Metabase helps myAgro enable true self-service analytics.

The Challenge: myAgro decision-makers had limited access to data, and they depended on a small data team to get their insights. These factors caused long waiting times, and created constant conflict between the quality and quantity of their data products.

The Solution: myAgro chose Metabase to help them to make self-service analytics available for internal stakeholders.

The Results: with Metabase, myAgro was able to increase teams’ data access by 10x and to empower entire departments to have full visibility on their data, which ultimately made decisions more data-driven, timely, and collaborative.

"The most important ROI Metabase has delivered is in terms of culture. In just a few months, we are seeing Data Consumers showing a systematic mindset of taking decisions with data, at a rate that was unthinkable before Metabase. "
Data Engineer

myAgro iss aiming to provide one million farmers with the tools they need to prosper by 2026. myAgro has received recognition and support from Skoll Foundation, Echoing Green, the World Bank, and The Audacious Project from TED.

Why Metabase?

Before Metabase, the production of all myAgro’s reports and dashboards was centralized in a three-person data team serving the entire organization. They didn’t have an easy way to let business stakeholders self-serve their own reports and dashboards, nor a way for them to freely explore the data.

At some point the data team was overwhelmed with the number of requests, and the stakeholders were complaining about waiting times. This was a turning point for myAgro.

More than specific dashboards, myAgro wanted to empower analysts to produce data products quickly, and to encourage internal stakeholders to explore data and self-serve their own reports.

The data

myAgro collects data in rural African villages via their in-house mobile app, myAgroconnect, and integrates the data with other support systems (CRM, HRIS, surveys, etc). myAgro uses a Python/SQL pipeline to clean and organize the data in a central Postgres data warehouse, and analyzes/visualizes that data in Metabase and other BI tools.

How myAgro team uses Metabase

myAgro uses Metabase for decentralizing data accessibility and ownership, empowering analysts to provide quick and focused answers to business questions.

Currently, myAgro’s data team is building an internal capacity-building program to promote Metabase adoption:

  • New employees complete a self-paced, standard training, with ad-hoc exercises on controlled datasets and quizzes. myAgro hosts the training in their knowledge-sharing platform.
  • Once people are up to speed with the basics, myAgro supports them with ad-hoc training sessions based on their real-life data questions. myAgro also hosts a weekly “Metabase Clinic” session where anybody can bring their questions and learn from others.

These training sessions are a great opportunity for listening to feedback and driving user-centered improvements. What is considered clear by analysts, may still be confusing to the end user. By leveraging Metabase data dictionaries, models, foreign keys and other features, myAgro is making it easier to their users to understand and self-serve their data.

myAgro divides their Metabase users into:

  • Consumers: about 60% of the organization, just accessing content.
  • Early adopters: 30%, know how to explore data, build questions.
  • Power users: 10%, build complex questions (queries with multiple joins, for example) and dashboards.

Metabase is already available org-wide, and each department’s usage is driven by the new data that myAgro ingests into their data warehouse.

“Metabase is my first point of contact with data at myAgro. It’s Metabase’s intuitiveness that struck me the most. That has saved me tons of time when trying to access different types of data. The SQL generating function is also a godsend, as it gives me a head start on Postgres queries.”, - Senior Analyst at myAgro.

The results

Metabase greatly improved the data-driven mindset for the myAgro team. Within the first year, queries increased 10 times. 85% of all the run queries were done in Metabase.

Advice for others

  • Focus on listening to people’s feedback and simplifying. As data professionals, we often don’t realize that things are more complex than they need to be. By observing how people used Metabase at work, myAgro saw that many things they thought were “intuitive” proved challenging for people new to working with data. One of the biggest added value of Metabase is making things easy.
  • Leverage data dictionaries, models, segments, and permissions to provide the simplest and most focused user experience.

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