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Driving Distracted in Workday®

On my last business trip, it was fun to drive a brand-new rental car. There were multiple dashboard views that contained more information than I could have imagined. Navigating two unfamiliar cities was a breeze with built-in tools that included directions, local restaurants, gas stations and parking garages. The music had well-tuned playlists that rivaled my own. I was also a menace on wheels. There was so much information and options, I had to stop, park the car and focus on finding and programming the information I needed to get to my destination.

Dashboard functionality in Workday® is a critical task that new clients are anxious to learn. Sales presentations include multiple examples of dashboards and scorecards that consolidate KPIs for executives and managers, along with the Finance and Human Resource teams. Post GoLive, your manager (or a level above) is poking around the tenant and asks where to find manager dashboards.

It doesn’t matter how great your Implementation Partner was – businesses are dynamic, ever-changing landscapes. Workday is continually updating its features, more frequently for some modules than biannual upgrades. There could be a merger, or a divestiture. Staff come on board or leave. There may be a punch list of over 100 items for the HRIS team to resolve. Add learning, creating and publishing dashboards to the list. It feels as if you’re driving distracted in Workday. Between what is needed to stabilize the tenant, gathering information for internal clients – and learning it all on the fly!

“You must unlearn what you have learned”

As a client, I remember learning how to get needed data from the system. The importance of report writing (beyond WD-delivered reports) was evident. I couldn’t even think of dashboards yet. Report writer class, check. Calculated fields class, check. I knew relational databases; the challenge was understanding business objects, related business objects and data sources. Focus on the basics in Workday.

“Patience you must have”

The road to dashboards begins with report writing and calculated fields. It continues with each type of report. Advanced reports are the most commonly used type, followed by matrix, then all other report types. Interested in composite reporting? Great – understand matrix reporting first.

As you’re learning how to build the various types of Workday reports, partner with functional areas in HR and/or Finance to learn what information they need in reports. Workday delivered dashboards are available; determine if the information provided is germane to your organization or if you need custom dashboards.

At last, you’re writing reports with ease and have assembled a set for a dashboard. Now, if you could just figure out how to get the reports to load in less than 30 seconds. What do you try next? Start with your data source. Are you using the correct one for the report? Could it be indexed for greater speed?

“Much to learn you still have”

Investing in Workday also means investing in necessary resources for your team. Give yourself a point for every yes answer to the following Workday knowledge transfers. Have you been able to:

  1. Attend Workday® training (in-person or virtual)?

  2. Attend Rising?

  3. Attend local RUGs?

  4. Block time for Community research?

  5. Subscribe to and review ‘What’s New in the last 7 Days’?

  6. Learn about a workdayhack?

  7. Discover and share a workdayhack?

  8. Phone a Workday friend for help?

  9. Have someone call you for help?

Surprised at the score?

With each new release, there’s new and/or improved functionality and new modules to learn. Where is your organization on the learning scale? Companies may elect to increase staff and training; others may outsource the entire function; some will strike a balance between the two – outsource specific aspects of Workday, while encouraging staff to increase their knowledge base.

If you feel as if you’re driving distracted in Workday®, stop, park, focus on finding information to get to your destination, and don't be shy to ask for help before you get lost.

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