"Looker has helped us become more transparent internally, which is helping us be more transparent externally."

Julie Costello

Development Operations Manager



Driving Change with Data and Dollars

From financing women-run businesses in Mexico to funding clean water solutions in Kenya, microlending has the potential to change lives in tangible ways.

Kiva.org is an innovative nonprofit that connects lenders with low-income entrepreneurs and students all over the world. Founded in 2005 with the goal of alleviating poverty, Kiva’s global community of 2 million lenders have since crowdfunded over one billion dollars in loans to 2.5 million people in 80 different countries.

The Cost of Data Chaos

Because most of Kiva’s operations take place online, they accumulate a massive amount of information about field partners and borrowers, users’ online behavior, loan status, transactional data, and more - from varying points in the lending process.

However, despite the data-driven culture at Kiva, accessing data was initially difficult for their non-technical business users.

Relying on only a few data analysts for querying, reporting and analytics was slow and time-consuming. And because people in different departments, such as Development, Finance, or Partnerships, asked for different reports, metrics and numbers often differed across teams.

As Kiva grew and acquire both lenders and borrowers from across the globe, the data analytics team knew that they needed a business intelligence tool that could scale along with them. If they wanted to continue aiding disadvantaged entrepreneurs and students around the world, they would need a tool that could meet their various reporting and analytics needs.

Empowered by Data Access

Deciding to implement a solution to their impending data bottleneck, Kiva turned to Looker as an option that allowed them to quickly and securely transition all of their departments’ data into a new analytics system.

In addition to streamlining the reporting process for its data users, Kiva’s data team relies on Looker to provide a single source of truth for the whole organization. When everyone at Kiva relied on the data analytics team for individual, department-specific reports, they often found themselves looking at different information and this made their decision-making process more difficult.

With Looker, metrics can be set by the data team ensuring all users in all departments are using the same metrics and aiding communication and collaboration.

Development Operations Manager, Julie Costello explains: “What’s nice about Looker is that we’re able to create a bunch of reports, put them in a dashboard, share it across different teams, and all get on the same page and agree on the numbers moving forward.”

Read the full case study: Kiva Harnesses the Power of Data to Change Lives

Kiva
Success Story


  • Kiva.org has crowdfunded over $1B in loans to 2.5 million people in 80 countries
  • Before Looker, business teams relied heavily on analysts which created data chaos
  • Today, users of all skill sets use Looker as a single source of truth to create reports
  • Improved, broader access to data increases efficiency across the organization

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