Welcome to the Digital Maturity for Wales Survey 2023


In the twenty-first century, digital technology and digital skills are key to building successful businesses and a thriving economy. To drive digital growth, business owners and policymakers need access to timely and accurate data on the use and uptake of new technologies. Until now, they’ve relied on traditional surveys to provide this information, but there’s always been a major problem with this approach: digital maturity is a moving target.

As new technologies hit the marketplace, the definition of “digitally mature” constantly shifts, and companies that were once ahead of the game can quickly find themselves trailing behind their competitors. Conventional survey methodologies struggle to keep up with this dynamism, which is why this year’s report adopts a different strategy.

Based on a structured sample of nearly 6,000 Welsh businesses – the largest ever assembled for such a study – the 2023 Welsh Digital Maturity Survey is the first to directly track digital behaviour in the Welsh economy. By monitoring how companies are investing in their digital presence (for example, how often do they update their website? Are they using chatbots, e-commerce functions and other embedded tech? How are they engaging with environmental and social issues?), this study measures their activity across six key metrics: Digital Growth, Digital Maturity, Innovation, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and Welsh Language Use.

The data used for this study goes back to 2016, meaning that we can track companies’ behaviour over the past seven years, highlighting the impacts of Brexit, Covid-19 and other significant economic events. Altogether, this provides the most comprehensive and fine-grained picture ever produced of digital activity in the Welsh economy.

On this site, you’ll find graphs, visualisations and summaries demonstrating key findings from the survey, as well as short explanations of the metrics used. For a full breakdown of the survey’s methodology and findings, download the report; for targeted recommendations and advice, please consult the specialised briefings for businesses and policymakers.

How we built our sample.

This survey is designed to cover small and medium sized businesses registered with Companies House at an address contained within a Welsh postcode. We did not include either micro-businesses or large businesses or businesses who ownership clearly lies outside of Wales.

Our next goal was to create a sample of companies along with their associated websites which represented the relative size of the different business sectors in Wales and the relative number of Welsh companies located in each Unitary Authority. We retrieved the relevant details of all companies registered at Companies House based upon the data available in January 2023.

The next step was to remove all companies that filed accounts in the format required of large companies and hence to limit our subsequent search to SME’s only.

For the remainder we determined the total number of businesses registered at Companies House with a Welsh postcode and used this data to carry out two counts:

We counted the number of businesses in each of 7 top level SIC categories. Using the categories reported in previous surveys of the Digital Maturity of Welsh companies.

We also counted the number of businesses in each of the 22 UA’s from the same sample of SME Welsh SME’s present in Companies House.

Finally, we created a sample of companies within each UA weighted by these SIC proportions and the size of the business population within that authority. The number of companies and their SIC categories in the final sample are reported below. In no case did our actual sample vary from the target figure by more than 3%.

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