Big Data Grows the UK Digital Economy

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in conjunction with Growth Intelligence (GrowthIntel/GI)   have produced a rather insightful study (supported by Google) – “Measuring the UK’s economy with Big Data”. Basically, in our words, comparing the Digital economy as measured on a traditional – Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)  basis with a Big Data  one.

The results show that the old SIC basis significantly underestimates our digital economy on almost every measure.

The number of companies in the sector is measured as being  40% higher and the employment share in the most recent years is double!

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In terms of company locations a UK map shows, to us, a fairly predictable geographical spread but their further analysis is interesting.

“Using our preferred Growth Intelligence sector product measure, the 10 TTWAs with the most digital economy companies are London (64,630 companies -24.3%), Manchester (7,324 – 2.7%), Guildford and Aldershot (6,158 – 2.3%), Luton and Watford (5,147 – 1.9%), Wycombe and Slough (4,979 – 1.8%), Birmingham (4,965 – 1.8%), Reading and Bracknell (4,914 – 1.8%), Bristol (4,714 – 1.7%), Crawley (3,867 – 1.4%) and Brighton (3,730 – 1.4%).”

We’ve added the %’s of the total UK wide numbers and on our calculator these 14 locations account for just under half (48.8%) of all the companies.

We wholeheartedly support the observed shortcomings of traditional statistical data collection and analysis. As they say “It is clear we need a new way of measuring the economy …” and they have done just that! We hope this and future analysis will persuade Governement and their agencies to update their methodology to more accurately reflect and report the digital economy.

Fascinating data and analysis!

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