Freelancers work in every field from journalism to technology. Though freelancing in data science is at an early stage, soon it will soon become more popular as specialisms develop. To begin with, what is freelancing and how it is relevant to the work of a Data Scientist? In simple terms, a freelancer is a person who can contribute to a company without being a part of it. A Freelance Data Scientist is a Data Scientist who works as an independent employee in different companies on particular projects.
Why be a Freelance Data Scientist?
Freelancing as its advantages –
- Flexible working hours
- High pay
- Choose an area of work which focuses on your strengths
- No geographic restrictions
How to Make your Portfolio Noticeable
Step 1: Create your online profile on Upwork & Toptal
Upwork– Is an online professional business platform where you can create a profile to connect and collaborate with business employers. It is the world‘s largest freelance marketplace which has recently collaborated with popular freelance platform Elance-oDesk. So by creating an online profile, you can list yourself among the freelance Data scientists where your profile becomes noticeable to employers.
How does it work?
- Register yourself on Upwork.
- Create an outstanding profile including your professional skills, experience, education, projects, etc.
- Upload your friendly looking profile picture.
After profile! Now it is time to get hired by the clients. Get started by sending the clients a compelling application. Make your profile impressive to attract clients. So, make sure your profile is-
- Professionally well-written
- Appropriate for the work you‘re seeking
- Presents your skills and strength
Toptal– It is an online platform where companies for software engineers and designers. The listing process includes screening and interviews. However, only 3% of applicants are included in the Toptal directory, if you are in the directory, you will get a world-class opening as a freelancer.
How does it work?
- Register yourself on Toptal.
- Prepare your profile including all your relevant skills, experience, education, project, etc., and submit your application.
- Update your profile picture.
For the acceptance of your application at Toptal you need to go through a live screening for language, technical skills, and an interview by the Toptal engineers.
Some test projects will be assigned to you which can take one to three weeks to complete. Note: – The completion of application process takes approximately 1 month.
Step 2: A few projects on Github
Putting a few projects on Github will increase the application approval chances. It will be easier for the hiring managers to find these projects and to evaluate your skills. Now, let‘s see what kinds of projects can be helpful to be a freelance Data Scientist.
Data cleaning project – It is the huge part of any Data Scientist job, where in this project you take a messy data and clean it up, showing the analysis. This project displays the skills that you can take disparate datasets and make sense out of it. Doing projects like this demonstrates the skills of taking data from many sources and combining into a single dataset.
Data storytelling project – This project can be an important piece of your portfolio and seek attention to the hiring managers. It has a significant impact on business value due to the ability to extract insights from data and persuade others. However, it demonstrates the skills of taking a set of data and telling an exact narrative of it.
An end-to-end project – Broadly, speaking it is a mix of data cleaning and storytelling. The main components are:-
- To understand the context
- To explore the data and figure out the nuances
- Write a high-performance code so that runs quickly and uses minimal resources
- Document the installation of the code well so that it can use by others.
Data Science competition projects
Already, got your hands dirty on a few Data Science Competition projects. Then you need to upload the projects to get your application accepted by the freelance hiring platforms like Upwork and Toptal.
Data Science competition platforms
Kaggle – It is a leading platform for Data Science competitors to utilise their skills and potential to crack some datasets. Here, the companies and the researchers post their datasets; the statisticians mined data to compete with others to produce the best models. Taking part in such data mining competitions can be proved helpful for you to get your application noticed among the crowd.
DrivenData – It is the world‘s biggest social challenge platform where they bring edge-cutting practices in data science and crowdsourcing. They host online competition which lasts for 2-3 months. Here, a global community of data scientist comes to compete over others by giving the best statistical models for difficult datasets that make a difference.
Step 3: Growing a network/ build connections
The internet is the best way to grow your network. There are some communities where newbie of Data Scientists comes to take help on solving some tough problems. Therefore, answering that problem and the continuous practice will grow your network in these communities. Once you start answering and your peers find you helpful in solving their queries. They will reach out to you with offers to collaborate with them on a freelance work.
Some communities to grow your network
GITTER– It is a chatting and networking platform which helps to manage, connect, and grow community networks of developers. It creates a single private chat room for messaging, content, and discovery. Most of the conversations are technical, focusing on debugging and sharing code bases.
Data Science Foundation – It is an online resource for Big Science practitioners. It provides a community experience in Analytics, Data Integration, IoT, and Visualization. Here, the forum dedicated to helpful resources, whitepapers, use cases, latest technology articles, and jobs opportunities.
Data Science Stack Exchange – It is a site where you exchange question & answer on Data Science, Machine Learning, R, Neural networks, and Python. The experts can be a Data Scientist or a Machine Learning Specialist. A Freelance Data Scientist can reap the benefits by becoming an expert.
Meetup – It is an online social networking portal designed to facilitate offline groups meetings in a way to manage it in various localities around the world. It helps to find a group of peers to engage in a data science network. The user enters the postal code, and the website helps them to locate a place for a meetup. In this way, you can connect to the professionals or the individual groups themselves.
Since the freelance market has expanded over the past few decades, the preference of independent contracts over employees has increased. It has also increased the level of competition for finding work. Once you become a freelancer, you need to be proactive and utilize your potential & resources in all possible ways.