The digital technology industry is over 25% larger than previously thought, according to a new census, although London still leads the way, followed by Manchester and Reading.
Published by The Data City, the 2019 Digital Technology Census claims to use unique technology which enables it to map, for the first time, emerging UK sectors such as AI and IoT which have previously not been quantified.
The census 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.
It then classified the data geographically to reveal 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 census claims to provide a clearer than ever before picture of the UK innovation landscape, to help inform business and public sector decision-making around investment and growth. It evaluates eight main sectors: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data, eCommerce, cyber, digital (as a sector in its own right), gaming, internet of things, medtech and fintech.
The top ten cities overall according to the new census are London, Manchester, Reading, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
However, when focusing exclusively on the emerging digital technology sectors, removing well-established ‘traditional’ digital and data businesses and concentrating on advanced digital businesses, other innovation hotspots were highlighted.
Although London still leads the way, closely followed by Manchester, Birmingham takes third place overall with particular strengths in eCommerce.
Data City co-founder Alex Craven said: “The census provides the clearest picture yet of the digital technology landscape in the UK. 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.
"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.”