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28 Nov 2017
by Liz Morrell

REBA Technology Survey 2017/18: AI & big data analytics to transform reward and benefits industry

The use of advanced predictive analytics is set to grow as employers recognise the value of analysing employee data to predict future trends and needs of their workforce.

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This is one of the key findings from the REBA Technology Survey 2017/18, a poll of 212 reward and employee benefit specialists conducted by the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) in association with JLT Employee Benefits.

Although only a minority of reward and benefits professionals currently use predictive analytics, the majority (58%) believe that using data mining, statistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to make data-based predictions about the future is an industry game changer, drastically increasing engagement with workplace rewards and benefits.

However, despite the desire to exploit the full suite of current technologies, nine in 10 are using generic spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel to manipulate their data, limiting organisations to producing fairly basic analyses with little actionable insight on what their employees want from their benefits package.

When choosing a supplier to augment or replace their existing network of platforms, unsurprisingly, user experience came out as a top priority, with 68% of respondents citing it as being of greater importance than price.

Debi O'Donovan, director at REBA, said: "Employers recognise the value inherent in the data they have, particularly if they can use it to predict which benefits will have the greatest positive impact on their workforces, or how reward strategies correlate with indicators such as performance, leadership effectiveness or profitability.

If employers are going to embrace this field more fully and achieve their ambitions, they clearly need to upskill themselves, their HR and reward teams, while also taking a longer-term view on the benefits of investing in technology for recruiting and retaining top talent."

Download the REBA Technology Survey 2017/18 in full. 

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