficient solution for those who need real-time data at their fingertips.

    Sourcetable integrates with a wide array of apps and databases, including Athena, allowing you to automate the data import process. This means your data is always up-to-date, providing a solid foundation for informed business intelligence decisions. Moreover, Sourcetable's familiar spreadsheet interface makes it easy to query and analyze your data without the steep learning curve typically associated with complex database software. Embrace the simplicity and power of Sourcetable for a more efficient and intelligent approach to data management.

    Common Use Cases

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      Sourcetable Integration
      Data analysis in external tools
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Sharing query results with stakeholders
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Archiving query outputs for compliance
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      Sourcetable Integration
      Integrating Athena data with other AWS services

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I export Athena query results to CSV?

    Athena automatically outputs the results of SELECT queries in CSV format. These results are stored in an Amazon S3 location that you can specify. To work with these results, ensure you have permissions for the Amazon S3 GetObject action and the Athena GetQueryResults action.

    Can I use Athena to export data in formats other than CSV?

    Yes, while Athena only exports to CSV by default, you can use the UNLOAD command to output to other formats such as Parquet, ORC, Avro, and JSON. Additionally, the CTAS command allows exporting to other formats but requires creating a new table.

    Where are Athena query results stored and how can I access them?

    By default, Athena stores query results in an Amazon S3 location, which can be encrypted. To access these results, you can download them from the Athena console or specify a particular S3 location where you want the results to be stored using workgroup configuration or the Athena API.

    Does the UNLOAD command overwrite existing data in the CSV output location?

    No, the UNLOAD command does not overwrite existing data in the destination CSV location. It will not write to the TO location if there is already data present.

    Are the CSV output files from Athena encrypted?

    CSV output files are encrypted based on the Amazon S3 encryption configuration of the location where the query results are stored.


    Athena provides robust support for exporting data, with the UNLOAD command being a key feature that allows users to export query results efficiently. While CSV is the default output for SELECT queries in Athena, users have the flexibility to use UNLOAD for exporting to other formats, including Parquet and ORC, which may offer performance benefits. Nevertheless, exporting to CSV remains a popular choice, especially when the goal is to perform further analysis or utilize the data in downstream applications. For those looking to streamline their workflow even further, rather than exporting to CSV, Sourcetable offers a seamless solution to import data directly into a spreadsheet. Sign up for Sourcetable today and enhance your data analysis process by bypassing the export step entirely.

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