Easily Connect Power BI & Tableau to Cognos Data
Senturus Analytics Connector Demo
Meet Senturus at the intersection of traditional BI and agile analytics where we demo the Senturus Analytics Connector. The Senturus Analytics Connector allows Power BI and Tableau to easily tap into your secure, curated data in Cognos.
First introduced in 2015, the Analytics Connector provides companies an efficient go-to solution for enabling cooperation between these different styles of BI platforms—enterprise-class BI and self-service—thereby harnessing their significant combined value.
With simple drag and drop functionality, the Analytics Connector eliminates time consuming, error-prone data remodeling efforts and results in
- Significantly accelerated reporting
- Increased trust in the data
- Improved data security
- Reduced change management
- Improved reporting performance
The Analytics Connector delivers the best of both worlds. Traditional BI governance meets agility. Predictable reporting meets data discovery. Business decisions meet business innovation.
Michael has played a leadership role in the development of the Senturus Business Analytics Connector. 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.
Hello, everyone and welcome to this latest installment of the Senturus knowledge series.
Today, we’re presenting on the topic of the Senturus Analytics Connector which easily allows you to connect Power BI and Tableau to your Cognos data assets.
Before we get into the presentation, a couple of housekeeping items while we have everyone’s microphones muted out of courtesy to our speaker.
We do strongly encourage you to enter any questions in the GoToWebinar control panel which you can expand or collapse using the orange arrow as shown on the slide.
We do try to answer all the questions that we get during the presentation, but if for some reason we’re unable to, we will create a response document that will post on Senturus.com along with the presentation.
We always get this question early and often. Can I get a copy of the deck? And the answer is absolutely. It is already available on Senturus.com.
There’s a link in the chat, if you want to go there now, or you can head over to the link in the deck, you see here, senturus.com/senturus-resources/
And, while you’re over there, make sure you bookmark that, as it has ton of great, free resources addressing a wide variety of business analytics topics.
Our agenda today, do a quick introduction, do an overview of the Senturus analytics connector, followed by a demonstration, then stick around for the Q and A at the end. After we do a very brief senturus overview, for those of you in the audience who may not be familiar with what we do.
And some additional, almost and always entirely free resources that we have available for you.
So, introductions, flying, solo today, my name is Mike…. I’m a Director here at Senturus among one of my roles, and one of my many roles here is hosting these webinars.
And I’m a product manager for the Senturus Analytics Connector. So, when a couple different hats today.
As usual, before we get into the main presentation, we have a couple of polls here and the first one is, Which BI platforms is your organization currently using? Or you’re using Cognos Power BI Tableau or something else?
And, of course, select all that apply.
So, we’ll give everyone a few minutes to sorry, A few seconds to respond to that.
Pretty straightforward question.
Quick today, we’re at about 80% already.
All right? I’m going to close this out, share it back.
So, you can see that, not surprisingly here, the vast majority are running Cognos, then two thirds aren’t in Power BI and 40% Tableau, another 15%. Other. That’s interesting split between Power BI and Tableau.
And we have a second poll here, and that is, how many users are in your organization? How large is the Tableau or Power BI user community in your organization? Is it less than 50 users between 51 and 250, or greater than 250 users?
Go ahead and respond to that.
About three quarters here.
Looks good. Share this back.
So a little over a third are on the smaller side, a quarter and the medium side, and then the rest are large at over 250 users. Great. Well, thank you for sharing some insights. So you have a little bit of an idea of the makeup of our audience here.
Go ahead and do a little overview of the analytics connector then.
So, why did we create this?
Well, back in about 2015, Gartner coined the term bimodal BI and it sort of delineated between or rather, it asked its member organizations if they had two distinct project teams or distinctions between their IT teams between mode, one, and mode two, mode.
One being predictable, improving in renovating and better understood areas, typically. This was your enterprise BI tools like Cognos and Micro Strategy and Business Objects, et cetera, et cetera. And then mode two is defined as exploratory and experimenting to solve new problems. And that typically was your Tableau, and Power BI, and you click texts and things like that. Obviously, those lines have blurred a little bit between the products, but that’s basically the idea.
The interesting thing about that, and why we’re talking about it, is because the, and there’s the actual question down at the bottom if you want to, if you want to read that, the interesting thing about that is that, in 2016, the responses were a full 38% of the respondents answered yes to the question.
And that grew a full 5% to 43% in 2017.
Now, I haven’t seen any results beyond that, but I would hazard a guess that this is, it’s even bigger now.
