Survey of Digital Technology and Internet Use (SDTIU)

Detailed information for 2019





Record number:


The purpose of the 2019 Survey of Digital Technology and Internet Use (SDTIU) is to measure the impact of digital technologies, including the Internet and specific information and communication technologies (ICTs), on the operations of Canadian enterprises.

Data release - To be determined


The 2019 Survey of Digital Technology and Internet Use (SDTIU) is designed to measure the impact of digital technologies on the operations of Canadian enterprises.

Information gathered will help to better understand how enterprises use the Internet, including their online presence, involvement in e-commerce, use of specific information and communication technologies (ICTs) and interaction with federal government online services. The survey will also examine skills and employment in ICT-related jobs. The data from this survey will be used by government departments to develop policies and programs that will help improve Canada's innovation system and strengthen the overall economy.

The 2019 iteration of the SDTIU is sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Numerous other government departments also provided input during the questionnaire content development phase.

The results from this survey are also monitored by international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for benchmarking purposes and to study the development and the influence of the digital economy.

Reference period: The 12-month calendar year

Collection period: November of the reference year through March of the next year


  • Business and government internet use
  • Information and communications technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population was derived from Statistics Canada's Business Register (BR). The BR is an information database on the Canadian business population and serves as a frame for all Statistics Canada business surveys. It is a structured list of businesses engaged in the production of goods and services in Canada.

This survey covers enterprises operating in Canada in almost all industrial sectors. The industries in the target population are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Sectors 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 33, 41, 44, 45, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 61, 62, 71, 72 and 81 were included. The following entities were excluded to arrive at the target population:

- Government entities;
- Enterprises with less than 5 employees;
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (11), specialty trade contractors (238), head offices (551114), private households (814), and public administration (91);
- Enterprises from sectors 23, 48, 49, 53, 54, 56, 61, 62, 71, 72 and 81 with a revenue less than $100K;
- Enterprises from sectors 21, 22, 31, 32, 33, 41, 44, 45, 51, 52 and 55 with a revenue less than $250K.

Instrument design

The survey data will be collected using an electronic questionnaire.

The questionnaire was significantly redesigned from the previous version in 2013 to meet the policy needs of the sponsoring partner.

Cognitive testing of the questionnaire content was carried out in two phases in conjunction with the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre based at Statistics Canada in both official languages. The first round of testing concentrated on validating respondents' understanding of concepts, questions, terminology, the appropriateness of response categories and the availability of requested information. During the second round, the content was tested through one-on-one interviews with 18 potential respondents that took place in Gatineau, Montreal and Toronto. The resulting comments and analysis of these interviews led to further revision of the questionnaire to make the questions more relevant to respondents and easier to answer.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The survey frame was constructed by selecting all enterprises from the BR that met the definition of the target population. The number of enterprises within the target population is currently 339,207 enterprises.

Enterprises are stratified by industry and size categories. The size category is based on the number of employees of the enterprise. Three size categories were built: small (5-49 employees), medium (50-249 employees) and large (250 or more employees).
The size of the sample selected was determined based on the following:

¿ Proportional allocation was used assuming a reported proportion of 50% for each variable of interest;
¿ Domains were specified at the NAICS3 level for sectors: 23, 31, 32, 33, 41, 44, 45, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 56, 62, 71 and 72;
¿ Domains were specified at the NAICS4 level for sector 54;
¿ All other sectors had their domains specified at the NAICS2 level;
¿ A minimum response rate of 65% was expected.

The final sample size is 14,127 enterprises.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2019-11-28 to 2020-03-04

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data are collected through an electronic questionnaire. Businesses are initially contacted by telephone during a pre-contact phase to identify an appropriate contact within the enterprise to respond to the survey.

Follow-up because of non-response, inconsistent or missing data is done by phone on a priority basis.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

To be provided when data are released.


To be provided when data are released.


To be provided when data are released.

Quality evaluation

To be provided when data are released.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

These data are preliminary and will be revised on a monthly basis.

Data accuracy

To be provided when data are released.

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