3 Types of Gigs I’ve Done as a Freelance Data Analyst
Starting June of last year, I began freelancing to see how I could apply my skills in the industry. Through the past 15 months of freelancing, I have done all kinds of projects ranging from ones that lasted 1 day to over 3 months.
While freelancing, I followed this tutorial to create my own LLC called Click Analytics — follow on LinkedIn here. I created Click Analytics to add more credibility to my freelance work and to reap the benefits of owning a business.
While I have dozens of projects as a freelancer, here I group them into 3 major categories that represent the core of what my freelance work was about.
1. Configuring Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool to analyze web traffic. It provides real-time updates about visitors to your website. This is powerful information for marketers who want to know exactly which content on their site is drawing the most traffic. As Google says:
Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.
The DarkRoom.com: get analog film developed and converted to digital
Kindred Communities: an online community centered around volunteering
CityGovtJobs: a website with all of the City Govt jobs in California
La Verne Medical Group: a medical practice in La Verne, California
Google Analytics requires a steep learning curve, as there are dozens of menus and secret formulas inside of it that make it complicated to acquire the necessary data. Even worse, I have found that clients want to get up and running with Google Analytics but don’t know exactly what data they need back and are left struggling to define a digital strategy.
I have the coveted Google Analytics IQ certification which means I know exactly how to navigate inside of GA, but I still have had to rely extensively on my communication skills to successfully complete GA projects.
Of course Google Analytics can give great insights about the sources of traffic and behavior of people on websites. I was able to build custom reports for sites like TheDarkRoom.com which receives over 70,000+ monthly visitors. I was able to derive insights about key behaviors on this website by creating custom reports based on the client ask. For other clients, I simply helped them install GA and/or link it to the correct domain.
If you have a WordPress site, WordPress gives you Monster Insights which is built atop of Google Analytics. It gives you the same data, but in my opinion, in a slightly cleaner view.
Besides Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, I found Google Search Console to be an incredible tool as well. GCS will tell you which searches are driving traffic to your site: it essentially tells you how well SEO is performing on your site. It’s a great resource for the savvy website owner.
Also, there are approaches to use Google Data Studio to collect, aggregate, and visualize data coming from web feeds. Google Data Studio is a versatile web-based analytics tool that offers the ability to build beautiful, customizable dashboards.
2. Creating Custom Excel Spreadsheets
I had a few clients who had lots of data sitting in Excel spreadsheets and wanted to know more about the data inside of there.
SunDog Software: Software company that also delivers educational content
Altura: Health education company that helps seniors with their health issues
The project I completed for Altura data involved analyzing a survey responses of over 200 seniors about their fear of various life-threatening conditions. There were lots of columns in this data, and it required painstaking effort to sift through all of the data. As the pie chart below demonstrates, most seniors are “very or somewhat concerned” about falling.
The crucial business outcome of this project was to see that after seniors are asked a battery of questions about their concern about falling, they eventually concede that they would want to attend a webinar about learning how to prevent a fall. This project type can be purchased on my Fiverr profile here.
3. Building Custom APIs
Building an API is not in the toolkit of the average Data Analyst; but since I have experience as a software developer, I was able to build several APIs for clients that wanted data from a third party API.
The business impact of these APIs is to have access to realtime data for competitive intelligence purposes. Armed with a live data feed, a business can stay up to date on the latest pricing trends or any other key business metric.
Sawesome Toys — an online toy retailer
Tekton — seller of hand tools
Amazon Product Advertising API:
For Sawesome Toys, I built a connection to an Amazon-hosted API. Amazon says that with its Product Advertising API:
“You get access to a lot of the data used by Amazon including the items for sale, customer reviews, seller reviews, as well as most of the functionality you see on Amazon.com, such as finding items, displaying customer reviews, and product promotions.
This API is very well documented and it was easy to work with. Due to the nested structure of the response, I became stuck with regards to printing the response––I was turning my wheels and trying everything to figure it out: luckily, a StackOverflow user came to my rescue.
Keepa is an API company that’s fulltime job is to keep track of Amazon prices. An Upwork client wanted to keep track of prices of certain product IDs, called ASINs, in a Google Spreadsheet.
After the user authenticates and makes the API connection, you can enter 1 or many ASINs and get the ParentASIN and PartNumber for that given ASIN. This provides crucial business value to a part supplier who wants to know how objects are related to one another.
Google Fit API:
I wrote about how I queried the Google Fit API in another Medium post here. Essentially, health-related information is tracked in Google Fit and can be seen in a Google sheet. Thanks, Google.
My 15 month journey as a freelancer has been very educational. I have approached data and data analytics from a totally different perspective as I have had to adapt to client needs at the drop of a dime. Freelancing requires tons of sales and marketing skills to be able to convince other people (or businesses) that you are the best person to solve their problem. Ideally, one should find clients through word of mouth and referrals; however, I did not. I got most of my clients by bidding on contract on Upwork.com.
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Visit My Portfolio Site Here: basillatif.github.io