Bimodal Superhero: Senturus Analytics Connector

November 07, 2019

Analytics Demystified, Cognos 10, IBM Cognos, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau

Holy Super Power! Cognos with Tableau and Power BI

Peanut butter and jelly. Netflix and your couch. Visual analytics tools and Cognos. Yep, you read that last pairing right.

Thanks to the Senturus Analytics Connector, these BI platforms are no longer at odds with each other but instead can team up like Batman and Robin to work as the superheroes of your analytics environment.

With the Analytics Connector, visualization tools like Power BI and Tableau have an easy way to tap seamlessly into the secure, curated data in Cognos. As a result, organizations are able to realize the promise of bimodal analytics, combining the data governance of their traditional BI with the agility and data discovery offered by visualization tools. Predictable meet exploratory. Better decisions meet business innovation.

Intrigued? Excited? Watch our Analytics Connector webinar recording to learn about the latest features and see a demo of how easy it is to use.

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Cognos, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau


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


  • 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 need for 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


What’s new in version 4?

  • Graceful handling of duplicate model column names
  • Enhanced Power BI error handling
  • Client/server deployment model
  • Enhanced user authentication
  • Performance optimizations
  • Smaller footprint and faster installation
  • Support for Tableau Desktop’s bundled PostgreSQL ODBC driver
  • Tableau Server Linux support
  • Tableau Desktop Mac OSX support

What’s new in version 4.1?

  • Connection pooling
  • SSL support
  • Improved, simplified data source configuration utility

What’s new in version 4.2?

  • Data module support
  • Logging levels set by GUI
  • Performance logging output to CSV
  • More Cognos report parameters supported
  • Improved handling of duplicate report column names

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 5 years, current version 4.2

Supported versions/platforms

  • Power BI Desktop (June 2018 release and later)
  • Tableau 10.x/2018.x Desktop, Server and Online
  • Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows 7, 8, 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016)
  • Tableau Linux
  • Tableau Desktop Mac OSX

Connector installation location

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

Minimum software requirements

  • Similar to those for any other typical ODBC driver

Cognos environment impact

  • Users using the Analytics Connector will generate load on the Cognos servers similar to an interactive report user on those systems
    • Mode 2 users tend to be more interactive, which increases load on the Cognos servers
    • Queries tend to be summarized, which reduces the load on Cognos
    • Important step in development lifecycle to ascertain the net load on the Cognos system

Licensing requirements – Cognos

  • Direct Query: Cognos Analytics user or equivalent
  • Extract/import: Cognos Analytics user for imports, users accessing extracts/imports would require an Analytics Connector license