Wondering what the data analytics consulting rates are in western economies? Let me guess – you’ve got some data analytics skills, and you’re vibing on the whole “how do I turn my data skills into $300/hour” thing, right? Sweet! Keep reading because in today’s article, you’re going to learn exactly how to do that, even if you’re a brand new data freelancer!

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Even if you’re a seasoned data analytics freelance consultant, I know this post is going to be SUPER valuable to you in picking up some of the missing pieces that are probably holding you back from being as profitable as you can be.

How do I know? Well, because I first started out as a freelance data scientist back in 2012…And after supporting 10% of Fortune 100 companies from within my own data business, I coach other data professionals how to hit 6-figures in their own businesses FAST. 

Hi, I’m Lillian Pierson and I help data professionals transform into world-class data leaders and entrepreneurs… 

In today’s post, we will talk about: 

  1. What is Data Analytics Consulting
  2. Entry Level Rates
  3. High End Rates
  4. How To Land Contracts At High-End Rates

What is “Data Analytics Consulting” Anyway?

Well, it’s basically offering your data analytics expertise on a contract basis outside of an employment environment. So, this could be services or advisory support on anything related to Digital Analytics and Business Analytics to Marketing Analytics, and even ad-hoc data analysis would qualify.

Of course your data analytics consulting rates are going to depend on what you’re actually selling, but you have tons of options in terms of the types of services you render as an analytics freelance consultant. Some of these are:

  • Google Analytics, Tag Manager & Data Studio Services
  • Tableau Data Visualization Services
  • PowerBI Data Visualization Services
  • Creating Business Calculators, Dashboards & KPIs
  • A/B Testing
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Surveys

But you’re not here to talk about all these, you want to get to the good stuff about money, so let’s talk about the rates…

Entry-Level Data Analytics Consulting Rates

There are two ways you can price your services as a new data freelancer: (1) Competitive Analysis, (2) Employment Rate Equivalency. Let’s dig deeper into each of these ways…

  • Competitive Analysis 

I took the liberty of going to Upwork and checking out what people are charging for their services over there. I used these to filter my search: “data analytics, U.S. only, no earnings yet”.

Their rates seem to range between $19 – $350 per hour, but honestly, I’m guessing the $350 per hour guy doesn’t really care about landing jobs on the platform, because even the most experienced analytics professionals aren’t charging that much. And just by eye-balling the numbers, it looks like the median might be somewhere around $65-ish per hour for these types of services.

But, if you are a data analytics newbie and a freelancing newbie, you may want to charge less than the average, and tell all potential clients that you are new to the field and it’s reflected in your very low rates. 

Taking freelance jobs is one good way to get experience in data science and analytics but make sure that you set the client’s expectations properly.

  • Employment Rate Equivalency

You really just want to take 2x what someone is making on an hourly basis as an employee doing the same type of work on an employment basis. You can do this by using this formula:

(Annual Salary / Hours Worked Per Year) x 2

But, we don’t necessarily need to go into that level of detail here right, because what we’re really looking at is how to go about landing $300+/hour contracts.

I’m assuming that you’re reading this because you’re already a data analytics professional, so I’d love to hear from you in the comments about what your specialty is within data analytics.

data analytics consulting specialty

Moving on to what more experienced data analytics freelancers are charging…

Higher-end Data Analytics Consulting Rates

You would think that they’ll be charging more if they’re experienced as freelancers, right? But sadly, it’s not the case. Most of these freelancers are not charging anywhere near how much the work is actually worth to the business. 

  • Competitive Analysis 

I went over to Upwork and searched “data analytics, U.S. only, >$10k earnings.” These people are both experienced with data analytics services and freelancing in general. Their rates seem to range between $42 – $250 per hour. And just by looking at the numbers, the average seems like it might be somewhere around $130-ish per hour for these types of services.

