Taming the Data Wildcat with the Senturus Analytics Connector

Get a firsthand account of the value the Senturus Analytics Connector, our solution that ties Tableau to enterprise BI platforms like Cognos and MicroStrategy. Senturus client, Northwestern University, shows how the Senturus Connector allows them to derive the full value of their investment in Tableau Server by leveraging their extensive Cognos data marts.

Valuable data in Cognos is available to a wide group of analysts and consumers and the quality of reporting data across school departments is greatly improved. Now, Northwestern is able to automatically generate interactive, at-a-glance Tableau dashboard reports, presenting summary analyses to senior leadership while giving departmental administrators access to the underlying data.

In this webinar recording, you will see a demo of how the Connector works and how it enabled Northwestern to tie Tableau into the secure, governed data already existing in their Cognos data mart.


Jeffrey Weiss, PhD
Director for Research Analysis
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

Jeffrey Weiss earned his PhD in Physiology from the University of Virginia in 1987 and completed his post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He joined Northwestern University as an investigator in 1993 and is the author of 55 peer-reviewed publications in the field of endocrine signaling. He has held various secondary positions in information management since 1996 and assumed his current full time role in analytics in 2013.

Kimberly Griffin
Director for Electronic Research Administration
Office for Sponsored Research
Northwestern University

Kimberly has been the Director for Electronic Research Administration since 2014. Prior to that, she worked at The University of Chicago for 15 years, including 10 years in Business Intelligence as a Senior Business Analyst. Kimberly holds a M.S. in computer science from The University of Chicago, an M.S. in public services management from DePaul University and a B.S. in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP).

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

Michael 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 Business Analytics Connector for Tableau to Cognos, which lets Tableau use Cognos as a data source.

Presentation outline

Overview of the Senturus Analytics Connector

  • Huge value in existing BI models
  • Tableau users circumvent them
  • Why you shouldn’t (re)-create metadata
  • The solution? The Senturus Analytics Connector!
  • Instant access to quality data sets
  • Don’t sacrifice integrity for agility
  • The Senturus Analytics Connector gives you
    • Faster, more accurate reporting
    • Change management reductions
    • Trust in the data
    • Improved security
    • Superior Tableau performance
  • New Senturus Analytics Connector features
    • Local cache for Cognos package 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
    • Simplify installation process – no need to copy Cognos SDK jar and Tableau .dll post-installation
    • 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 fro 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
    • SiteMinder SSO
  • Northwestern — before the Analytics Connector
    • Run Cognos queries and export to Excel
    • Merge with local data from other sources using elaborate templates
    • Merge data sources for Tableau visualizations
    • Manually update data at defined intervals (weekly/monthly/quarterly)
  • Senturus @ Northwestern — after the Analytics Connector
    • Tableau reports query data directly from Cognos
    • Joins with local data done in Tableau; no more staging in Excel
    • Time to update reports cut drastically
  • Business value
    • Senior leadership has direct access to performance metrics
    • Department administrators have access to the underlying data used to track their activity and progress
    • Different administrative units (e.g. OSR and FSM) can base analyses on common data sets, increasing consistency in reporting
  • Technical benefits
    • Cognos security is maintained automatically, no additional work for the Tableau authors
    • Cognos package updates flow through without additional Tableau work
    • Complicated business logic does not need to be reproduced in Tableau, just pulled from existing verified Cognos packages
  • Demo
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • ROI for the Senturus Analytics Connector
  • Take an Analytics Connector test drive

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