And it’s more, I think, the, the walls are, are breaking down more. We see people to sort of taking this more seriously other than that. Oh, well, we’re going to shut down Cognos or, we’re going to move all the way to Tableau or All the way to Power BI. Or started to realize that, especially in larger organizations.
That, um, these tools fill different needs and people adopt the tools they like. And, so, there’s a need at business need to support it.
And in favor of supporting that, is this idea that 68% of those respondents using a bimodal approach, we’re in the top performers of the gardener universe.
So, the implication being done, right?
This can be a great way to be competitive. It can be a competitive differentiator and you can run your business more effectively and more competitively.
So, we were already in the process of Senturus of creating the connector, because now, for a slightly different reason, and that organizations have invested very heavily, and existing models, such as this framework manager model that that you’re looking at, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Cognos.
A framework manager is the is the main modeling tool that’s being somewhat supplanted by data modules now, but it’s very sophisticated and organizations have spent a lot of time and effort building these very nice models that simplify complex data sources, implement security, do all kinds of great stuff that make the data analysis ready and they provide this nice set of results to the organization.
The problem is that there’s no access to Cognos from Power BI or Tableau or any of these other tools, so, what do they do?
They end up using Cognos as an ETL tool, basically dumping out 60 column or more huge flat files that they pull into these tools, or, they attempt to recreate these often complex models in the tools.
So, this is what a little piece of that looks like in Power BI, or, they try to do it in, in Tableau, which, at a minimum, is a huge waste of time, and, at worst, can compromise security and data integrity.
So, a, kind of a short list of why it’s a bad idea to recreate metadata you already curated and Cognos is that it’s extremely time consuming.
I’ll show you an example here in a little bit, Even a data warehouse, which is oftentimes jaded by be by Cognos intentionally, right? So, people aren’t just running random queries against it.
If it’s transactional system, even more so, there are tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of tables and ERP systems, of which the business users have, little or no knowledge of, which tables to choose, how those tables relate.
And if you get that wrong, you compromise the data integrity, right, and you get the wrong answers.
You also have the potential for many different metadata layers.
One of the, the strengths of tools like Power BI and Tableau is also, its biggest weakness, right?
The, the, the mantra of Cognos was this single source of truth, highly governed, where you would create these nice models and push them out.
And then people would consume them after they’ve already been vetted, Tableau and Power BI and their ilk turned all of that on its head.
Quite literally, by enabling anybody to connect to any source of data and create their own metadata within a Tableau workbook, or a Power BI file.
And that can lead to change management, nightmares really bad performance.
As you add joins and data sources, limited audit capabilities and things of that nature.
If it’s not managed correctly, another really big one is compromising Data Security.
And, in this age of GDPR, PII and seemingly endless data breaches, the security that’s been built oftentimes into the Cognos model is row level security. Column level security.
Package level security gets, sort of, has an Enron done around it by people jumping out.
Flat files and those aren’t secured.
And then when they pull them into Tableau or Power BI, they’re sort of have the data that’s there.
And if they don’t re-apply it, then either skip it or they potentially do it wrong or they waste a bunch of time, redoing it again.
Then the last one is your, your girlfriend data silos, just like with Excel spreadsheets.
Um, if you have a million different Tableau workbooks or Power BI files floating around, that’s really just a prettier version of an Excel spreadsheet, and you end up not having that single source of truth. Numbers don’t align across different workbooks, potentially.
And you make erroneous or inaccurate business decisions or sub optimal business decisions based upon imperfect data.
So, that’s a short list, but they’re pretty compelling reasons for us to create a programmatic solution, which is in the form of the Senturus’s Analytics connector, which allows visual analytics users to connect directly to their Cognos environment, giving them instant access to high quality data. So, in Power BI, we use a custom connector.
And in Tableau, hmm, excuse me. We just use they’re both effectively ODBC connections, but on the left side, you see, this is what I’ll demonstrate this live in a little while.
This is what it looks like in Cognos when you open up.
Report Studio, right?
You have this nice, analysis, friendly, analysis ready set of data, and the connector maps that to the Power BI Navigator window.
So, the package, or data module, the namespaces, sorry, the package, the namespaces, and then the query subjects.
And those map into the, then tables and data items that you use in your Power BI reports. On the Tableaux side, it looks very similar.
Again, that’s the cognitive side.
We map that to the Data source pane or ODBC. The package or module becomes the database. The namespaces are mapped to the schemas, and the query subjects become tables, and I just bring them in and start reporting off of them.
You can also pull in reports. So I have a report, here, a very simple one.
Then I want to pull in, maybe there’s logic in here that I haven’t pulled into my framework manager model, or my data module.
