The Digital Index analyses actual online behaviour and survey research of small businesses and charities to understand their attitudes towards and usage of digital technology.
The 2016 report now includes new analysis on exporting, gender and mobile, plus a change to how Basic Digital Skills and the Index score are defined. For the first time, this report also includes qualitative findings, following in-depth interviews with organisations* to further understand how they use digital.
This third Index report has highlighted an overall rise of digital maturity as well as the continued and strengthening link between digital maturity and organisational success for small businesses and charities.
Charities are showing progress, with an encouraging rise in digital maturity and a strong increase in the use of online donations. The number of charities accepting online donations has more than doubled since 2015.
There has also been a shift in how organisations are using digital, including a rise in the use of ‘informal’ and free channels for learning, including friends, relatives and colleagues.
2016 sees small businesses using digital to help with overseas trading, yet many could still do more. There also continues to be an opportunity for sole traders to further benefit from adopting digital technology.
A new challenge has arisen in the 2016 research, with a growing concern over cyber security skills becoming a clear theme amongst many organisations. Looking at regional trends, there is a positive picture with many regions increasing their Index score by more than 10 points since 2015.
Finally, the 2016 Index demonstrates equality for gender, with no significant digital differences between male and female decision-makers.