Insightful Christmas GiftsIf you’re quick there is still time to order those last-minute insightful Christmas gifts.

So, amidst your rushing around for family & friends, what about your Customer Insight team? Well, to make sure they don’t miss out, I’ve been scouring the web of customer insight blogs to bring you these festive suggestions.

First and foremost must be the recommendation of Cool Infographics brilliant “DataViz Guide 2015“:

DataViz Gift Guide 2015 – Blog About Infographics and Data Visualization – Cool Infographics

Some of the best DataViz themed gifts for the holiday season, with some great deals and discounts as well. Timeplots.com – 20% OFF all infographic posters, Discount Code “coolinfo” HistoryShots – Check out PopWaves, the updated History of Pop/Rock Music poster!

Lots to enjoy there, for your data & analytics teams. I was particularly tempted by StoryTelling with Data” book, sales at Pop Chart Lab (including beers infographic), and the sale on very comprehensive data visualisation online training from O’Reilly. The latter also has free modules so you can get a good idea as to the quality of training – looks very useful if you want to master d3.js (interactive data viz coding language) for 2016. An impressive curation of gift ideas by Randy Krum, well done Cool Infographics Blog.

So, if that has thrilled your data & analytics team members with new toys, what about the others. How do you avoid squabbles through research & database marketing feeling neglected?

Well, one sure-fire way for technical teams to feel happy is to know they have an ‘inside scoop’ or knowledge that others lack. So, you could start with your research teams being the ones who know the top toys for Christmas. I expect to see Star Wars gifts climbing further up these charts:

Star Wars toys land in top toy lists for both boys and girls

After losing her crown to Disney’s Frozen characters in 2014, Barbie is back on top of the National Retail Federation’s Top Toys list for the 2015 holiday season.

But for a real present for your research teams, why not get them the enabling software which is continuing to grow as a market standard (as predicted)? Yes, you can check out here the growing popularity & plans for Microsoft Pulse:

Microsoft’s Pulse Ushers In The Research Tech Integration Era

Back in July Microsoft made big news with the introduction of Bing Pulse, their entry into the insights space. At the time, we said: Considering Microsoft has 1.5 billion users , their decision to focus on “the platform” vs. a more traditional product-centric strategy makes good sense.

So, that should keep your research boffins happy with their toys. What about the last quadrant of your holistic customer insight capability? Yes, what about your database marketing team, what should you get them?

Well, given Christmas campaigns are a real opportunity for many marketing teams (if timed right & using the right media mix), how about this free bit of professional development… Usefully specific learning from the Marketing Experiments Blog:

MarketingExperiments Blog: Research-driven optimization, testing, and marketing ideas

There will always be new marketing technologies, strategies and tactics that promise to lure more customers. But what remains constant is that, no matter the tool or technique, marketing must communicate the value that the customer want. Find out how the five most important MarketingExperiments discoveries this year show that no matter how much marketing tools change, smart marketing stays the same.

That should make for some new A/B testing ideas. But to make Christmas fun for them too, let’s embrace the fact that they are really your marketing technologists. So, embrace their techie passions and check out this gift guide for gadget lovers in your life:

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: What Techies Want – InformationWeek

Need to show your appreciation for the techies in your life? Back away from the knockoff Bluetooth speakers and consider these can’t-miss gift ideas. Shopping for a techie can be nerve-wracking. Who hasn’t gotten “the look” and later found that digital picture frame dumped in the junk drawer? Never again.

Hope that was fun & perhaps also  gave you some last-minute gift ideas.

What about you as a leader? Don’t forget to also invest in yourself. Given so many in 2015 wanted to prioritise leadership development, but have struggled to protect that goal, I recommend something more specific for 2016. Why not invest in leadership coaching? Protected time will help you think, be accountable and discover resources within yourself that you’re neglecting. A great way to invest that spare budget for future return.

Merry Christmas to all insight leaders & their teams out there. Hope you have a great Christmas do & feel appreciated this year.