Workday Announces Self-Service Analytics and Data as a Service

Workday Prism Analytics and Benchmarking will help enable better insights from human capital and finance data, the company says at a customer event.


CHICAGO—Cloud ERP vendor Workday used the opening day of the Workday Rising customer conference here Oct. 10 to announce availability of its Workday Prism Analytics service based on technology from the company's acquisition of Platfora last year.

Workday also announced general availability of Workday Benchmarking, a data-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering that is designed to give organizations a way to compare their workforce performance against that of peers using anonymized data submitted by other Workday customers.

The announcements were part of a broader campaign by Workday at the customer event to showcase its commitment to helping organizations get better insight and value from their financial and human capital related data. More than 1,800 organizations worldwide currently use Workday's core human capital management capabilities, while some 370 are signed up for the financial management component.

Workday Prism Analytics enables organizations to combine HR and financial data from Workday apps with data from external sources and run self-service analytics across the entire dataset. Such analysis can enable a plethora of use cases, said Pete Schlampp, vice president of Workday Analytics, during an inaugural keynote at Workday Rising on Oct. 10.  

Prism Analytics was designed using feedback from some of Workday's largest customers and enables better insights from data in existing Workday Human Capital Management and Financial Management systems, he noted.

Organizations, for instance, can use the capability to manage employee turnover by combining internal attrition data with third-party survey data on employee retention. Or, they could study the impact of employee absences and overtime by combining and analyzing time off data and manufacturing floor output data, Workday said in a separate statement announcing Prism Analytics. Business insights gained from such analysis can be shared across the enterprise.

Data from external sources can be stored, searched and navigated in the Workday cloud.  Business analysts can also pull raw data from any source into Workday Prism Analytics and use self-service tools to cleanse and prepare the data for analysis, the company noted. Future versions will give business users a way to navigate data and build reports using visual tools.

Workday's DaaS Offering

The newly available benchmarking service, meanwhile, is Workday's first DaaS offering. It is designed to give organizations a reliable and timely way to measure how they stack up against organizations with similar demographics in areas such as workforce composition, compensation and leadership effectiveness.

To participate, organizations contribute selected data on their business to Workday, which then anonymizes the data and adds it to an aggregated dataset. In return, they can get data showing how they compare with peers within the Workday user community.

For example, a company could compare how diverse its workforce is in comparison to similar firms. Similarly, a company could measure how it is doing in terms of employee retention or whether its business processes are faster or slower than others, Workday said. The benchmarks can be viewed via any of Workday's existing dashboards and applications.

Another significant announcement from Workday Rising was Workday's decision to open up its cloud platform to customers and partners. In comments during the inaugural keynote, Workday’s Chief Technology Architect Jon Ruggiero said the goal is to make it easier for customers to design, build and deploy applications on the Workday cloud platform.

Workday will expose the building blocks of its applications via application programming interfaces (APIs) and give customers and partners access to the same data that Workday's own developers use to build applications. "We have also simplified authentication and integration to Workday APIs with a new single API endpoint and inbound and outbound web hooks," he noted.

As part of the initiative, Workday has established a new site that developers can use to learn about and try tools and services for building applications around the platform. Early adopter customers who already are using the site also have access to a catalog of sample applications that they can use to learn from and build upon, Workday said.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.