Digital in the Time of COVID

Trust in the Digital Economy and Its Evolution Across 90 Economies as the Planet Paused for the Pandemic

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Digital Intelligence Index

Digital Intelligence Index (DII) is an interactive research platform of scorecards built to provide evidence-driven, actionable insights on how to enhance digital competitiveness, nurture trust in the digital economy, and foster responsible use of data, AI, and other advanced technologies for enhanced productivity and the greater good.

The scorecards and the insights of the DII are meant to inform decision making by technologists, innovators, investors, policymakers, and business leaders on our collective journey from a digital present towards a data-enriched, inclusive, artificial intelligence-augmented future.

The current index encompasses the third edition of the Digital Evolution scorecard, following up on our earlier editions (in 2017 and 2014) and the second edition of our Digital Trust scorecard. It paints a picture of global digital development, sheds insight on key factors driving change and momentum, and unpacks the impact digital trust and digital evolution have on a country’s digital competitiveness.

This edition of the DII offers data, insights, and international comparisons to guide decision-makers to chart a path out of the pandemic-induced economic challenges of 2020 and toward a data-enabled, artificial intelligence-augmented, and inclusive digital future.

Key insights on the state of the global digital economy

  • In the time of a pandemic, digital evolution is an essential contributor to economic resilience
  • “More data privacy protections and less data protectionism” is the mantra
  • Mobile internet access is necessary but not sufficient for the economies in the “Digital South”
  • Empower consumers with the necessary “digital hygiene” and literacy skills to combat misinformation
  • Navigate the tradeoffs between maintaining high levels of digital momentum and investing in strong institutions
  • Organize entrepôts as linchpins for global and regional digital advancement
The Digital Intelligence Index provides insights across two scorecards: Digital Evolution and Digital Trust.

Digital Evolution

Based on research from over twelve years (2008-2019), this third edition of Digital Evolution builds on our prior editions (2014 and 2017) to represent a data-driven evaluation of the progression of the global digital economy:

  • Measures 90 economies*
  • Combines 160 indicators into four key drivers: Supply Conditions, Demand Conditions, Institutional Environment, and Innovation and Change

Digital Trust

The Digital Trust scorecard represents the bridge to “what’s next,” comparing national outlooks and behaviors around emerging technologies. This second edition of Digital Trust builds on our prior edition (2017):

  • Digital Trust is captured in the interplay between the Givers and Guarantors of Trust
  • Givers (users) exhibit trust through their Attitudes and Behavior
  • Guarantors (businesses and institutions) foster a trustworthy Experience and a safe, secure, and accountable Environment
  • Attitudes: How are citizens (givers of trust) feeling about their experiences with digitalization?
  • Behavior: How do users (givers of trust) react and interact with the digital environment and experience?
  • Environment: How are guarantors of trust performing in ensuring a secure online ecosystem?
  • Experience: Experience measures the quality of user experience in the digital trust environment.

Explore the interactive DII research tool to analyze how these 90 economies stack up against each other, along the broader measures of Digital Evolution and Digital Trust. Compare economies on various parameters, find patterns, draw conclusions on policy intervention, and study the potential for inclusive development through the lens of the digital economy.

The DII Interactive Tutorial video walks you through how to use the interactive dashboard.

View the Interactive DII

  • Review the digital trajectory of global economies
  • Explore the drivers of Digital Evolution and Digital Trust
  • Filter economies by region, economic output, and digital evolution zones
  • Search economies to analyze and compare across drivers and by state and momentum
  • Share your comparison and analyses selections easily with your network on social media

In the News

We are grateful to our data partners

* Taiwan is the economic region also commonly referred to as Chinese Taipei by the World Trade Organization. We use both terms Taiwan, and Chinese Taipei interchangeably in this research. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. China in this research represents the economic region of Mainland China. This is to accurately reflect the underlying data and indicators that inform our study.


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