Use Tableau and Power BI with Trusted Cognos Data

August 01, 2019

Analytics Demystified, IBM Cognos, Microsoft

Senturus Analytics Connector Enables Bimodal BI

As powerful as they are, visualization tools like Power BI and Tableau do not natively connect to Cognos as a data source. Considering the heavy investment many organizations have made in the Cognos platform, that’s a real problem. It’s costing money, wasting time and compromising data security. Reporting accuracy suffers.

Why? Because end users can't get to the governed and prepared data in Cognos, they bypass it. Instead, they work directly with raw data sources, going through the labor intensive, error prone and redundant task of remodeling data. Aside from the time wasted, this method comprises data integrity, security and reporting accuracy.

But there is a smart, easy solution to this costly problem. The Senturus Analytics Connector. Via a drag-and-drop interface, the Analytics Connector allows visual analytics tools to tap directly into Cognos as a data source. The result: improved efficiencies all around.

Watch this webinar recording to learn about the benefits of the Senturus Analytics Connector, such as

  • Efficient bi-modal BI functionality that leverages the best of enterprise BI and visual analytics tools
  • Faster, more accurate reporting
  • Reduced change management cost and risk
  • Improved security with appropriate guardrails around data access
  • Increased data accuracy
  • Better overall performance
  • New v4.0 features that make enterprise configuration and maintenance easier and are able to accommodate locked down desktop environments
  • Brand new v4.1 includes connection pooling to enhance performance and SSL support to enable secure enterprise deployments

See consumer case studies and sign up for the 30-day free trial


Cognos, Microsoft Power BI, Qlik, MicroStrategy


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

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


  • Enabling bimodal BI

    • Mode 1 is predictable, improving and renovating in more well-understood areas
    • Mode 2 is exploratory, experimenting to solve new problems


    Bimodal approach is growing

    Senturus Analytics Connector

    • Huge value in existing BI models
      • Organizations have invested heavily in existing models that provide governed, secure, business-friendly, performant results
    • Power BI users circumvent them
      • Using Cognos for ETL and/or recreating models in other tools wastes time, compromises data integrity and security
    • Why you shouldn’t (re)-create metadata
      • Time consuming
      • Compromise data integrity
      • Compromise data security
      • Creates data silos
    • The solution? The Senturus Analytics Connector
      • Visual analytics users can connect directly to the Cognos application layers, giving them instant access to high quality data
    • Instant access to quality data sets, including your reports
    • Don’t sacrifice integrity for agility, publish and deploy
    • The Senturus Analytics Connector gives you
      • Faster, more accurate reporting
      • Change management reductions
      • Trust in the data
      • Improved security
      • Superior Power BI performance


Frequently asked questions

Live vs. Extract/Import

  • Both methods are supported

Supported Cognos Platforms and Versions

  • IBM Cognos 10.1.x/11 and higher
  • On prem AND cloud

Supported Data Sources

  • Relational, PowerCubes, DMR, Dynamic Cubes, TM1
  • Reports

Release Date

  • GA November 7, 2016
  • In development for nearly 4 years, current version 3.2

Supported Versions/Platforms

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Tableau 9.x/10.x/2018.x Desktop, Server and Online via Bridge
  • Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows 7, 8, 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016)

Connector Installation Location

  • Wherever connectivity to Cognos is required
    • Desktop
    • Tableau Server
    • Power BI on-premise data gateway
  • Nothing installed on Cognos servers

Minimum Software Requirements

  • Similar to those for any other typical ODBC driver

Cognos Environment Impact

  • Users leveraging the Analytics Connector will generate load on the Cognos servers similar to an interactive report user on those systems

Pricing includes

  • Support and maintenance
  • Senturus will assist with installation and configuration
  • $5,000 minimum initial purchase
  • Volume discounts available

Licensing Requirements - Cognos

  • Direct Query: Cognos Analytics user or equivalent
  • Import: Cognos Analytics user for imports, users accessing Power BI files leveraging imports would require an Analytics Connector license


  • Automatically enforces security defined within the Cognos environment – package, RLS, etc.

Framework Manager Modeling Requirements

  • No special modeling requirements
  • Tools require that joins are created between query subjects – Analytics Connector creates dummy joins by default

Method for Accessing Cognos

  • Power BI - ODBC via Custom Connector
  • Tableau – ODBC

Support and Maintenance

  • Provided by Senturus and included with your subscription

Benefits of the Senturus Analytics Connector

  • Time and money required to create metadata from scratch – hours to weeks+ depending on the number and complexity of packages/reports
  • Risk of not having proper data security (GDPR, PII, HIPPA, SOX, FERPA)
  • Time saved converting reports outside Cognos
  • Time wasted maintaining multiple metadata layers between Cognos and visual analytics tools
  • Time wasted, cost and risk of inaccurate/misaligned business metrics

Consumer case studies and 30-day free trial at: https://senturus.com/products/analytics-connector/