Excel and Tableau are In-Demand in Today’s Data-Driven Workplace

These days, it’s not uncommon to hear about organizations being “data-driven.” With so much data out there in so many different formats, many organizations have made it a priority to try to understand how all this data can be used. As part of its mission to advance the use of data and analytics across civic sector organizations, DigitalC conducted focus groups and surveys to understand what types of training would advance this learning.  High on the list were: “how to use data,” doing more data analysis with Microsoft Excel, and data visualization. In response, DigitalC’s inaugural Data Analytics Workshop in October focused on Excel and Tableau as tools people could use in their daily professional lives to do more data-driven work.

Still, Excel and Tableau are not necessarily the only tools people think of when they think of “data analytics” and “data visualization.” Other tools such as Python, R, and SAS are also popular choices. This left us wondering: how do Excel and Tableau rank next to some other, similar tools in today’s increasingly technology-and-data-driven workplace.

To answer this question, we created a list of data analysis tools that included Excel, Tableau, and several of their closest competitors and scraped job listings from Indeed.com that met three criteria:

  • First, the job had to mention at least one of the tools on our list;
  • Second, the job had to include at least one key phrase that indicated that the job was data-oriented. Some of these phrases include “big data,” “business intelligence,” “data analysis,” and “predictive analytics”; and,
  • Third, the job listing had to indicate that the job was located in Cleveland, or within a 50-mile radius around Cleveland.

While Indeed.com is not comprehensive of all of the open jobs in Greater Cleveland, the universe of job listings on Indeed.com’s search engine is reflective of jobs posted through employers’ websites, staffing agencies, major job boards, and newspapers.

Apart from Excel, the tools we chose to look at fall into one of two categories:

  • Python, R, MATLAB, Stata, SAS, SPSS, Minitab: Statistical & data analysis software programs in which users write and execute code or commands in order to organize, clean, analyze, and visualize data.
  • Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Qlik, TIBCO Spotfire: Data visualization software programs with primarily point-and-click interfaces that enable users to visualize data and share those visualizations in the form of interactive charts, graphs, maps, and tables.

Excel has capabilities that can replicate some of the functionality of both categories, and does not fit neatly into either.

We scraped Indeed.com on November 1, 2017, yielding a total of 310 unique job listings. Nearly 72% of those request knowledge of Excel, far more than any other tool in our search. Tableau is the fourth most frequently requested tool, at almost 15% of all job postings, and is far ahead of its direct competitors in the space of specialized data visualization tools, including Qlik, Microsoft Power BI, and TIBCO Spotfire. We can also filter by either county or city to see the distribution of in-demand tools for jobs posted within our chosen geography. For example, 59% of the scraped jobs posted in Cleveland request Excel, again more than any other tool, while almost 16% request Tableau, again far ahead of the other data visualization software programs.

The story is comparable when we look at the number of companies requesting a particular a tool in at least one job posting. Just over 82% of companies are looking for Excel expertise, while Tableau is in third place with just under 20% of companies.

When we break down the job listings by geography, we find that a plurality of the scraped  data-oriented jobs requesting at least one tool from our list can be found in Cleveland, with Akron a distant second. These two cities together account for just over 50% of the scraped job listings. Filtering by skill, Cleveland and Akron are again in first and second place, respectively, in terms of the quantity of jobs requesting knowledge of Excel, while for Tableau, Twinsburg is a distant second to Cleveland.

Finally, we can drill down even further into the geographic distribution of jobs by looking at which employers are looking for which skills, in which cities. The map below shows, for example, that in Cleveland, the scraped data-oriented jobs are concentrated in and around Downtown and along the Health-Tech Corridor, all the way into University Circle. This remains true if we examine Excel and Tableau jobs using the Skill filter, although Tableau jobs are particularly concentrated in and around Downtown Cleveland.

As DigitalC’s founding CEO, Lev Gonick, recently wrote in an op-ed in Crain’s Cleveland Business: “Cleveland and the region need to understand that digitization and data analytics will be the single most important technology strategy for every company and organization for at least the next decade.” Fortunately, data analytics isn’t just something that data scientists who know how to code can do. Easy-to-use tools like Excel and Tableau make it possible for staff at every level of an organization to leverage data analytics and visualization in their day-to-day work. Knowledge of these tools are in high demand in today’s Greater Cleveland job market, and if Lev Gonick’s prediction comes to pass, then the demand for expertise in Excel, Tableau, and other data analysis and visualization software will only continue to grow.  

DigitalC’s Data Analytics Workshops, as part of the Learning Studios, at our November Workshop held Nov. 14-16. Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/november-digitalc-learning-studios-data-analytics-workshop-tickets-38342663940?aff=ehomecard

View this and other Tableau visualization projects on DigitalC's Tableau Public website: https://public.tableau.com/profile/digitalc#!/