3. Evolution of DESI Catalonia 2020-2021

This section analyzes the temporal evolution of DESI and its components over the last two years. In order to be able to compare each of the indicators, a homogenization task has been carried out, both of the applied methodology and of the sources consulted. Specifically, the methodological changes incorporated in this year’s DESI have made it necessary to recalculate the values of previous editions, so the final values presented in the following table do not coincide with those obtained last year.

Below are the results of the DESI of Catalonia for the last three editions, both in terms of values and positions and their respective variations.

Table 9. Comparative analysis DESI (2019-2021).
Table 9 Comparative analysis DESI 2019-2021
Source: Author's calculations

As can be seen in Table 9, in DESI 2021 there are some indicators for which the value of previous years is not available and, therefore, its evolution cannot be analyzed. This is due to changes in the DESI methodology, and applies to all EU-27 states.

In DESI 2021 Catalonia has improved the results obtained in all four dimensions with respect to DESI 2020. However, this improvement is not always translated in positional terms, as the position is relative to the results of the EU-27 states. Thus, the position of Catalonia in Human capital with respect to DESI 2020 has gained two positions; in Digital public services it has won one and in Integration of digital technology it remains the same. In Connectivity, however, it has gone down two positions.

The following graphic presents the subdimensions with their corresponding growths or decreases in the period 2020-2021.

Graph 7. Evolution of sub-dimensions (2020-2021)

As can be seen, the most notable growth corresponds to the Broadband price subdimension, followed by Mobile broadband and e-Commerce. Overall, it should be noted that there is no subdimension that decreased in 2021, except for Advanced skills and development with an almost imperceptible -0.94%.

Graphic 8 presents the evolution of the indicators, which provide the values of previous years, and shows how most indicators grow in 2021 compared to 2020. The ones that decrease the most are those related to the analysis of Big data and to Enterprises providing ICT training to its employees. At the other extreme, 5G readiness, Broadband price index, and SME cross-border online sales show very strong growth, followed by the use of Social media by companies.

Graph 8. Evolution of indicators (2020-2021)

Graphic 9 analyzes the position of the subdimensions, comparing that of 2021 and its evolution with respect to 2020. The horizontal axis represents the increase, decrease or maintenance of positions, and the vertical axis the current position.

Graph 9. Positional evolution of sub-dimensions (2020-2021)
Graph 9. Positional evolution of sub-dimensions (2020-2021)
Source: Author's calculations

In this analysis two groups are differentiated; Firstly, on the right side of the graphic we find the group of subdimensions with leading positions in the ranking (in green) that have stayed the same (Advanced skills and development) or improved (Internet user skills, Fixed broadband take-up and coverage, Broadband price index, e-Commerce and e-Government). On the left is the group of subdimensions that lose positions (in blue), although they are still highly ranked (Mobile broadband, Digital technologies for businesses).

Below is Graphic 10, equivalent for the indicators.

Graph 10. Positional evolution of indicators (2020-2021)
Graph 10. Positional evolution of indicators (2020-2021)
Source: Author's calculations

Regarding the indicators, the differentiation by groups is similar to that of the subdimensions, but in this case with three groups. On the one hand, there is a first group of indicators with prominent positions that also improve with respect to 2020 (for example, Social media, in green). A second group is formed by the indicators that, despite retaining leading positions, go back to 2021 (as would be the case of e-Invoices, in blue). The third group is made up of indicators with more regressive or losing positions (Big data, in red). The indicator that gains the most positions is e-Government users (eleven) and the one that loses the most, Big data (four).

Graphic 11 combines the evolution of the value and the position of the subdimensions. The horizontal axis represents the variation of the subdimensions and the vertical axis the improvement or the retreat of positions. The horizontal dotted line indicates the average variation of the position of the subdimensions (2.30) and the vertical, the average variation of the value (18.30%).

Graph 11. Comparison of the evolution of sub-dimensions and positions (2020-2021)
Graph 11. Comparison of the evolution of sub-dimensions and positions (2020-2021)
Source: Author's calculations

As can be seen, the vast majority of subdimensions grow in value and maintain or improve their position with respect to 2020. Green shows the subdimensions that have grown in value and improved their position, as is the case with the Broadband price index or e-Commerce; in blue those that maintain the 2020 Position and have grown in value (Internet user skills), and in yellow those that despite having grown in value fall back in position (Mobile broadband and Digital technologies for businesses).

Graphic 12 shows the same comparison at the indicator level.

Graph 12. Comparison of the evolution of indicators and positions (2020-2021)
Graph 12. Comparison of the evolution of indicators and positions (2020-2021)
Source: Author's calculations

The analysis of the indicators shows that, in general, most of the indicators that improve in position are also the ones that grow the most, while those that decline positions are the ones that decrease the most. Of the 23 indicators analyzed, the 7 decreasing also fall back in position; while among the 16 indicators that show positive growth, 10 are advancing in position, 3 stay the same and 3 are retreating.

The fastest growing indicator is 5G readiness (117%) but it loses a position. The most important positional improvement corresponds to e-Government users (eleven positions), with a growth of almost 22%. On the other hand, the indicator that decreases the most is Big data (-27%) and loses four positions.

Regarding the average variations, 8 indicators grow above the average value of all these (11.28%). The average variation in terms of positions is 0.88.

In summary, the analysis of the evolution of the DESI of Catalonia in the last two years shows that no subdimension or dimension has had negative growth, and most have maintained or improved their position.

  1. At least 1 Gbps fixed broadband take-up, 5G coverage, SMEs with at least a basic level of digital intensity, AI, ICT for environmental sustainability, Pre-filled forms, Digital public services for citizens, Digital public services for companies, and Open data.

  2. The Digital Intensity subdimension cannot be parsed because its indicator is not available for the previous year.