Workday's big data play: The gateway drug to financials?

The analytics applications are key to Workday's expansion plans since they act as a bridge from HR to financials.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Workday's launch of its Big Data Analytics software may ultimately be the bridge between getting its core human capital resources customers to use its financial applications too.

On Tuesday at its Workday Rising powwow, the company will take the wraps off of its Big Data Analytics system, which is part of Workday 20, which has 200 new features. The key features are market compensation comparisons, payroll cost analysis, headcount pictures, retention risk analysis and high performance profiles. Revenue data and worker productivity are on deck as templates.



Meanwhile, IBM Global Business Services and Deloitte will build templates for Big Data Analytics. With system integrators on board, Workday can boost its enterprise ecosystem.

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The analytics applications are key to Workday's expansion plans. The company has financial applications, but mostly relies on HR customers. Workday has 500 HCM customers and 50 also have financials. The ideal scenario for Workday would to bolster that ratio so the two systems go together.



Analytics could be a bridge. Dan Beck, vice president of technology product at Workday, said Big Data Analytics is the first time Workday has opened its cloud to non-Workday data. "HR customers are already bringing in a lot of financial information," said Beck. "With analytics we'll have customers seeing financial data comingled with HCM and payroll data."

Big Data Analytics is a separate service, but Workday intends on selling it along with its HR applications. Workday said Big Data Analytics won't be available as standalone.

"We're not trying to be all things to all people," said Beck.

Beck added that analytics will highlight what's possible. "It's a gateway to more financial applications," said Beck.

The ideal scenario would be that Workday customers will start using analytics for headcount planning in line without imports. Workday's big data platform will pull from financial systems as well as third party information.

Workday doesn't disclose pricing, but big data analytics will follow similar contract term with 3-year and 5-year deals the norm.



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