Abhinav Shashank was working on an academic project at Harvard with his colleagues Kanav Hasija and Sandeep Gupta — figuring out how to pool together large data sets from hundreds of different sources and APIs and manage them — when his business colleagues started asking him to help apply those tools.
The result was Innovaccer, a set of software that mashes together data from different enterprise sources and online data sets (ranging from Oracle data, SQL databases to social media feeds) to bring together a large database where companies can build application layers. That technology has seen applications ranging from health care to media, but the core remains the same: getting all the relevant data in one place where businesses can divine the information they need to best operate.
To do that, Innovaccer has raised $15.6 million led by Westbridge Capital Partners, with participation from Lightspeed Ventures. The goal is basically to provide businesses with a white-labeled tool to apply high-level data analysis of large sets of data pulled from multiple different sources. With the right approach, firms can build tools to point that activity in pretty much any direction they want.
“The core platform remains the same, which is basically the integration, the data management layer and the dashboard,” Shashank said. “You don’t end up using iOS or Android, you end up using Gmail and Uber. From an application layer standpoint there are a few changes you need to do from what media wants to measure to what a healthcare wants to measure, versus what a bunch of other companies want to measure.”
Keeping an advantage is going to be a race against time. Innovaccer has to ensure it can very quickly onboard new data integrations and provide easy tools to apply new kinds of applications on top of them. If not, it’ll just be another piece of software in the stack that will collect dust in the corner while firms stick with more reliable, typical suppliers of this kind of technology.
The company has already seen applications in various fields like health care, where pooling data from multiple sources allows firms to create tools like electronic health records systems and a comprehensive patient overview. Innovaccer’s goal is to create a central piece of technology that can be morphed into something that’s industry-specific, while still constantly being improved by adding new sources of data.
In the case of health care, Innovaccer can pull information from the billing systems, claims systems and other pools of information it supports to put together an overview for a patient. Those data sources may be particularly useful for various industries, but the point is to ensure that at some point companies aren’t required to individually bring in information from discrete sources and just rely on software to do that.
There is plenty of competition for tools like this. There are many applications that focus on those specific industries — like electronic medial record systems in health care, for example — and other companies that provide high-level analytics like Palantir or IBM. Innovaccer’s challenge will be to ensure that it can prove it has enough core data to justify getting firms to build application layers on top of it, and that the data they have is more valuable and more useful than what businesses might find in other services.