What could cause CONTEXTUAL_UNKNOWN_SYMBOL error?


I’m having weird problem with quicksight. I’m running Quicksight stuff on two AWS accounts.
On account A exists Analysis that I made template of, copied it to Account B and created Dashboard out of the template.

On account A, the analysis (or dashboard made from it) works as expected. On account B everything else seems to work fine, except that one Pie Chart widget says:

Your calculated field expression contains invalid syntax. Correct the syntax and try again. Show details

And in the details, it says:

Error details
region:	eu-central-1
timestamp:	1652960165846
requestId:	eb9f9f0d-99c2-4c8d-8f2f-11e2de174603
sourceType:	SPICE

This is NOT really helpful error message. Unknown symbol where? and where did it came from? IS it unknown symbol in data or where? It says that calculated field expression has invalid syntax but related to that widget there is no calculated expression used.

I have checked data-sets, that they have same data types and name of the fields also match.

How can I debug such error further?


it’s data model is cases sensitive, can you please check the dataset column name as other env.

second thing you can check your filter on it.

this may help you.

Naveed Ali

Thanks for quick response, field names are exactly the same. And I would assume that the dashboard creation would fail, if it didn’t find all the required fields in data-sets? All creations to account B have been done with AWS CLI tool, so through API and not with clickops.

There is a parameter based filter on that field, but the casing is correct also there and that parameters is also used in other Bar Chart widgets, that works just fine.

Any other ideas?

Took a copy of the analysis on Account A and re-created the problematic widget exactly the same way as it was, using same data-sets, filters, parameters, etc. then did the whole thing again: analysis (account A)->tempalate(account A)->template(account B)->dashboard(account B)

…and magically everything seems to work? Really weird bug.


Could you please create a ticket providing the problematic dashboard/analysis URL? This might be related to a side effect of an optimization we have tested for a day on “preview accounts” and probably your account is part of preview. We can confirm it once we have all the details.


Was this ever resolved? I’ve got the same error but on the dataset. We added some calculated fields, and now this is preventing moving the dashboard to production.

calculated columns [Response_Month_of_Year] are invalid. ErrorType: CONTEXTUAL_UNKNOWN_SYMBOL

Hi, I am getting similar error as I replace an existing SPICE dataset with a new dataset and now the visual is failing with the error “Your calculated field expression contains invalid syntax. Correct the syntax and try again.” Upon performing “Show Details” I am seeing the above error of CONTEXTUAL_UNKNOWN_SYMBOL.

@sirwin007 @hiits100rav Can yo please open a support case for this issue? Since it is an error we dont have a known workaround for, it is best to have it investigated by the support/engineering teams by looking at the logs. It is possible there is a bug the team needs to fix (or they can at least pinpoint the problem and perhaps suggest a workaround).

Here are the steps to open a support case. If your company has someone who manages your AWS account, you might not have direct access to AWS Support and will need to raise an internal ticket to your IT team or whomever manages your AWS account. They should be able to open an AWS Support case on your behalf.

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I found the issue and “fixed” it.

The dataset update is reading the JSON and attempting to compile the calculated function as it encounters them. In my case, the offending function relied on another calculated function that followed in the JSON object. I simply rearranged the JSON object to sort out the dependency. Works!

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