A 2014 Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice Awards honoree, SwiftIQ uses a suite of Google hosted services to uncover contextually relevant insights for retail and consumer product companies.

Founded in 2011, SwiftIQ needed to expand its computing capacity quickly. But instead of building out its own infrastructure, it turned to Google's Cloud Platform for storage, support for long-running processes and the ability to handle unpredictable scale.

SwiftIQ makes Swift Access, which helps unify data sources and make them accessible on demand, and Swift Predictions, which uses machine learning and predictive algorithms to generate insights into data. SwiftIQ's products, which are aimed at the retail industry, allow users to make customized sales recommendations based on an individual's offline and online shopping preferences. The five-person company uses the Google App Engine for development, as well as the Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google BigQuery and Google Cloud Datastore.

SwiftIQ co-founder and chief architect Alex Harvey says one of the biggest challenges in developing his company's products was collecting and storing data, but he says the Google Cloud Platform provided a cost-effective solution. Using Google's hosted systems, SwiftIQ could focus on building the algorithms and not worry about infrastructure.

Frederick Barber, chief analytics officer at consultancy Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, says SwiftIQ's products enable his team to do something new. "Big content means you have lots of messages or products or content recommendations that you can put in front of the consumer, but you have to decide what you put in front of whom," he explains. "That's hard to do on scale without an enabling technology. That's what SwiftIQ does for us."

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