UK’s digital technology industry is 25% larger than previously thought

The first UK Digital Technology Census, produced by The Data City, shows that the number of companies active in digital technology is over 25% larger than figures to date have shown.

We analysed the UK’s 4.06 million active companies, pioneering a brand new approach to better understand the technology and digital industries, using open data, the web and artificial intelligence to correctly identify areas of activity and create robust, real-time information relating to the economy and innovation.

To uncover these findings, The Data City created RTIC (Real Time Industrial Classification) codes – which provide insight on new and emerging sectors of the industry not represented in the Standard Industry Classification (SIC codes) used by Companies House.

We examined eight main sectors: Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Data, ECommerce, Cyber, Digital (as a sector in its own right), Gaming, Internet of Things (IoT), MedTech and FinTech.

Our data showed that companies previously classified only as, for example, manufacturing are now embracing new technologies such as IoT, AI and Fintech – but until now, this has not been reflected in statistics.

A further investigation, removing well-established ‘traditional’ digital and data businesses and focussing exclusively on emerging digital technology demonstrated even more clearly the limitations of the SIC code classifications, with over 58% more organisations found using The Data City’s RTIC formula.

We also classified the data geographically to reveal the top 25 cities in the UK, looking at active businesses combined with the number of events and meetups held, to find the most thriving innovation communities by industry sector, captured in an online interactive data tool.

The census provides a clearer than ever before picture of the UK innovation landscape, to help inform business and public sector decision-making around investment and growth.

To find out more, visit the project or download the report

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