Maybe there is, maybe, I’ve got this huge hairball of a model. And I just want a certain data set out of that that’s more manageable.
What if, for whatever reason that is, I can pull that in here, and this is a parameter eyes report.
And you can see that the columns in that report become the fields and Tableau or Power BI. And I can likewise parameterize that and make that dynamic.
So there’s no need now to sacrifice the integrity of your data, the security of your data, for the beauty and the agility.
That is the reason that you’ve adopted these tools.
Then, importantly, beyond the workbooks, you can publish two, the Power BI Service content and, or the data source.
And, or to Tableau Server. And then, deploy this to the organization. So, you do this once, push it out, and everybody in your organization can use this, you’re working off the same, playing off the same sheet of music.
They’re impersonating that user in Cognos so, that you know that the numbers are going to line up and it’ll automatically apply the security in Cognos and you’re good to go!
So, none of that is you get faster, more accurate reporting because your analysts can spend time doing analysis instead of manipulating data or re modeling data that you’ve already modeled in Cognos.
You reduce the risk and cost associated with change management, chasing those around these different files, because those changes get automatically picked up.
You get better trust in the data, because, again, those numbers come out the same way.
And you’re playing off that single version of the truth that’s been vetted carefully, and it’s governed.
And as trust in the data increases, people tend to adopt those solutions.
The security is better, you eliminate the redundant application of security in the visual analytics tools.
And you reduce the risks associated with the use of unsecured data sources, like flat files and XL exports, which improves your overall data governance.
And you optimize your performance in these tools by eliminating the pitfalls of poorly managed data.
So, with that, I’m going to jump over to a demonstration here, and I’m going to start over and I’m going to start with Tableau first and just by way of a little bit of background.
So, those of you who are familiar with Cognos, it ships with a database called the Great Outdoors Sales or Go Sales, as we call it, in shorthand.
And it consists of about 75 different tables, 775 tables and it represents a simplified OLTP schema. So, in other words, it’s a system that’s designed for getting transactions in, and is typically pretty bad at getting information out of it.
From an, especially from a data modeling perspective, like, all your product information is across six different tables, your order information is across several different tables, and it’s suboptimal.
So, Cognos provides a model wherein they’ve modeled this in such a way that it’s presented more or less as a as a kind of a virtual start schema.
Right, you have your various measures here under the Sale’s folder.
And then Dimensional information around your branches, your order methods, your products.
And all that stuff has been handled in the model so that a report author can say, OK, I know I want information about my product and my sales, and I can drag and drop and create my content. So I go from this very complex data schema that’s not designed or optimized for analytics into something that’s very consumable.
Bye. Bye my Analytics users and is likewise secured.
So, if I’m not supposed to see this, or I’m only supposed to see certain products or product lines, or I’m not supposed to see personally identifying information, all that gets handled on the Cognos side.
So, instead of then trying to go and remodel that in Tableau, go in here, pull all these tables in.
I could do that, but I better know that order header relates to order details. And that branch uses a full outer join to these tables to get the right data back.
And even then, I don’t have a consistent view of orders or products in a single folder when I go to do my analysis. So this is still problematic and I don’t have any of the security applied.
I don’t have any of the calculations that I’ve built in the model. There’s a ton of work that goes into just getting this far.
So the alternative is to use the Analytics connector where instead of going through all of that, I’m just going to go to ODBC. The Senturus Analytics Connector is running on, is installed, configured and running on this machine.
And I’m going to login, and I always miss type this when I’m live. Sorry.
And, this user is, is one of my Cognos users.
And, so, there’s really no difference to Cognos whether I’m logged in into reports. Do.
You’re creating that report back in the browser that I was showing you, or if I’m connected via the connector.
So, you can see all the different things, that are, the different packages and data modules, power cubes, and things that are that are configured here.
So, I just picked the Go sales query, and I’m going to go ahead and connect to that.
Then, our connector is going to do that mapping process that I just showed you in the slides, where the package gets mapped to database, I’m going to pick that nice sales query dataset, and here are all my query subjects.
Then, all I have to do, right, is double click these guys.
I don’t have to do anything else. I’m just going to double click these tables.
So, Tableau kind of makes all my tables disappear here, but I just bring them back in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 clicks.
And I don’t have to worry about any of the structure of this, right?
Stretch this out. So, you can see all those tables didn’t work, right? Sorry.
OK, I’m not sure why, it doesn’t want to bring over this table.
Try it one more time.
Let’s try one of the other ones.
