© Copyright Knowi 2012-2017


“Knowi’s ability to handle our large volumes of data and let everyone here at Boku to quickly access and share information was critical to becoming a data-driven organization.  By using Knowi to leverage our data company-wide, we were able to accelerate a number of strategic goals with our partners.”

Mike Cahill, CTO, Boku

How Boku Successfully Transitioned to a Data-Driven Enterprise Using Knowi

Download PDF

Knowi resources, guides and tutorials to get you started.


THE CHALLENGE:  Boku is a highly successful mobile payment platform and like many successful startups, the engineering team focused on building a superior product and ensuring an excellent customer experience but not so much on internal reporting systems.  To serve their growing merchant client base, the account management and business development teams needed access to a complete view of their client accounts status but the only way to access that data was to query the database.  

“We wanted to move away from an if you need something go dig for it yourself’ approach and instead be able to provide visibility into company metrics without requiring data mining expertise” says Walter Hurst, Director of Business Intelligence at Boku.

The challenge would be to find a solution that could handle analyzing terabytes of data and return results within seconds and also not suffer any performance degradation as more teams and use cases were added.  Additionally, little to no engineering expertise should be required for implementation so as not to distract from core product development.

THE SOLUTION:  Boku selected Knowi “both for the ease of giving visibility into our data and the ease of configuring the product,” says Walter Hurst. 

In Boku’s case, a hybrid deployment of Knowi enabled a cloud implementation of Knowi connected to an on-premise instance of MySQL.  Query results are cached in Knowi’s Elastic Store, so visualizations are rendered within seconds providing an excellent user experience while ensuring the database performance is not impacted by query requests.

Boku also took advantage of Knowi’s ability to share and embed dashboards into data applications. Embedding dashboards eliminated the need for business users to have any expertise in SQL.  They simply go to their customized dashboard and use a drag & drop interface to run ad-hoc analysis on any dataset they can access.

More recently, Boku implemented Amazon Redshift data warehouse as part of their long-term analytics strategy.  Knowi is also connected to the Boku Redshift cluster as an additional data source.  Where necessary, dashboards have been modified to include both Redshift and MySQL reports making the gradual transition transparent for most users.

THE RESULTS:  The initial goal was of creating a company-wide unified view of all customer data was quickly achieved. This allowed the account and business development teams to improve their visibility into the status of client accounts resulting in improved customer service and the ability to offer relevant value-added services. 

With that initial success and the ease of implementation, other teams were eager to try it out.  As a result, Knowi was rapidly adopted company-wide to include the product management, finance, and operations teams.  Product managers use it to understand how customers are using the platform, tune the product and find ways for partners to save money.  The finance and operations teams use it to monitor company-wide key performance metrics. 

Because Boku was able to implement Knowi in place of an enterprise data warehouse strategy, they estimate up to a 70% reduction in their cost of information.  Additionally, the account and business development teams have increased upsell/cross-sell opportunities by at least 15% directly impacting the bottom-line.

Finally, the business intelligence team uncovered an opportunity to monetize Boku’s transactional data and create new data-driven product offerings to sell to partners who need the same level of transactional analytics that Boku is producing internally.  As a result, “our B.I. team that is normally a cost center can now generate revenue, so that’s a great bonus for the team” says Walter.


Boku Customer Story

At A Glance

Reduction in Cost of Information



Achieved Enterprise-Wide Adoption and Data Harmonization


Create New Class of Data-Driven Product Offerings

Boku Inc. provides a mobile payments platform headquartered in San Francisco, CA, enabling consumers to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone number, with purchases billed to a consumer's mobile network operator bill. Boku’s platform is used in all the leading digital marketplaces including Google Play Store, Sony PlayStation Store, Microsoft Windows Store, Facebook App Center, and Spotify. Boku’s vision is to make the mobile phone number the world’s easiest way to pay.

Boku - Knowi Customer Story Logo