If you’ve reached this point of the post and you’re thinking, “You know what, I’m not really into freelancing and I just prefer to be an entrepreneur and a visionary in my own business…” then that’s awesome! I’ve created a video on how to go from Data Science Freelancer to Data Entrepreneur Almost Overnight. Check it out here.

This part of this article is the fun part for me  – because I LOVE helping data professionals THRIVE! So check this out…

Achieving $300/Hour Rates

#1 Trick: Sell deliverables, Not Time

I’ll be honest, my minimum consulting rate is $1k per hour, so that sort of prevents me from offering much in terms of actual data implementation services. But I have been able to make $1k per hour delivering data analytics services in the past…Let me tell you how I managed to pull that off.

The client booked the call and told me what they needed, so I asked if it was ok for me to use an analytics tool to get the result, or if they wanted me to code the solution from scratch. They said using the application is fine. So, I gave them an estimate of 2.5 hours work and quoted them $2,500 – they were so thrilled because it was way less than what they expected to pay. I was able to produce the results in a very short amount of time – the client was so happy because they got everything they needed quickly, on time and under budget and I still made $1k/hour.  Now, If I had told them I will charge them $1k/hour, they would probably have said no, but instead they purchased the deliverable from me and they were happy with the deal. 

That goes to show that you want to be selling by deliverable instead of time

#2 Trick: Sell Your Offers in Packages 

This builds on top of trick #1, but basically, you want to sell your offers in packages. This makes it even easier for you to increase the value proposition of your offer, thus increasing the likelihood of making that sale.

Things you could add to increase the value of your deliverables are reusable assets such as:

  • Documentation
  • Training Videos
  • User Guides
  • Dashboards
  • Specifications

Warning: You want to make sure that these value add-ons are reusable between many clients, or easily delegated to someone else, instead of creating something from scratch for each and every client. You want to think about what your offers are and what reusable assets you can give to multiple clients to increase the value of your packages without taking more of your time. 

Standard Offer 

For this, you need to create a standard offer and this could be your placeholder offer. You need to document everything that comes with this offer – deliverables, bonuses and price points. If a customer comes to you and they need more than what’s included in your standard offer and they have a budget, then it may be worth your while to create a custom offer for them. 

But, you don’t want to break your golden rule of charging less than your worth. 

Where to sell

You want to avoid selling these packages in freelance marketplaces like Upwork, because it’s going to be very difficult for you to sell high-end services at rates that are fair to you. In this sort of environment, people are offering services in (somewhat like) widgets and it makes it very easy for buyers to shop around, so it quickly becomes a race to the bottom. Therefore, I would advise you to avoid selling your services at any sort of job marketplace.

If you are digging all of these talks on data analytics consulting rates in 2021, then you’re gonna love my FREE Data Entrepreneur’s Toolkit.

It’s an ensemble of all of the very best, most efficient tools in the market I’ve discovered after 9 years of research and development. A side note on this, many of them are free, or at least free to get started, and they have such powerful results in terms of growing your business. These are actually the tools we use in my own business to hit the multiple 6-figure annual revenue mark.

Download the Data Entrepreneur’s Toolkit for $0 here.

Oh and – if you liked this article, go ahead and show the love by sharing it and leaving a comment telling me a little about what type of data analytics services you’re offering today.


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NOTE: This blog post contains affiliate links that allow you to find the items mentioned in this article. While this blog may earn minimal sums when the reader uses the links, the reader is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank you for your support!

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Lillian Pierson is a CEO & data leader that supports data professionals to evolve into world-class leaders & entrepreneurs. To date, she’s helped educate over 1.3 million data professionals on AI and data science. Lillian has authored 6 data books with Wiley & Sons Publishers as well as 8 data courses with LinkedIn Learning. She’s supported a wide variety of organizations across the globe, from the United Nations and National Geographic, to Ericsson and Saudi Aramco, and everything in between. She is a licensed Professional Engineer, in good standing. She’s been a technical consultant since 2007 and a data business mentor since 2018. She occasionally volunteers her expertise in global summits and forums on data privacy and ethics.

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