OK, it doesn’t want to bring my time information over, so that’s going to be a challenge for me here.
But, anyway, the idea is that you bring in, you just bring in these various dimensions, and your measures, and you move over here and you’re off to the races. Right? The rest of this is really a Tableau exercise. So, I’m going to go ahead.
And because Tableau just takes anything that’s numeric, and it throws it into the measures, I’m just going to grab those and drag and drop them, and move them back up to the dimension area.
And now, you can see that I have my branch, my order method, and my products. I have all this stuff over here, and I can just start building my visualizations. So what this is going to do now is not working for me.
I’m just going to try to create another one. Sorry, everybody.
Let’s try this again.
OK, let’s see, Start with time CFE, that time it’s playing nicely.
And bring over branch, number order method and re-order my products.
And there we go, OK, So, I’m not sure what happened there but we’re good to go now.
So now I’m going to again go through this, I’m just going to take all these numeric that Tableau puts over in the measure’s area and I’m going to go ahead and then take the other time information here that again are all numeric and I’m just going to drag them up here.
And so instead of going through all of that effort of remodeling a complex OLTP system, I now have these nice analysis ready data items here.
And I can go ahead and start creating my content here just like I would against any other data source in Tableau, right?
Except Cognos is now your database.
And so, when I drag these over, this is literally formatting or issuing these queries live as I add the items to the visualization.
All right, so I can go ahead and I can do all the things you’d normally do in Tableau. I can resize the items.
I can add labels. I could.
I would probably go through and do some quick formatting on this, but I can create a map, and I can do things like use tableaus, show me capabilities. So I’m going to go Order Method.
Type this, time, and I’ll grab revenue, plan revenue.
I’ll go over to show me, and I’ll create a bullet chart, which is great for showing progress against a target.
Alright, so you can see that I’ve got that one, And then lastly, which is why it’s really nice to have a time dimension in here, some, some sort of time, is, I can do time series analysis.
So, you can see Tableau detects that this is a date field, does its magic with the, um, with creating a hierarchy for that.
And I can actually go ahead and drill down into a month, changed from discrete, to continuous, Then maybe I throw my quantity up here.
And if I want to separate that out by my product line, just grab that and throw that on color.
OK, so then I have, I’ve, so I’ve got three visualizations here.
Then, I can go ahead and I can put those together into Dashboard View.
Alright, and then obviously, I’d want to clean that up and do some things to it. But all of the capabilities here, I can add filters to this. I could add my actions to it. All this stuff works.
Alright. And then to deploy it, I simply save this and publish this up to Tableau server. Now, in the interest of time, I’m going to jump over to the one that I have here on Tableau server already. So here it is.
And I’m logged in to Tableau server.
I’ve clicked on the visualization, and I’m going to bring up this dashboard.
You can see, it’s the exact same one that I, that I just built here.
And what it’s going to do here is, is, because I’ve told it to prompt me, it’s going to asked me for my Cognos credentials and, therefore, enforce any of the security. That is on that data source. So, if I was only supposed to see certain countries, or a certain years, or not CPI, et cetera, et cetera, it’s going to automatically do that regardless of where I am in the organization. So, there’s my dashboard, I can edit it if that’s something I want to do, or because I publish the data source separately, this is my Senturus as Analytics connector data source.
I can open up tableaus, web browser, and environment for creating content.
And similarly, I should get ramped it here.
There we go.
Should I take that right?
And, now, you can see I have the web browser environment where that nice metadata that I created that’s coming from Cognos.
It can be leveraged via the web. Likewise, desktop users can connect to this Tableau data source, and I can certify it, and I can do all the nice data governance things that Tableau server gives you in this environment.
So, a couple of clicks on the cognitive side, pull down those query subjects, do a little bit of light modeling to make sure that you mentioned some measure in the right place and maybe some formatting, and push it out, and you’re done.
So, that’s the power BI side.
Now, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to shut down some of this stuff here, and I’m going to show you how this works in Power BI, start this one up.
Let that go.
We’ll flip over to Power BI.
So, while that’s opening up.
The process here is the same as it is in Tableau, right?
So, I start in Power BI and I use the Get Data button which opens up all the various connectors that Power BI has, two data sources, and I’m going to choose other, which is going to show me my Senturus analytics connector, which is again, loaded on this machine.
And, I’m going to point it two, my server by connector server in this case.
And I’m going to tell it which database I want. Which, in this case, again, is one of my Cognos packages or data modules or reports.
I can do imports, or I can do direct query, don’t do apples to apples, I’m going to do a direct query.
