Aero Precision Creates Tableau Vizzes Against Live Cognos Data

Senturus client Aero Precision gave a before-and-after look at how the Senturus Analytics Connector radically improved its supply chain OEM performance reporting. Aero Precision account managers no longer spend painful hours scanning static rows and columns of data each month only to deliver incomplete reports. They now automatically generate interactive, at-a-glance Tableau dashboard reports that include critical markers and historical trending they could not previously report on.

Watch the demo of how the Analytics Connector enabled Aero Precision to tie Tableau into the secure, governed data already existing in its enterprise BI platform. Aero Precision now benefits from the best of Tableau and the best of Cognos: accurate numbers, self-service visualizations, standardized and interactive reporting, secure data, plus its manual reporting processes have disappeared.


David Clausen
Business Intelligence Architect
Aero Precision Industries

Dave Clausen is a Business Intelligence Architect for Aero Precision Industries. With more than four decades as a technologist specializing in application integration and development, Dave has worked with CEOs and executives in developing analytical software solutions designed to meet corporate reporting requirements. With Dave’s 10 years of Cognos design experience, he has implemented a robust BI platform at Aero Precision.

Michael Weinhauer
Practice Area Director and Solutions Architect
Senturus, Inc.

Michael Weinhauer heads up the Tableau Practice at Senturus. Michael comes to us from Oracle, IBM and SAP, where he spent over 20 years in different roles acquiring a wealth of hands-on, practical BI and big data experience. Michael’s team is also responsible for the development of the Senturus Analytics Connector.

Presentation outline

  • Overview of the Senturus Analytics Connector
  • Huge value in existing BI models
    • Organizations have invested heavily in existing models that provide governed, secure, business-friendly, performant results
  • Tableau users circumvent them
    • Using BI tools as ETL and/or recreating models in Tableau’s data prep pane wastes time and compromises integrity
  • Why you shouldn’t (re)-create metadata
    • Time consuming
    • Compromises data integrity
    • Compromises data security
    • Creates data silos
  • The solution? The Senturus Analytics Connector
    • Tableau users can connect directly to the BI modeling layer, giving them instant access to high quality data
  • Instant access to quality data sets
  • Don’t sacrifice integrity for agility
  • Benefits of the Senturus Analytics Connector
    • Faster, more accurate reporting
    • Reduces change management
    • Trust in the data
    • Improves security
    • Superior Tableau performance
  • What’s new
    • MicroStrategy connectivity
    • TM1 connectivity
    • Local cache for metadata – improves performance
    • Support for Cognos 10.2.0 and 11.0.6
    • Support for multiple dispatchers and fail over by specifying multiple dispatcher URLs in dataSoruces.xml.
    • 32 bit ODBC driver on Windows 64 bit OS
    • Automatically install documentation with Connector
    • DSN modification via Windows ODBC administrator
    • Improved troubleshooting via new batch script (diagnosis.bat)
    • Configuration GUI
    • Simplified installation process for Tableau Server – no post-installation file copying required
    • Support silent installation
    • Support IIS/Windows authentication
    • Increased the length limit of character data types, from 254 to 8000 for char, from 4000 to 32765 for varchar, 127 to 4000 for nchar, and from 2000 to 16383 for nvarchar.
    • Support sort on min/max value of PowerCube and Dynamic Cube levels.
    • Support Top N in filter
    • Support for SiteMinder SSO
    • Support for custom joins between query subjects (Cognos only, i joins only)
    • Support for TM1 cubes!
    •  Aero Precision – Improving Supply Chain Visibility
      • Past state
        • Static Cognos report used for monthly/quarterly reviews
          • Not visual
          • Not interactive
          • No trending
        • Manual creation effort for each account manager (3 hours/month)
        • Using Excel extracts was not an option
        • Excellent OEM relationships cornerstone of Aero Precision’s business
      • Current State
        • Use the Analytics Connector to create data source
        • Worked around complex Cognos model challenges
        • Create Tableau visualizations directly against curated data
        • Automated, consistent and interactive
      • Future state
        • Leverage Analytics Connector against other packages to greatly improve efficiency and effectiveness of other business areas
        • Migrate scorecards and KPIs to Tableau to improve sales, business development, customer service, warehousing and shipping
      • Business value
        • Improved communications with OEM and vendor managers
        • Senior management can see trends and anomalies and can respond more quickly
        • Saves 80 hours of time PER MONTH across team, which equals $100,000 annual savings
      • Technical benefits
        • With the use of a flattened Framework model consisting of three data sources, we designed and implemented the ideal solution for management
        • With the Analytics Connector in place, creating each monthly supply chain report is effortless and automatic
      • Demonstration

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