September 25, 2018
In today's world, data is being produced and stored all around us. Businesses leverage this data to provide insights into what users and devices are doing. MongoDB is a great way to store your data. From the flexible data model and dynamic schema, it allows for data to be stored in rich, multi-dimensional documents. But, most Business Intelligence tools, such as Tableau, Qlik, and Microsoft Excel, need things in a tabular format. This is where MongoDB's Connector for BI (BI Connector) shines.
MongoDB BI Connector
The BI Connector allows for the use of MongoDB as a data source for SQL based business intelligence and analytics platforms. These tools allow for the creation of dashboards and data visualization reports on your data. Leveraging them allows you to extract hidden insights in your data. This allows for more insights into how your customers are using your products.
The MongoDB Connector for BI is a tool for your data toolbox which acts as a translation layer between the database and the reporting tool. The BI Connector itself stores no data. It serves as a bridge between your MongoDB data and the business intelligence tools.
The BI Connector bridges the tooling gap from local, on-premise, or hosted instances of MongoDB. If you are using MongoDB Atlas and are on an M10 or above cluster, there's an integrated built-in option.
Why Use The BI Connector
Without the BI Connector you often need to perform an Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) process on your data. Moving it from the "source of truth" in your database to a data lake. With MongoDB and the BI Connector, this costly step can be avoided. Performing analysis on your most current data is possible. In real-time.
There are four components to a business intelligence system. The database itself, the BI Connector, an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data source name (DSN), and finally, the business intelligence tool itself. Let's take a look at how to connect all these pieces.
I'll be doing this example in Mac OS X, but other systems should be similar. Before I dive in, there are some system requirements you'll need:
- A MongoDB Atlas account
- Administrative access to your system
- ODBC Manager, and
- The MongoDB ODBC Driver for DSN
Instructions for loading the dataset used in the video in your Atlas cluster can be found here.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have questions.