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Which Industries Use Digital Tools the Most (and Least)?

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The American economy is increasingly divided between a few sectors with advanced digital capabilities and many others that lag significantly behind, according to a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

The findings were based on an analysis of companies in 30 US industries. The researchers examined 27 indicators to understand how each sector is applying digital assets, digital tools, and digital workers.

A few industries have become highly digitized over the past decade, the analysis found. In particular, information and communications technology (ICT), media, professional services, and financial services companies are at the forefront of the digital revolution.

However, the rest of the major industries in the US economy are far less digitized than those leading sectors.

Many labor-intensive industries, such as retail and healthcare, are expanding digital use, but substantial parts of their workforces do not yet use technology extensively, the analysis found.


Industries that are both highly labor-intensive and localized, such as construction and agriculture, tend to rank lowest in digital usage.

About the research: The findings were based on an analysis of companies in 30 different US industries. The researchers examined 27 indicators to understand how each sector is utilizing digital assets, tools, and workers.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by John Hornbeck Sat Jan 16, 2016 via web

    I find it interesting that the nonprofit sector is completely left out, even though it is an extremely large sector of the economy. Unfortunate. I would have loved to see what this study showed comparing nonprofits to all of these other industry sectors.

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