Part III: Data Sources

Welcome back to the ‘Introduction to CogBI’ series. In Part 1 of this series covered the meaning and practical application of Mobile Business Intelligence. In Part 2 we introduced CogBI’s Dashboards which are the central component of the CogBI App.

In this part we will learn about the requirements and considerations to use the App. We hope that after reading this article you’ll have a complete understanding of the steps required for connecting your data with the CogBI App.

Definition of a Data Source:

The term ‘Data Source’ is used to refer to Databases and/or Spreadsheets that are connected to the CogBI App and that deliver data. Data stored in Databases and/or Spreadsheets is used in the CogBI App to provide its users with data visualization, discovery and interaction features. The CogBI App will load the most recent data from its ‘Data Sources’ automatically or on demand in order to keeps its users up to date with any changes or updates in the ‘Data Sources’.

CogBI Data Sources:


The CogBI App can connect to Spreadsheets that are accessible through the Internet. The requirements to use a Spreadsheet with CogBI are the following:

  1. It must be one the following supported Spreadsheet types:
    1. Microsoft Excel (.xlsx & .xls)
    2. Comma Separated Files (.csv)
    3. Google Spreadsheets (Only supported when using Google Drive, see below)
  2. It must be accessible online by using any of the following hosting methods:
    1. Dropbox
    2. Google Drive
    3. Box
    4. Microsoft OneDrive
    5. HTTPS/HTTP/FTP hosted files
  3. The data to be used in the App must be on the first worksheet.
  4. At least one iPad.
  5. The CogBI App.

Once a Spreadsheet is configured as a ‘Data Source’ within the App, its data will be available to be used in the App.


The CogBI App connects to Databases using the ‘CogBI Server’ application that is installed and runs in a PC with access to the Database. The ‘CogBI Server’ application will retrieve data from the Database and transmit it securely to the CogBI App. The requirements to use a Database with CogBI are the following:

  1. The Database(s) must be SQL compatible.
  2. The Database(s) must accept ODBC connections.
  3. Connection string for the Database(s).
  4. The ‘CogBI Server’ program.
  5. A PC running a Microsoft Windows operating system (in which the ‘CogBI Server’ application will run).
  6. At least one SQL query to run against the Database(s) that will produce the the data that will be transmitted to the CogBI App.
  7. At least one iPad.
  8. The CogBI App.

Once a Database is configured as a ‘Data Source’ within the App, its data will be available to be used in the App

Connecting Data Sources to CogBI

The following image illustrates the options available to connect data to the CogBI App:

How CogBI connects to your data

You can learn how to connect each of the Data Sources mentioned here by reading the following tutorials:

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