So, this is going to authenticate me to Cognos. My credentials are already stored in Power BI Desktop. It stores them by default, so, I’m that same user that I logged into Tableau as the differences.
Now, we mapped these, the, the navigator pane here in Power BI.
I simply check the query subjects that I want, so, I’m going to grab the same ones that I grabbed last time and I’m going to go ahead and choose Load.
Alright, so I just connect, login.
It’s going to pull this stuff in, it’s issuing some queries to Cognos right now, getting some metadata information about those query subjects, and it’s going to pull those in as tables into Power BI.
Then, tableaux automatically detects the relationships between these query subjects in Power BI. It doesn’t do that automatically. So, just for visual purposes. And, to show you how this works, I’m going to create my little Virtual Star schema. And, what we do is we create, again, because there are no actual relationships at the presentation layer in the Cognos model for this particular model, and that’s modeling best practices in Cognos.
Very common to see this, so, but relationships are required by the visualization tools.
So, we create this triple A link column that you recognize that our career recognizes as a column, and we ignore it.
My window isn’t responding here, their collection.
Your audio’s breaking up a little bit to Mike.
Give me just a second, this, this will recur.
Hey, everybody. This is Steve … from Senturus. Michael, be back here in a moment. He’s been having a little bit of network trouble this morning.
So, we knew this might happen, but, his connection should be alive again, in a moment, I can see on the screen that he’s trying to restart.
In the meantime, I’m just going to answer live here a couple other questions. And, Mike just pipe in when you’re back on.
Just looking at some of the questions that have come in from the audience. We had a question about whether authentication works with single sign on the Cognos? And, as it stems today, we support single sign on from Power BI Desktop to Cognos through the connector will have single sign on from coming up very soon. Upcoming release.
But we do not currently support single sign on using the Cloud, through Power BI Premium, or the Power BI Service.
What else do we have here that I can answer a relatively quickly?
Whereas the FM package published in order for the connector to use it, Packages get published just as normal and the Cognos portal and access to the package is just driven by the credentials that are passed through from Power BI or Power BI or Tableau. So, essentially, you just use your Cognos credentials logging in from your preferred visualization tool.
The package access just works as normal, so, there’s nothing special that happens on that side, kind of, like Mike is back in shape, back over depth, which I’m sorry about that.
Yeah, some strange reason this tips over what I’m on GoToWebinar, so apologies everyone, but we’re going to go create these, these relationships between the various query subjects to create our Virtual Star, And, again, we create the Triple A link column, and we ignore it at runtime if you have relationships that you need to use, for some reason, or want to use.
Then, if you use those, we respect those joints, but generally speaking, the idea of using your already modeled packages and whatnot is to not do that, and use them as they are.
I’m just going to create one more link here to time. Again, this is a one-time thing.
And once I’m done with this, I’d never have to touch it again.
All right, so here I’ve got my items. And then, again, the rest of this becomes a Power BI exercise. Just like Tableau.
You can see my various dimensions and measures here.
When I click on Country and Revenue, it recognizes that’s a geographic field, and Power BI is going to automatically create a map visualization.
And then I can go and add, for example, a matrix visualization, which allows me to do some drill up and drill down, and I can create a basic hierarchy, so that we can accomplish that. And I’ll just create that. And I’ll add my product type to that.
Obviously, there’s, there’s more I could do with it.
And then I’m going to go and add that, along with revenue and planned revenue, to that Matrix.
Total spending over the call, that the query, yeah.
Cliff camping equipment, for example. It well, out to the underlying product type.
Everyone looks like we’re having a little bit of trouble with Mike’s connection again, so we’ll get him a second here. Can you hear me, Mike?
I can, yes.
Yeah, you’re cutting in and out a little bit, but keep on go.
You disappear to there again for a second.
Say, I’m going to, Oh, there, I hear you again, Mike, area.
I came back, OK.
Sorry, frustrating, OK, so we’ll connect again back into this, buy power through the rest of it, before it, tipped over again.
So now I can trill up and drill down on this particular hierarchy.
Hey, Mike, we’re just seeing the demo Right, on your screen.
Oh, you’re not there?
I think we were just had a network delay. Yes, OK, Perfect.
So I can drill up and drill down on that, and likewise it’ll cross filter so you can see when I click on this, the data items change in the map view.
So then I’ll quickly do this.
I’m going to throw in a line chart two, again, show you a bit of a time series analysis.
So I’m going to throw my months over here and I’ll throw my order method into the legend.
Then I’ll throw my quantities over here on the values.
Then the last thing.
And the last thing I’ll do is I’ll add a slicer.
