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

Companies previously classified as, for example, manufacturing are now also embracing new technologies such as IoT, Digital and Fintech.  Taking this into account, the 2019 Digital technology Census, published by Data City, finds that the digital technology industry in the UK is over 25% larger than previously thought.

Under traditional classifications known as  Standard Industry Classification (SIC codes) used by Companies House, 259,412 companies are classified as digital technology.  Under the Data City created RTIC (Real Time Industrial Classification) codes, that number rises to 349,865.

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To derive this figure, it analysed the 4.06 million active companies in the UK, using artificial intelligence to monitor their websites and digital footprints to correctly identify areas of activity.  In short, it used AI to identify companies that have embraced AI…and complementary technologies.

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The study revealed the top 29 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, and demonstrated the findings in an interactive online map.

The top ten cities overall according to the new census are:

1. London
2. Manchester
3. Reading
4. Brighton
5. Milton Keynes
6. Birmingham
7. Leeds
8. Bristol
9. Edinburgh
10. Glasgow

The picture looks a little different when considering emerging digital technology sectors. Although London still leads the way, closely followed by Manchester, Birmingham takes third place overall with particular strengths in eCommerce

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Regions have different areas of speciality.  Reading was second in Digital, Cyber and IoT technologies.  Brighton ranks third in Digital and Gaming. Leeds ranks third in Gaming. Milton Keynes has particular strengths in Digital, E-Commerce and Cyber. Both of Scotland’s largest cities score highly, with Edinburgh 9th and Glasgow 10th overall, but Edinburgh 4th in FinTech.

Alex Craven, Co-founder of The Data City explained: “Our new classifications allow us to ascertain levels of activity in emerging sectors that have never previously been fully evaluated, making this a methodology for the 21st century.

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“The Data City has created a useful tool for businesses, investors and public sector policymakers. Using real-time data such as ours to identify areas of strength can help inform innovation policy, provide an objective basis for investment and inform individual business decisions such as where to locate.”




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Michael Baxter

.Michael Baxter is a tech, economic and investment journalist. He has written four books, including iDisrupted and Living in the age of the jerk. He is the editor of and the host of the ESG...

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