The newly announced purchase of Tableau by Salesforce brings together two fast-growing companies, but it also merges two of the fastest-growing hybrid skills: data visualization and customer relationship management.
Hybrid skills are those that cross occupational lines and redefine jobs. The hybrid jobs they create defy traditional definitions, combining skill sets that aren’t usually found together. Mobile app developers, for example, have to understand programming, design, marketing, and content—skills that aren’t taught in the same program. Our research shows that hybrid jobs are growing twice as fast as jobs overall and usually pay more.
The Salesforce-Tableau deal caught our attention because their products and the underlying skills behind them are among the most powerful drivers of hybridization in the job market.
As the big data revolution reshapes more and more industries, data science has become a strong disruptive skill, both in the U.S. and internationally. But data isn’t much use unless you can explain it and apply it to business problems. That’s why job postings calling for data visualization, the ability to display data in charts, graphs, and infographics, have grown an astounding 540% over the last five years. So has the demand for Tableau specifically, as a popular platform for data viz: a remarkable 1,165% increase in job postings.
Sales and marketing have been reshaped by customer relationship management software, which gives companies another kind of data: the ability to track specific customers in terms of what they buy, their needs and demographics, how often they have been contacted, and other key metrics. This has changed both consumer and business-to-business marketing into a far more targeted, customized effort. More than 1.1 million Job postings called for CRM skills overall 2018, an 104% increase over 2013. Salesforce dominates the market and job postings calling for Salesforce skills increased 242%. (Full disclosure: Salesforce commissioned a study from Burning Glass on demand for Salesforce skills in 2017).
Combinations like this show how hybrid skills shape companies as well as occupations. Firms that get ahead of skills demand and understand how jobs are changing can enhance their talent strategy—and their corporate strategy as well.
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