Instabase: A Platform for Data-Driven Intelligence

Today, we are excited to announce our support to Instabase, a company founded by Anant Bhardwaj, a PhD student at MIT. Instabase is based on the DataHub project he built at MIT — “an operating system for data”.

Overview of Instabase infrastructure

Anant Bhardwaj started this project as part of his PhD work co-advised by David Karger and Sam Madden: both very well known professors in the algorithms and database community respectively. He was frustrated that the current data systems research is too caught up in the hammers — powerful/scalable infrastructure solutions for volume, velocity and variety problems — and not much attention was being given to the nails — the real problems that end-users face while performing their tasks. He believes that current operating systems such as Mac OS X and MS Windows made it possible for anyone to use computers by abstracting all the complexities and providing user-facing applications. A similar operating system for data is also needed, allowing non-technical users such as product managers and financial analysts to explore, navigate and understand the data without requiring them to understand the underlying complex data infrastructure, schemas and information models. At the same time, it would also let technical users such as expert data analysts and programmers work on increasingly sophisticated tasks with even more efficiency. In this vein, he built Instabase, a platform for data-driven intelligence for everyone.

Instabase can manage data ranging from log files to data lakes, spread across different departments, teams, partners, data management systems and formats. The data-driven intelligence is powered by its novel “app ecosystem” where one can find intelligent applications for various tasks such as ingestion, curation, integration, discovery, query, analytics, visualization, clustering, prediction, and machine learning. While Instabase already provides many pre-installed applications for common tasks, the app ecosystem is open for third-party developers and vendors so that users can choose the apps that fit their needs.

As part of his research at MIT, Anant built the initial version of the Instabase platform (DataHub) which was used by various organizations such as NYC Moreland Commission, NYC Accountability Project, MIT CSAIL, MIT Lincoln Lab, MIT Media Lab, and MIT Getfit project. He found that for many users what usually would take days and weeks could get done in minutes with Datahub! He decided to create Instabase because he believes that his research can revolutionize the way people and organizations manage, explore and make intelligent decisions from their data.

Roughdraft Ventures is excited to have Instabase join our portfolio. Welcome to the Roughdraft family!