Analytics Connector

CONNECTS TABLEAU TO COGNOS

Senturus Tableau-Cognos ConnectorOrganizations running Cognos have a somewhat conflicted relationship with Tableau despite its important role in data visualization and self-service analytics.

Because Tableau can’t connect to the Cognos environment, Tableau users bypass the secure, governed and business friendly data that lives there. Instead, they work directly with raw source data, going through a labor-intensive process of re-remodeling data. Aside from wasting valuable time, this method compromises data integrity, security and reporting accuracy.

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

With Cognos and Tableau working in concert, 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. Report performance improves and numbers match up.

The Senturus Analytics Connector gives organizations an elegant, simple solution for leveraging the best of their enterprise BI and self-service analytics tools…as well as their IT and business users.

•   Connects securely to Cognos via ODBC
•   Retrieves Cognos package metadata
•   Lets users drag and drop query subjects into Tableau
•   Requires no joining or remodeling
•   Pushes queries back to Cognos for optimal execution

 

THE SENTURUS ANALYTICS CONNECTOR SAVES TIMES AND REDUCES RISK

Faster, more accurate reporting
Tableau users 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 are automatically picked up by the Analytics Connector, eliminating costly and time-consuming changes to individually curated workbooks.

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

Improves 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 Tableau performance
Poorly modeled data in Tableau 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 and 10
    Windows Server 2008 R2 and
    2012, 2012 R2    
  • Tableau 9/10

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR
TABLEAU
WINDOWS BOX

  • Modern dual-core
    i5/i7/Xeon or better processor     
  • 8GB of memory
  • 200MB disk space

 

 

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

Tableau

  • Administrator rights to the Tableau box for installation

+ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Where is the Senturus Analytics Connector installed?
A: The Analytics Connector needs to be installed wherever the Tableau query is being executed. This is typically Tableau Desktop or Tableau Server. Nothing needs to be installed on Cognos servers.

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 Tableau 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 is the difference between live and extract query support?
A: We support both live and extract query functionality; however, certain live query functionality is limited. We are continuously enhancing this functionality based on needs and feedback.

Q: When was the Senturus Analytics Connector released?
A: The Analytics Connector was released on November 7, 2016.

Q: What are the licensing implications for Cognos?
A: For extracts, a Cognos Analytics User license or equivalent is required to allow extraction creation. A Cognos license is not required to connect to extracts; only a Senturus Analytics Connector license is needed. For a live connect, 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, except those necessary to work around current live query limitations. However, Tableau 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 Tableau?
A: The Senturus Analytics Connector uses an ODBC connection to connect to Cognos.

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

+ LATEST FEATURES

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

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