There’s a freelance version of almost every career path. Freelancing is a great way to give yourself more freedom while still doing a job you enjoy. It’s also a great way to gain experience if you struggle to get a job with a bigger company.

This article will serve as a guide to becoming a freelance data analyst. We’ll be looking at what a data analyst does, as well as the best ways to get clients as a freelancer. The topics we’ll cover in this article include:

  • What is a data analyst?
  • How can I become a data analyst?
  • How can I get clients as a freelance data analyst?
  • How can Countingup help me?

What is a data analyst?

Data analysts are responsible for helping businesses get the most out of their data. Although businesses will have tons of facts and figures at their disposal, it’s up to data analysts to work out what data is useful and what’s not.

Data analysts are also responsible for creating reports on their employers or client’s businesses. This involves looking at various statistics for a specific month, week, or year and providing a clear explanation of what that data means. The statistics could be anything from sales figures, customer feedback or net profit vs gross profit and expense reports. 

A business can then use these statistics to make decisions about the business. For example, low sales might mean that the business spends more on marketing, and high business expenses might lead to the company changing suppliers. A data analyst might not be part of the decision-making process, but they usually include suggestions and recommendations for what to do about the conclusions they found in their reports.

Salary and hours

The UK government careers page shows that the annual salary for a data analyst can be anything from £23,000 to £70,000. The average work hours are around 37-39 hours per week. Keep in mind that these figures are not specific to freelance analysts, so you might find yourself earning more or less if you pursue a freelance career as a data analyst. Your hours will also change, as you may work different hours depending on your number of clients. 

How can I become a freelance data analyst? 

There are technically no required qualifications for becoming a data analyst as it is not a protected title under UK law. Despite this, there are some qualifications that you’ll need to achieve a level of success in this industry.

For starters, you should look at getting a degree in a subject relevant to data analysis. This would mean studying subjects like:

  • Statistics
  • Information management
  • Economics
  • Computer science
  • Business studies
  • Mathematics

Other subjects might also include some type of data analysis, but the ones above will provide a great background for starting a career as a data analyst. 

As well as studying relevant subjects, it would help if you also had a good grasp of numbers and statistics. Familiarising yourself with the software and techniques you might use as a data analyst is also a good use of time, as this knowledge will be very useful in your work.

If you do have the appropriate qualifications, you’ll still need to set yourself up as a freelance worker. These aren’t specific to being a data analyst, and include steps like registering as a business and organising your finances. Check out our article on how to start freelancing for more information.

How can I get clients as a freelance data analyst?

As a freelance worker, maintaining a steady stream of clients is essential. Without clients, you’ll not be able to make money. If you go through a long spell without having clients, stay motivated! There are a few things you can do to attract clients and improve your chances of getting hired.

Advertise your services online

One of the best ways to attract clients is to use freelancing sites. These websites allow you to advertise your services by creating a profile and responding to job offers online. 

The pay can vary depending on the job offer and the client, but freelancing websites are an excellent way to get your name out to a huge number of people without having to spend anything on marketing. 

Advertising your services online is a smart move for data analysts specifically as it’s a very technical industry, so the companies you’ll work with will likely have a strong online presence. 

Build a reputation

If you make a name for yourself as a particularly skillful analyst, you could gain clients through word of mouth, from positive reviews, networking, as well as your own marketing efforts.

Although it can take time, the best way to build your reputation is to complete your work on time and to a high standard. Being friendly and helpful to clients is also important, as the people you are building relationships with might sometimes remember positive personal interactions more than they remember your positive work ethic.

For data analysts, the online community Kaggle is a great place to grow your reputation. Kaggle offers a ton of resources to improve your skills, but they also hold competitions for those with an interest in data science. These competitions involve analysing data to predict outcomes or answer questions, and winning them will not only gain you a cash prize but a considerable amount of credibility in the data analyst community.

How Countingup helps freelancers across the UK 

When you’re working as a freelancer, you’ll have a lot of responsibilities on top of your actual workload as a data analyst. One of them is the task of financial management, as a freelancer won’t have an accounting department or payroll team to keep track of money. Financial management can be complex if you’ve not got much experience, but using a financial management app like Countingup can help immensely. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.