AWS Big Data Blog

Enhancing dashboard interactivity with Amazon QuickSight Actions

Amazon QuickSight now offers enhanced dashboard interactivity capabilities through QuickSight Actions. QuickSight Actions provide advanced filtering capabilities through single point-and-click actions on dashboards. With Actions, you can link visuals within a dashboard so that selecting a dimensional point on one visual provides you with granular insights on the selected point on other visuals within your dashboard. Therefore, you can start with summaries and dive deep into details of your business metrics, all within the same dashboard sheet. You can define what visuals within your dashboard are interactive and how these interact with each other. As of this writing, QuickSight Actions lets you define two primary actions of interactivity: filter actions and URL actions. URL actions within Amazon QuickSight are not new, but the point of entry to create URL actions is now consolidated with Actions.

You can apply QuickSight Actions to any supported chart that holds at least one dimension. This post provides examples of getting starting with Actions, configuring different Actions on a dashboard, and enabling different forms of interactivity for each action configured.

This post uses the following data sets:

B2B Sales
This data set holds order details for a fictitious company ABCDO for 2016 and 2017. The dashboard we will build will report on sales metrics by industry, segment, region as primary dimensions, and also provides granular details for each order purchased.

Product Availability
This data set holds available quantity for every product by ID.


Before implementing Actions on your Amazon QuickSight dashboards, review how to create and publish dashboards.

Getting started with QuickSight Actions

This screenshot is a dashboard built from the above two data sets. It shows sales by category, industry and region on line 1; segment sales by quarter, industry sales by segment on line 2; total profit, sales, discount and quanity sold on line 3; order details pivot on line 4 and shipping details pivot on line 5.

Before getting started, note the following terminology:

  • Source visual – The visual on which an action is created. Choosing a point on the source visual triggers the action, and the dimensional values chosen are passed as filters to target visuals.
  • Target visual – The visual that is filtered by the dimensional values chosen on the source visual.
  • Activation – You can trigger an action either by  selecting it directly (left-click), or selecting from the menu options (right-click).
  • Action type – You can configure two types of actions on a visual: filter actions and URL actions. Filter actions pass select or all dimensions as filters across select or all visuals across the dashboard. URL actions allow you to navigate from the dashboard to an external site or different sheet within the same dashboard with the selected dimension passed along.

Setting up a click/select action

To set up a click/select action, complete the following steps:

  1. Select the source visual on the analysis and choose Actions.The following screenshot shows you this step.
  2. Within Actions, you can either create and configure your actions or use the 1-click action setup. The 1-click setup creates a default action on the visual. As a result, when a point on the visual is selected/clicked, all dimensions on a selected point are passed as filters across all other visuals on the dashboard. Under Quick create, choose Filter same-sheet visuals.

This creates a default action, which you can modify at any time.

After creating the 1-click action, you can select any point on the source visual. The following screenshot shows that the selected point is highlighted and all the underlying dimensions are used as filters on all other visuals on the analysis or dashboard.

In this screenshot, selecting Copper and Diamonds for the year 2017 passes these two as filters to all other visuals.

To verify what filter actions are applied on a particular visual, choose the filter icon on the top right. This shows all the filters applied through filter actions and also regular filters.

Setting up custom filter actions

To perform further analysis on the sales metrics for any segment, configure an action on the Industry sales by Segment visual. To configure a filter action to pass segment as the filter onto the KPI charts, complete the following steps:

  1. Choose the source visual and choose Actions.
  2. Choose Define a custom action.
  3. For Action name, enter a name for your action. You could also add dynamic placeholder values to the name to be more descriptive to your readers by choosing the plus sign next to the Action name.You have four configuration settings. While this post uses values specific for this use case, you can choose other values according to your specific needs.
  4. For Activation, select Menu option.
  5. For Action type, choose Filter action.
  6. For Filter scope, select Selected fields, segment.
  7. For Target visuals, select Select visuals and check needed target visuals Total quantity, Total discount offered, and Total profit by year.
  8. Choose Save.

To view menu options and choose a filter action, right-click any segment on the visual. This post selects Strategic. The following screenshot shows that all the Strategic points are highlighted and the KPIs are updated.

