Build Charts with SQL Server Data in Clear Analytics

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

SQL Server ODBC Driver

Connect to Microsoft SQL Server-compatible databases from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

The ODBC Driver offers Direct Mode access to SQL Server through standard Java Database Connectivity, providing extensive compatibility with current and legacy MS SQL versions. Supports secure SQL connectivity and authentication via SSL, Kerberos, Integrated Security, etc.



Create dynamic charts and perform analytics based on SQL Server data in Clear Analytics.

The CData ODBC Driver for SQL Server enables access to live data from SQL Server under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with SQL Server data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to use Clear Analytics, a Microsoft Excel Add-In, to connect to SQL Server as an ODBC source and create queries, tables, and charts (including PivotTables) based on SQL Server data.

Connect to SQL Server Data


Configure the ODBC Data Source Name

If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can use the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to configure the DSN. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

Connecting to Microsoft SQL Server

Connect to Microsoft SQL Server using the following properties:

  • Server: The name of the server running SQL Server.
  • User: The username provided for authentication with SQL Server.
  • Password: The password associated with the authenticating user.
  • Database: The name of the SQL Server database.

Connecting to Azure SQL Server and Azure Data Warehouse

You can authenticate to Azure SQL Server or Azure Data Warehouse by setting the following connection properties:

  • Server: The server running Azure. You can find this by logging into the Azure portal and navigating to "SQL databases" (or "SQL data warehouses") -> "Select your database" -> "Overview" -> "Server name."
  • User: The name of the user authenticating to Azure.
  • Password: The password associated with the authenticating user.
  • Database: The name of the database, as seen in the Azure portal on the SQL databases (or SQL warehouses) page.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Configure the Data Source in Clear Analytics

  1. Open Excel and navigate to the CLEAR ANALYTICS ribbon. Once there, open the Data Manager.
  2. Select Database as the data source.
  3. In the Set Connection section, click the option to create a new database.
  4. Select Microsoft ODBC Data Source as the data source and click OK.
  5. Select the DSN you already configured from the drop-down menu.
  6. Back on the Set Connection section, select Standard (ANSI ODBC) Query Builder as the SQL Builder Provider and click Next.
  7. Select the Schema/Owner and choose the domains (tables) that you wish to use in Clear Analytics.
  8. Prepare your data objects as needed by customizing the display names and descriptions of the tables and columns.
  9. For the vast majority of the CData ODBC Drivers, you will not set a key date for your domains.
  10. In the Domain Relations section, add any relational information between tables.
  11. In the Domain Tree section, create groups for your data and add the available items to the groups.
  12. Review the summary of your data and click Finish.

Create a Chart with SQL Server Data

You are now ready to create a chart with SQL Server data.

Create a New Query

  1. Click Repository in the CLEAR ANALYTICS ribbon.
  2. Create a new query.
  3. Select the columns you wish to retrieve.
  4. Set the aggregation type for your data (use the blank entry if you do not wish to aggregate the data).
  5. Set filters and formulas by dragging columns to the lower window.
  6. Name your query and click Save.

Build a Chart Based on a Query Report

With the query created, you are now ready to execute a report and display a chart.
  1. Click Report Explorer in the CLEAR ANALYTICS ribbon.
  2. In the Report Explorer pane, click the 'New Report' icon in the toolbar.
  3. Select the query you just created.
  4. Name the report and click 'Save and Execute'.
  5. Click the Results tab within the Report Explorer
  6. Expand your report and drag the chart to the Excel spreadsheet.
  7. In the resulting PivotChart window, drag the fields (columns) to the Filters, Legends, Axis (Categories), and Values windows.

With a new data source in Clear Analytics established and a chart created, you are ready to begin analysis of SQL Server data. With the ODBC Driver for SQL Server and Clear Analytics, you can perform self-service analytics in Excel with live data, directly from SQL Server.