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Kula Project

Kula Project is a nonprofit aiming to eradicate poverty by developing women entrepreneurs in Rwanda. With the help of Standard Co, Kula implemented Metabase to visualize their impact through thoughtful data collection, management, and analysis.

About Kula Project

The Kula Project is a fifteen-month business fellowship in Rwanda that provides industry training, business investment, and leadership skills that empower their fellows to build profitable businesses, raise healthy families, and send their children to school.

Key stats

  • Kula trained more than 600 entrepreneurs who went on to launch 135 different businesses.
  • They provided 10,000 hours of training.
  • Coffee yield increased by 38%, netting a 35% increase in income for the entrepreneurs.
  • The entrepreneurs reported a 37% increase in confident decision-making and a 17% decrease in unwanted pregnancies.

Why Metabase?

Standard Co considered a number of other Business Intelligence tools, mostly commercial, but those tools would have required dedicated training to get everyone up to speed on. Standard Co also only uses Apple hardware, and some tools would have required them to stand up a virtual machine to be able to build dashboards. Another factor was pricing; most commercial tools were too expensive for small teams to use.

In the end, Standard Co and Kula team ended up choosing Metabase because of its accessibility and affordability. They can access Metabase from any browser and any device — they’ve even created a dashboard from a phone!

The Kula team had a goal to see the impact their programs are creating over time. To achieve that, they needed to aggregate data and analyze their performance. They hired Standard Co, a data services company, to build efficient dashboards to track their performance on a daily basis. Kula uses dashboards both to understand ways in which they’ve succeeded, and ways in which they could strengthen their work to make a better, more sustainable impact. They can also clearly communicate the impact to their donors, customers, and corporate and foundation partners, as well as to new partners looking to contribute to impact-focused programs.

The data

Kula collects data through baseline and exit surveys made for the entrepreneurs in their program. The exit dashboard compares the data collected at the beginning of the training program with the data collected upon graduation. Kula also uses Metabase on a daily basis for their training programs. Their mentors are reporting how many people they’ve trained, what they trained them on, and what was learned. They store data in their data platform, Standard Data, which is built on top of MySQL.

Unexpected Benefits

The Kula team finds the subscription feature in Metabase to be great for providing up-to-date information to their partners. They now send the results to stakeholders and leadership on a regular basis so they can see how the program is progressing. In particular, the Kula team really enjoys real-time data analytics and using Metabase data visualization tools to spot trends.

TJ Muehleman from Standard Co. also likes how accessible the Metabase team and community are on the discussion boards. He’s posted a few dozen times and usually received answers in a few hours.