So maybe I want to filter my data.
Go ahead and click this, and I’ll click on my year.
And you can see that the data will get filtered automatically.
When I move that slider around to the source, I’ll filter down to just 2010 or 2012.
Then, again, the next thing I do is I click Publish, to push this up to powerBI.com, and, again, in the interest of time. And my network connection, obviously.
When I jump over to powerBI.com, where, in my test workspace, you can see I have my report, my demo report.
And this is going through the on premise data gateway back to my Cognos server and rendering my report here. So, I have the full interactivity.
And, importantly, I can use, again, the web interface on Power BI to create content against that vetted govern sanctioned dataset that we have in Cognos.
So, that is the, that’s the demonstration on that.
one other quick thing here, Let’s see, hopefully, things sort of hold up here for me.
Um, you can also do reports. So, this is a simple parameter rise report in Cognos.
That list report that I sort of showed has a date prompt and then, a prompt for some product lines and, when I click OK, it’s going to go and run this, this simple list report.
So, there is this report in Cognos.
You can see here’s the report and I use a custom SQL Query two feed responses, two that route to those parameters.
Then, I can use that report in my Tableau workbook and do things like filter the data and whatnot using Tableaus interface. And this is running a live query against that report.
So, that’s a quick demonstration of the Report capabilities.
All right. So, that was a little painful, but, we got through it, thanks for hanging in there, everybody.
Some frequently asked questions.
We do support live queries or direct query, depending on cognitive Power BI as well as extracts or imports.
We support all versions of Cognos 10, 1 in Higher 110111, including 11.17.
We are, working on 11, 2, just came out.
So we don’t expect any issues with that, but we’ll announce when we officially support that.
We support both on perm and Cloud installations of communists. As long as you can see the dispatcher.
We support, on the cognitive side, Relational Data Sources, power cube’s, TMR, Dynamic Cubes in TM one data sources, coming from Framework Manager Package’s data modules and or reports.
We don’t support datasets directly, but you can expose a dataset via data module, and expose it that way.
So kind of have all the bases covered there.
The product has been out since November of 2016. Released it at TC 16, has been development for nearly six years. Now we’re on Curly on Version five.
The software requirements for it has a very lightweight footprint. Takes up about 200 megabytes.
That’s kind of your minimum hardware requirements there in the CPU.
Utilization is pretty negligible, it uses some ram, very negligible CPU utilization.
We support Power BI Desktop, any version, June 2018. So, it’s almost silly to say that at this point, that’s so old, but that’s when they supported custom connectors.
We support all versus a Tableau desktop server and on line 10 or later, all the versions of Microsoft windows that are out there and supported, as well as Tableau Linux and Tableau Desktop Mac OS X.
The connector, it gets installed in sort of lives wherever connectivity to Cognos is required.
So, that might be Power BI Desktop, Tableau Desktop, your Tableau server, power BI on premise data gateways.
We also offer a client server configuration, which we recommend in production because, then, you centralize all the dependencies, the licensing, and the configuration. And then, you put Lightweights stub clients on all the end points that I just discussed here.
Nothing gets installed on the Cognos servers, like, Canada.
We do have some people that run it on the cognitive server, so, its right there, and it doesn’t, again, use that much in the way of resources, but it communicates over the dispatcher UI, using the SDK files.
So, there’s nothing that you have to install on those cognitive servers.
In terms of the impact on the Cognos environment, users that are leveraging the connector tend to generate a load that’s more similar to a Cognos Interactive Report user.
You folks familiar with Cognos?
Your traditional user fills out some prompts, runs a report, walks away, Tableau and Power BI, as you can see, people tend to interact with that data more, right?
They’re creating content, they’re drilling into it, cross filtering, and that increases the load.
However, you know, you may have noticed the queries that I was creating, their revenue by country, or quantity over order method type are summarized and only return a few records. So that tends to reduce the load on the system. So, instead of run these big list reports.
So, it’s, it depends. Your mileage may vary.
So, depending on your use case, it’s just an important step in the development life cycle to ascertain the net load on the Cognos system.
From a Cognos licensing perspective, if you’re doing those live queries or, direct queries, then, they need to be a cognitive analytics user, because they’re behaving just like a report author.
They’re looking at the metadata. They’re building content. They’re executing queries, getting results back.
If you do an extract or an import, they need to be a Cognos Analytics user to create that extract or import.
But, once that’s detached from that, you don’t need a Cognos license.
