Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome And My Toolset


It's my belief that as a marketer today, you need to be able to code to some extent. Case in point: last night I was at the NOVA Python meetup where Peter Wang, cofounder of Continuum Analytics was speaking. When asked if there was a tool for exploring data, Peter said that the tools only go so far – then you need to code. First though, you have to have a very good question.

When faced with the myriad options today, someone like me who can code can easily run into paralysis analysis. There are almost a dozen (or more) options in each category of everything you can image.

Want to show charts online? There's a ton of options for that. Want to explore your data? There are a ton of options for that. And guess what – wait a month and there will be even more options.

A lack of options isn't the problem – having too many is. It's the same reasoning behind providing three pricing options for products rather than 20. People tend to get overwhelmed and go somewhere else rather than figure out which option works best for them.

Narrowing My Focus And Toolset

In order to avoid shiny object syndrome myself, and save God only knows how many hours reading books and blog posts, trying out tons of tools, and generally spending time choosing, I've decided to narrow my focus  to learning about two topics:

  1. Data visualization
  2. Data analysis

Both of these topics relate directly to my job at Intridea as the Director of Engagement, and are very interesting to me.

For my toolset, I am sticking with Python and related tools. Here's what's in my war chest:

Programming Language


Writing The Codez


Sublime Text 2

Analyzing Data

Tableau (Windows)


iPython (matplotlib)


Visualizing Data




Have You Standardized?

With your job, have you standardized on a set of tools? If so, was it a personal decision or a company one?

If you haven't standardized, why not?

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