back to article UK, US slip down World Digital Competitiveness Ranking

Denmark has topped the International Institute for Management Development's seventh annual World Digital Competitiveness Ranking – an assessment of 63 nations' "capacity and readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society." The Institute …

  1. veti Silver badge

    So... How, exactly, does anyone assess a country's performance on these criteria? Who is doing the judging, and based on what?

    Not saying I don't believe it, or that I could do better. Just that without this sort of information, it's hard to know what to make of it.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      If you go to the website (hyperlink is in the very last word of the article), I'm sure you will find the answers to your questions. There's even a section entitled "Methodology in a Nutshell" to save you from reading the full report. Handy, huh?

      1. veti Silver badge

        I did follow the link before posting. All I see is some waffle about "54 criteria" and an "executive opinion survey".

        Lots more detail needed, please.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          > "executive opinion survey".

          Hmm, so a bit like those polls we get in El Reg from time to time?

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge


    "Knowledge – Know-how necessary to discover, understand and build new technologies;

    Technology – Overall context that enables the development of digital technologies;

    Future Readiness – Level of country preparedness to exploit digital transformation."

    "the UK dropped two places to 14th despite its Technology and Future Readiness scores improving"

    So apparently the UK is good at technology and prepared for digital; futures but no good at understanding or innovating the technologies. Supposing that somewhat self-contradictory picture is accurate, it doesn't bode well for Blighty. If it is realistic, it's probably due to our approach to education - fact stuffing for exam passes rather than instilling understanding that can be applied independently to new situations.

    One of my lecturers at college (a long time ago) said "if you've really learned the subject, the exam is just a friendly conversation with the examiner". Pity that message is no longer imparted, and we may already be paying the penalty.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Prospects

      "the exam is just a friendly conversation with the examiner."

      Wait, you mean I have to actually talk to the students? Ewww....

      No, no, no. I cant be having that...

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: instilling understanding

      That is a dangerous thing. It makes people have objectivity and makes them capable of critical thinking, both things which are anathema to the Boris Johnsons of this world.

      That is why the education systems in our so-called 1st-world countries are being actively steered away from accomplishing any such thing.

      Panem et circenses. That is the rule now.

    3. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Prospects

      > So apparently the UK is good at technology and prepared for digital; futures but no good at understanding or innovating the technologies

      Well, (from my distant PoV at least) the UK has a tradition of groundbreaking and ingenious inventors/inventions carefully shunned by the establishment, and grudgingly implemented in the least optimal way till some foreigner takes hold of the idea and shows its full potential. (Jet engines come to mind, but there are others.)

      British cars are a good example: Stylish, good ideas, good performance, but you'd better have a full tool set (and some spares!) in the trunk because you'll use it often (I'm thinking of a specific model nicknamed after a 70ies dance). To be avoided if your life or well-being depends on your car being always able to reliably work any time you might need it...

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    IIMD is a private business school in Lausanne, Switzerland

    Looks like an expensive money making operation for milking senior executive types. If rankings are the game, then the institute is ranked at number 338 in the world by the Center for World University Rankings

    So, pinches of salt and all that.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: IIMD is a private business school in Lausanne, Switzerland

      @Howard Sway

      And about CWUR ranking the universities:

      Since 2016, the Center for World University Rankings is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.

      (the ranking expanded to list the top 2000 out of nearly twenty thousand universities worldwide).

      The impression I get from that list is that it's very much about size.

      No need to take all such rankings with deadly seriousness.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: IIMD is a private business school in Lausanne, Switzerland

        And how high is the Center for World University Rankings ranked?

  4. Raj

    Confidential methodologies = irony

    So the rankings celebrate open collaborative access to digital technology, but the whole article, all raw data and statistical constructs are confidential or mostly paywalled ?

    This is the bane of the present - a whole bunch of rankings that we are all supposed to swallow without question. Sorry, I don’t personally care about what a ranking is. I do care to understand how it is constructed. The model is of far more interest than anything it spits out.

    A lot of these rankings are simply science-crafting . They aren’t worth it unless the creators put the entire database and methodology public, enable reproducibility and are able to defend their coefficients.

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