You just need to have a Senturus analytics connector license and, the security is automatically enforced hopefully, I’ve kind of hammered, hammered that several times throughout here, whatever security you have defined in Cognos package Level Security Row Level Security column level, et cetera, is automatically enforced. I don’t have to do anything because I’m impersonating that Cognos user.
Steve answered this question before, there aren’t any special modeling requirements.
We sort of take the models as is. But the tools, as you saw, do require that joins get created between these query subjects, even where they may not exist. So we create these dummy joins by default, and use those, but we will, again, respect joins that you create if they exist and you’ve created them. So you can absolutely do that.
We use ODBC via custom connector to connect and Power BI.
Alternatively, you can use SQL Server TDS protocols where you connect to it like SQL Server database In Tableau.
We use ODBC, Postgres SQL, and ODBC Andorra …, and we are, you know, we are working on the SQL Server Protocol for that as well to enable things like Single Sign On.
As SRP pointed out, then, support maintenance is provided by us here at Senturus and is included with your subscription.
Quick look at the architecture of what this looks like and the workflow.
So, you saw, we start from desktop either doing a live connection or an extract back through the connector to Cognos.
Return a dataset, then you publish content and or the data source.
The connector is, again, here on the Tableau server, which communicates back through.
Likewise, desktops can connect through Tableau server through the connector back to Cognos.
That’s what it looks like if you’re using the Senturus as connector server, then that’s sort of brokering.
The communication back to Cognos and these lightweight clients are communicating to that note. So, these are lightweight.
This has all the dependencies and the configuration and licensing, but other than that, the workflow is identical.
Power BI, very much the same way.
Desktop, either doing direct query or import to the connector, back through publishing that data source and or content to power V two through the Power BI, on premise Data Gateway.
So you’re on the cloud here.
Going back to that on premise Data Gateway and communicating that way, if you’re using the Connector server, same thing, where that’s brokering those communications.
So, the ROI with this, we’re almost done here, getting to the get into the homestretch here.
first of all, just saving tons of time and therefore, money recreating data that you’ve already recreate it and stop maintaining multiple metadata, like, metadata layers between all these different tools.
And a really, big one is reducing that data security risk, right?
You’re not having flat files floating all around your organization, especially now, employees working from home. And God knows where else on their laptops.
You maximize your Cognos investments because your visual analytics tools can use that govern data and Cognos.
And you ensure more accurate and align business metrics, because you don’t have, there’s no compromise to the data integrity through potential issues with data remodeling, and your performance is optimize.
Because your, your numbers align between cargo’s and your visual analytics tools.
If you’re looking to every organization is different, right?
Some of you may decide that, Hey, I want to move on from one product to the other from Cognos to Power BI or Tableau or Tableau to Power BI or whatever, or you may have decided to go this bimodal approach. And that’s something that we really excel at here at Senturus.
So, I have this little picture of our Senturus, data scientists with this palette there.
Digital artisans, they’re excellent in data science, but they also bring that, that artistic capability and creative ability to both problem solving and service. That specifically helps analytics projects be very successful.
We can help you with that if you want to see some customer case studies. We have some good ones here.
There’s, you can go to our website and see again, demonstrations of the product and show how these folks are using the product in their actual business environments.
And if you’re interested in trying it out, the proof is in the pudding.
as they say, we do offer a free 30 day trial that includes support from our team here.
If you’re interested, go to that link there, hit us in the chat or the question log.
And it’s pretty straightforward, we usually set up, we have you answer a few questions, and then we setup a web meeting to help you get installed and running.
It usually takes if we have all the information we need, and we can get you running in about an hour. And then we turn to loosen.
You’ll make sure see how it works in your environment.
Before we get to the Q&A at the end, a few quick slides on Senturus, we concentrate our expertise solely on business intelligence with a depth of knowledge across the entire BI stack.
Our clients know us for providing clarity from the case of complex business requirements, disparate data sources, and constantly moving targets, and we made a name for ourselves because of our strength at bridging the gap between IT and business users.
We deliver solutions that give you access to reliable analysis, ready data across your organization, so you can quickly and easily get answers to the point of impact, in the form of the decisions you make, and the actions you take.
Our consultants are leading experts in the field of analytics with years of Pragmatic, real-world expertise, and experience advancing the state-of-the-art.
We’re so confident in our team, and our methodology, that we back our projects with a 100% money back guarantee that is unique in the industry.
We’ve been doing this for a while over two decades, now, 1350 clients, and over 3000 successful projects focused exclusively on business intelligence. Working across the spectrum, you’ll probably recognize just about every one of these logos.
The Fortune 500, all the way down to the mid markets, solving business problems across virtually every industry.
