Analytics Connector

CONNECTS POWER BI TO COGNOS

Power BI may well have become an industry powerhouse but it is hampered by its inability to take advantage of the data in existing BI platforms. Organizations have made significant investments in Cognos, augmenting it with governed and prepared data, business rules and security measures. But because Power BI users cannot access Cognos as a data source, they resort to using it for ETL and/or recreating models in Power BI data panes. This process is not only a huge (and error prone) time sink that keeps business analysts from examining the real business questions at hand, it compromises data integrity and security.

The Senturus Analytics Connector solves this problem, allowing Power BI to tap directly and securely into the clean, organized data in Cognos. The straightforward UI allows users to simply drag and drop data into Power BI data panes.

With Cognos and Power BI working in harmony, IT and business users gain tremendous benefits in terms of time savings, data security and accuracy, and report execution. Duplicative and error prone manual efforts are eliminated.

•   Connects securely to Cognos via ODBC
•   Retrieves Cognos package metadata
•   Lets users drag and drop query subjects into Power BI
•   Pushes queries back to Cognos for optimal execution

THE SENTURUS ANALYTICS CONNECTOR SAVES TIMES AND REDUCES RISK

Faster, more accurate reporting
Power BI analysts can spend time doing actual analysis instead of manipulating data sets and/or remodeling data already curated in Cognos.

 

Reduced change management cost and risk
Changes in Cognos Framework Manager models are automatically picked up by the Analytics Connector, eliminating costly and time-consuming changes to individual Power BI files.

Increased trust in the data
Auditable, governed data provides a "single version of the truth" that is the basis for all Power BI reporting. With trust in the reporting data, company-wide adoption increases.

Improved security 
Eliminates redundant security application; reduces risks associated with the use of unsecure data sources (flat files, Excel spreadsheet exports) and allows appropriate guardrails to be set up around data access.

Superior Power BI performance
Poorly modeled data in Power BI can dramatically decrease performance. Analytics Connector users leverage the performance-optimized data modeled in Cognos..

 

Two-week proof of concept including installation, configuration and testing.

 

+ PRICING

Support is included.

+ TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

SUPPORTED ENVIRONMENTS

  • IBM Cognos 10 /11
  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10
    Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012, 2012 R2    
  • Power BI Desktop 2.5x

SUPPORTED DATA SOURCES

Cognos

  • Relational, dimensionally modeled relational (DMR), PowerCubes, Dynamic Cubes, TM1 and reports

 

 

ACCESS REQUIREMENTS

Cognos Server

  • Access to Cognos dispatcher
  • Access to Cognos packages, reports and data sources
  • Capability of specification execution, generate CSV output and generate XML output

Power BI

  • Administrator rights to the Power BI box for installation

+ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Where is the Senturus Analytics Connector installed?
A: The Analytics Connector needs to be installed wherever connectivity to Cognos is required (Power BI Desktop). Nothing needs to be installed on Cognos servers. It is also available as client/server.

Q: What type of skills and time are required to install the Senturus
Analytics Connector?

A: Standard installation takes about two hours and requires standard Windows administration (i.e. installation, environment variable setting, some minor registry edits).

Q: Which Cognos platforms and versions are supported?
A: The Senturus Analytics Connector is designed to connect Power BI to IBM Cognos BI 10.2.x and Cognos Analytics 11. We also support cloud deployments as long as the Cognos dispatcher can be accessed.

Q: Which types of Cognos data sources are supported?
A: Currently supported data sources include relational, dimensionally modeled relational (DMR), PowerCubes, Dynamic Cubes and TM1 for Cognos.

Q: Is support included with the Senturus Analytics Connector and, if so, who
provides it?

A: Support is provided by Senturus and included in the price of the Analytics Connector.

Q: What types of connections to you support?
A: We support both live and import functionality.

Q: When was the Senturus Analytics Connector released?
A: The Analytics Connector was released on November 7, 2016. Power BI support was included beginning with version 3.

Q: What are the licensing implications for Cognos?
A: For imports, a Cognos Analytics User license or equivalent is required to allow imports. A Cognos license is not required to connect to imported data; only a Senturus Analytics Connector license is needed. For direct queries, a Cognos BI analytics user license or equivalent is required.

Q: What are the Framework Manager model requirements for use with the Senturus Analytics Connector?
A: There are no special modeling requirements for the Analytics Connector. Power BI requires that joins are created between query subjects, even if they don’t have a relationship specified at that level of abstraction. The Analytics Connector will automatically create dummy joins but will ignore them, letting Cognos handle them in the background. The Analytics Connector also supports CQM and DQM.

Q: How is security handled by the Senturus Analytics Connector?
A: Username and password credentials are passed through to Cognos during query execution, thereby enforcing relevant security applied within both environments.

Q: How often would updates be released during the year and how much time would it take to apply them?
A: The Analytics Connector is developed and enhanced with an agile methodology.  Typically, we release a new version every 4-8 weeks. The updates are super easy to install.

Q: What is the method for accessing Cognos via Power BI?
A: The Senturus Analytics Connector uses an ODBC connection to connect to Cognos.

Q: What is the impact on the Cognos environment?
A: Power BI users leveraging the Connector will generate load on the Cognos servers similar to an interactive report user on those systems.

+ LATEST VERSION

Released September 2018, version 3.1 of the Senturus Analytics Connector provides official support for Microsoft Power BI. Other noteworthy features include:

  • Streamlined upgrade process
  • Package/folder picker in configuration tool, Cognos Analytics 11 only
  • Allows users to choose to prepend folder name in front of table name or not
  • Allows users to choose to mimic ODBC schema to FM model view or Report Studio view

OPEN