3 tips for finding analytics talent

How to source, attract, and retain analytics talent, while building a thriving, long-lasting Data Culture. Spoiler: Rethink how you hire to access top talent.

Data skills are in high demand. Jobs requiring digital skills, particularly data analytics and visualization, will grow by 10% in the next five years, jumping from 27% to 37%, according to a new IDC Salesforce Economy study.1 While data itself does not guarantee success, how an organization uses and thinks about data can drive competitive advantage. A recent IDC Infobrief commissioned by Tableau found that enterprises with strong Data Cultures are more likely to increase profits and retain customers and employees.2

But to get there, we need to close a significant gap. IDC research shows that only 33% of employees are comfortable using data analytics to support their decisions. And while 83% of CEOs want their organization to be more data-driven, only 25% of organizations are highly likely to rely on data to make major decisions and inform their overall approach to work.3

Only 33% of employees are comfortable using data analytics to support their decisions.

While the gap often comes down to a lack of data skills, it’s bigger than that: It stems from how organizations think about and approach data and analytics. Here are three tips for sourcing, attracting, and retaining analytics talent, while also empowering your organization to build a long-lasting Data Culture.

1. Understand how new talent will impact your organization’s Data Culture

First, determine how far along your organization is in its Data Culture journey and identify the steps needed to become a more data-driven organization.

If you fill hiring gaps without a unified vision of how those individuals will use data to make decisions, you may find it difficult to scale. To best make the case for the additional resources necessary to build a resilient, data-driven organization, start by focusing on the foundational behaviors and mindsets of a Data Culture. The Data Culture playbook can help you:

  • Align leadership metrics to business priorities
  • Build data sources to address critical decision points
  • Grow value with specific use cases
  • Promote widespread data discovery

By communicating your need for analytics talent within the strategic framework of building a Data Culture, you’ll not only build a stronger case for more resources, you’ll also help prospective employees better understand how they’ll impact the organization’s success.

2. Start with a specific project

Organizations often need help with a specific challenge—whether it’s digital campaign analysis for the marketing department, Workday data analysis for an HR leader, or KPI scorecards for sales managers to communicate sales performance goals to the company. Start there. By clearly identifying key projects and the specific deliverables needed, it can be easier to secure resources—see tip number three: hiring contractors is typically easier than full-time employees!—and articulate success measures.

It’s not always that specific or easy, of course. Analytics needs depend on where the organization is along the path to establishing a Data Culture. Take the Tableau Blueprint Assessment for prescriptive guidance on identifying an organization’s baseline for analytics agility and proficiency and determining the optimal starting place to scale data-driven decision making.

3. Rethink how you hire and be open to freelancers

In the Great Resignation, employees are reevaluating their relationships with work. Some are exploring freelance opportunities that afford flexibility and freedom—a shift that’s changing the workforce. According to data from the Freelancers Union and Upwork, about 35% of American workers freelanced in some capacity in 2019.

To tap this growing pool of freelance and project-based talent, viewing portfolios of relevant projects allows you to gauge whether an individual’s expertise aligns with your business needs. And it’s never been easier to find analytics expertise. Explore the more than 5 million interactive visualizations made by 2 million-plus people around the world on Tableau Public to find and recruit your next data rockstar.  

Tableau Public authors can now highlight they’re available to pursue freelance work directly on their profile pages. Simply look for authors with the Hire Me button displayed on their profile and click to connect. From there, you can discuss freelance or employment opportunities using the data expert’s preferred contact method.

Tableau Public profile page with new Hire Me button prominently featured next to the existing Follow button

Easily find available data experts. Just look for the Hire Me button on Tableau Public profile pages.

Ready to leverage analytics experts and grow your Data Culture? Check out how talented Tableau Public authors are visualizing data to tell stories and see who is available for hire for your data analytics needs.

1 IDC White Paper, sponsored by Salesforce, The Salesforce Economic Impact, Doc. #US48214821, September 2021

2 IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Tableau, Why You Should Care About Data Culture, Doc. #US46030720TM, April 2020

3 IDC Thought Leadership White Paper, sponsored by Tableau, How Data Culture Fuels Business Value in Data-Driven Organizations, Doc. #US47605621, May 2021