And many functional areas, including the office of finance, sales and marketing, manufacturing, operations, HR, and IT.
Our team is both large enough to meet all of your business analytics needs. It’s small enough to provide personalized attention.
And we welcome you again to visit the Senturus resources site there at that link.
There we were, where we have hundreds of free resources from webinars like this 1. 2 are fabulous up to the minute easily consumable blog.
Along those lines, we have an upcoming webinar on June 10th on how to successfully implement self-service analytics, obviously, a hot topic today.
So, head over to our website and you can register for that event.
And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about our training. We offer training across the three major platforms. We support in the modalities. You see they’re tailored group sessions. Small group mentoring, instructor led online courses and self-paced learning.
We’re especially great for organizations that are running multiple different platforms or are moving from one to the other as our trainers are conversant and fossil in all of those platforms.
And we can mix and match the modalities to optimize your user towards your user community.
And we have, again, 100 hundreds of resources on our website here, and we’ve been committed to sharing our BI expertise for over a decade.
So with that, we’ll take a look at the questions here.
Steve, I don’t know which ones you’ve answered here already.
Yeah, I tried to leave several there for you that you’d be listening over.
So someone asked if the connector works as an importer live connector. Hopefully, I answered that question. That, yes, you can do live or imports.
Most of our customers, and we generally recommend that you use the live connection, because then you do have the security applied.
And if you’re using it, the question was around, is it compatible with the Power BI Gateway and the upgrades that sorry, I lost the question here upgrades that Microsoft releases so the so yes, too, for Power BI to communicate back through from powerbi.com to your on premise cognizant environment.
You use the connector via the on premise data gateway, and it’s all fully documented via our, on our, on our documentation.
So, you can create imports, or to direct query, live connections to those data sources.
And that will depend on your sort of business use case.
Can you connect to the Power BI Report Server?
So, we don’t support the on premise Power BI Report server currently.
And that’s because, they don’t support that’s basically SSRS, and it doesn’t support custom connectors. So, we don’t really have a means to do that right now. And it behaves somewhat differently.
We’ve kicked it around.
And, if it’s something that someone’s really interested in, we might be able to look into it. But we don’t currently.
Can you create an extract on the Tableau server and use the extract without connecting to Cognos? Yeah. Hopefully I answered that in the FAQs. Yeah.
You can create an extract on the Tableau server and then not hit that.
The disadvantage of that is yeah, you might.
If you’re creating another copy of the data, there might be some latency in terms of creating that, and there’s no, the security on that is going to be the security of the user that logged in and created that extract.
So any security downstream from that would need to be sort of re-applied on your end.
Think get them all. Can you demo with a Cognos Kupe?
I know, most of it.
So, we don’t really have time to do that right now.
And I’m a little leery of the, than the network connection, unfortunately, but the, it behaves, basically the same way we flatten out the dimensions so that they look like tables.
And then you just pull those in and you and you pull the levels over, then we do have some settings in the, in the connector that say, OK, which levels do you want to pull over?
And but it behaves basically the same way it just looks a little like a table.
So if you’re interested, and you need to see that, I would recommend either ping us and we can do a demo for you, or I would say, just do a POC, and we’ll set it up in your environment against one of yours, and you can try it out that way.
So, let’s see.
I think we have Cognos Power play reports when Power BI Queries the Power play Cube.
it’s the data source of Power Play Cube, or the package.
So if I understand your question correctly, we support packages that expose powerplay cubes, right? So the data source is, ultimately, the cube. It’s just exposed via package. Hopefully, that makes sense.
So when you’re looking at, it’ll look very much like, you’re looking at a flat net version of that dimension.
Let’s see. If the model is updated, will the target refresh automatically?
So, yeah, if you add a column or change a column or delete a column, whenever you due to that model, when you, the next time you connect to, say, Tableau Desktop, It will refresh that data and it’ll show up in your Tableau workbook or your or your Power BI file.
Alright, so obviously, if you delete a column that’s being used, it’ll break it.
Change the name, and its being is, you’ll, you’ll break it.
But if you add something in for example, then it would just show up, and you could push that through.
Hopefully, that helps you with that.
And I think that’s it for the questions.
So thank you, everyone for hanging in there through. That was a little rough. I apologize for the network issues, but thanks for sticking around.
If we can be of any assistance to you, connector, or otherwise right training or BI consulting, please feel free to reach out to us at info@senturuscom.
You can use the AAA number there if you actually still use a phone or actually visit our website. And we thank you for your time today, and hope to see you on an event sometime in the near future. Thanks, and have a great rest of your day.