If you want to transition your existing industry knowledge to earn more income as a freelancer then consider adding data analysis to your services. In this report, we highlight the data analysis skills and knowledge that are most in demand by hiring companies. Plus the average rates you could charge, how AI can make becoming a data analyst easier and a 6-month timeline to achieve your goal
Many industries are using data to enhance different areas of their businesses, such as sales, marketing, content, customer service and investment. If you could offer data analysis in addition to your existing freelance services you could seriously boost your income potential.
To give you an idea, the average day rate for freelancers in data and analytics has continued to increase and saw a strong year-on-year growth of 6%. The average freelancer in data earned a day rate of £515 in 2022. Add this rate to your existing niche in freelancing and you could be providing existing and new clients an all-in-one service.
The minimum rate saw the highest year-on-year increase at +23% with an average of £325. The
maximum day rate saw a -15% year-on-year decrease at £650 per day.
Why are data analysts in such high demand?
Data analysts play a critical role in many different industries, including healthcare, finance, retail, and technology. They are in high demand because businesses are increasingly relying on data to make informed decisions and solve problems. The demand for data analysts is expected to continue to grow. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, projects that employment of data analysts will grow 30% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Proper analysis of a company’s data or its market can do the following:
- Improve their marketing campaigns
- Increase sales
- Reduce costs
- Improve customer service
- Develop new products and services
- Identify and mitigate risks
- Improve operational performance by analysing which tasks cost a company the most time and money and those that generate the most income
What does a data analyst do?
- Collects data from a variety of sources, such as databases, surveys, and customer reviews
- Cleans and prepares the data for analysis
- Uses statistical methods and data visualisation tools to analyse the data
- Identifies trends and patterns in the data
- Draws conclusions from the data and communicates their findings to stakeholders
Data analysts usually have a strong understanding of statistics, mathematics, and/or computer science. However, the onset of artificial intelligence is enabling those without a technical background to handle data analysis. For example, existing industry knowledge in healthcare paired with data analysis skills is very useful. That said, someone working with data must also need to be able to communicate their findings to both technical and non-technical audiences. In essence, explain what the data is telling them and how a company can act on those findings.
How AI can make it easier and faster to become a data analyst
- AI can automate many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks involved in data analysis. This frees up data analysts to focus on more strategic and creative work, such as developing new hypotheses and interpreting the results of analyses.
- AI can make data analysis more accessible to people who don’t have a strong background in statistics or computer science. There are now a number of AI-powered data analysis tools that are easy to use and require no coding experience.
- AI can help data analysts to learn and grow their skills and services faster. AI-powered tools can provide feedback on analyses and suggest ways to improve them. Additionally, AI can be used to create personalised learning experiences for data analysts.
Here are some examples of how AI is making it easier to become a data analyst:
- AI-powered data cleaning tools can automatically identify and correct errors in data, saving data analysts a significant amount of time and effort.
- AI-powered data visualisation tools can create interactive and informative charts and graphs that make it easier for data analysts to identify trends and patterns in data.
- AI-powered machine learning tools can be used to build predictive models that can be used to forecast future events or identify anomalies in data.
A data analyst shows how he uses AI
Here are the skills that will help you meet client demand:
Programming skills: Python is the most popular programming language for data analysis, so it is essential to learn this language. You can learn Python through online courses, tutorials, or books.
Data analysis tools: There are a number of data analysis tools available, such as SQL, Excel, and Tableau. It is important to learn how to use at least one of these tools.
Statistics and machine learning: Data analysts need to have a good understanding of statistics and machine learning in order to be able to analyse data and draw meaningful insights. You can learn about statistics and machine learning through online courses, tutorials, and textbooks. Joining an online class that is interactive with a tutor may be best so you can ask questions and put your skills to the test and get feedback.
Training timeline to become a data analyst in 6 months
Month 1-2: Learn Python. There are many online courses and tutorials available, so find one that fits your learning style and budget. Here is a general estimate of how long it takes to learn Python, depending on your experience level:
- No prior programming experience: 2-6 months
- Experience with another programming language: 1-3 months
- Proficient in Python: 6 months+
It is important to note that these are just estimates.
Tips for learning Python:
- Find a learning resource that works for you. There are many online courses, tutorials, and books available. Find a resource that is well-written and easy to understand.
- Be consistent with your studies. Try to study for at least 30 minutes per day, even if it is just to review the material you have already learned.
- Practice what you learn. The best way to learn Python is by doing. Try to write Python code every day, even if it is just a simple programme.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you get stuck, there are many online forums and communities where you can ask for help from other Python programmers.
Python is a versatile language that can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including web development, data science, and machine learning.
Month 3-4: Learn a data analysis tool, such as SQL, Excel, or Tableau. Again, there are many online courses and tutorials available.
Month 5-6: Work on building a portfolio of your work. This could include data analysis projects that you have worked on for your own personal interest, or projects that you have volunteered or been paid to do.
Month 7-8: Start promoting your data analysis services and the sectors you have worked in. Get in touch with existing clients to inform them of this new service and set up a catch-up call to explain what data analysis projects you could carry out and how they could benefit from them.
This is just a suggested plan, and you may need to adjust it based on your own individual circumstances. However, if you are consistent with your learning and efforts, you should be able to start offering data analysis services to clients in 6 months.
How to transition into the data sector
- Find a mentor or community of data analysts. This can be a great way to get support and guidance as you learn.
- Network with other data analysts and attend industry events. This can help you to learn about new opportunities and make connections with potential employers.
- Be patient and persistent. It takes time and effort to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to become a data analyst.
Building a portfolio
In addition to developing these skills and knowledge, you should also work on building a portfolio of your work. This could include data analysis projects that you have worked on for your own personal interest, or projects that you have worked on for clients. You could share your knowledge by publishing a report on something that interests you and illustrates your data analysis skills on sites such as Medium and LinkedIn. Once you have developed the necessary skills and knowledge, you can start applying for freelance data analyst jobs or promote them as additional services.