9 graphs for 5 dollars

Sometime back I had converted the Singapore 2014 budget to json files so I could create a visualization.  I converted a few files from India’s 2014 budget.  Singapore’s budget was manageable, India’s isn’t.  I wanted to try to convert them using a service like Amazon Mechanical Turk.  It turns out that the Turk can only be used if you are in the U.S.  I then decided to use Fiverr - where you can get jobs done for five dollars.

After I posted my ‘gig’, I got around 40 proposals.  I corresponded with a few.  I think I got lucky with the person I chose.  After awarding him the gig, he created 9 excel files from the original pdfs.  I gave 2 rounds of feedback on email.  Some of the others that I had corresponded had proposed converting 3 files.  For data entry type jobs, there are many who promise two to three hours of work for $5.  I think the 9 files I converted might have taken the ‘seller’ between three and four hours.

I then converted the xls files to json as explained in a previous post.

What this means is that I can convert a complex budget like India’s to json/d3js for $30, a simple budget like the U.S. or Singapore for $15.

Here are the charts I converted (NOTE: I need to verify the data.  I will do that and repost a separate post):

JSON data
Science and Technologysbe86.pdfScience and Technologysbe86.json
Scientific and Industrial Researchsbe87.pdfScientific and Industrial Researchsbe87.json
Industrial Policy and Promotionsbe12.pdfIndustrial Policysbe12.json
Health and Family Welfaresbe47.pdfHealthsbe47.json
Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy,Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy ( AYUSH)sbe48.pdfAYUSHsbe48.json
Health Researchsbe49.pdfHealth researchsbe49.json
Aids Controlsbe50.pdfAids Controlsbe50.json


Creating a ‘gig’ on Fiverr

Here are the details of how I created my gig on Fiverr.

1. Initial reuqest

my request on Fiverr

my request on Fiverr

2.  Around 40 sellers responded.  Surprisingly all the offers looked similar. I assume Fiverr offers canned text.

3. I sorted by rating and sent the following mail to 4 sellers.

mail with more details

mail with more details

Here is what I prepared:  https://revelutions.com/gig/fiverr.htm

The webpage has a video of how I created the excel.

4. Surprisingly (for me) it took a few iterations for the sellers to understand what I am looking for.

5. I chose dkalyani – he actually sent me a sample file.  I had to keep telling the sellers not to start.  I think I got lucky with this guy

dkalyani - seller on Fiverr

dkalyani – seller on Fiverr

He sent me a few files after he created them.  I provided feedback.  He then completed 9 files.


  • I suspect it make take some trial and error to find a good seller, especially for work like this.
  • In this case it doesn’t matter if there are a few mistakes.  If you want to reduce mistakes you can probably get another seller to check the results.
  • When you make a process more efficient expect there to be delays further downstream.  It’s one thing to get a large number of files converted.  You need to plan in advance for the time it takes to review the submission.  I think it was lucky it worked for me.  It’s a good idea to plan for this part of the project (unfortunately, this is your/my problem).