Adding filter actions on a pivot tables

Filter actions on pivot tables provide exceptional flexibility to pass anything from the innermost to the outermost dimensions. Additionally, when a filter action is triggered, the source pivot table is highlighted to show values that are passed as filters to the target visuals.

This post adds click/select filter actions on the Order details pivot table to analyze shipping details for each order. This post also adds two filter actions to the menu options: one to filter by the product name and the other by the customer name.

To create click/select filter actions on order_id, complete the following steps:

  1. Choose the Order details pivot table chart.
  2. Choose Actions.
  3. Choose Define custom action.
  4. For Action name, enter your action name.
  5. For Activation, select Select.
  6. For Filter scope, select Selected fields and check order_id.
  7. For Target visuals, select Select visuals, and check Shipping details.
  8. Choose Save.

The following screenshot shows that when choosing any point on the pivot table, the order pertaining to the point is highlighted and the Shipping details table shows shipping details for the selected order.

You can only create one Selection action on a source visual and any number of menu option actions.

You can now create additional actions in the menu. To create a new actions, go to Actions, choose the plus sign and create these two actions.

After creating the two actions, they are visible in the Actions menu. See the following screenshot.

After setting up these action filters, you can right-click on the visual and trigger these filters from the menu.

The screenshots below shows you the menu on right-clicking product name.

The screenshots below shows you the menu on right-clicking customer name.

Removing applied filter actions

There are three ways to remove a triggered filter action:

  • On source visuals with filter actions triggered via select or menu options, clear the filter action by choosing the selected point again or a different point.
  • On source visuals with empty spaces within the visual (such as bar chart family or pie chart), clicking within the empty space also clears the filter action selection. This deselection is not applicable to heat maps and tree maps. Deselect points on these charts by choosing an already selected point.
  • On target visuals with a highlighted filter icon, choosing the X on the filter actions displayed removes the filter for this visual and all other visuals the filter is applied to.

Using action filters when the source and target visuals use different data sets

If you use multiple data sets within an analysis, Amazon QuickSight automatically maps fields across these data sets by the field name. For example, product_id is a field in the B2B Sales data set and Product Availability data set. When setting a filter action on product_id from a source visual using the B2B Sales data set, the target visual (the adjacent KPI) showing product quantity availability shows results for the selected product_id from the source visual. This implicit mapping of fields is case sensitive.

You can add the new data set Product Availability to this analysis. For more information, see Adding a Data Set to an Analysis.

Add a KPI chart to show count of product_id as in the screenshot below.

To show total quantity available of select products, create an action filter on the menu options, as seen in the screenshot below:

To drill down into product quantity availability, choose (right-click) product_id on the order details pivot table. The following screenshot shows the product availability details for the selected product_id.

Creating custom URL actions

Custom URL actions aren’t new to Amazon QuickSight, but the point of entry to create URL actions is now consolidated with Actions. To create a custom URL action on the Order details pivot table to see Google search results on a customer, complete the following steps:

  1. Choose the Order details pivot table.
  2. Choose Actions.
  3. Choose Add a new action.
  4. For Action name, enter an action name.
  5. For Action type, choose URL action.
  6. Enter the URL<<customer_name>>.Customer_name is the value of the dimension field to select.
  7. Choose New browser tab.
  8. Choose Save.

When you right-click on the pivot table, menu options appear with your two filter actions created previously and the new custom URL action. See the following screenshot.


With Amazon QuickSight, you can create filter actions on any chart type with at least one dimensional value. You can also create URL actions on all chart types, including KPIs and gauge charts, which do not hold dimensional values. As of this writing, QuickSight Actions don’t support selecting multiple data points within the same source visual, cascading filter actions in which you choose one filter action on one visual and a subsequent filter on another visual, or adding customer mappings between different data sets used in the dashboard. You can expect to see these features in future releases.

QuickSight Actions is available on both Enterprise and Standard editions in all QuickSight-supported regions.


About the Author

Sahitya Pandiri is a technical program manager with Amazon Web Services. Sahitya has been in product/program management for 6 years now, and has built multiple products in the retail, healthcare, and analytics space.