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  • Writer's pictureAlex from Alabama

Should We Use Discovery Boards?

Discovery Boards provide a drag-and-drop interface for ad-hoc analysis and reporting inside of Workday. Data is represented in the form of tables, charts, graphs, or other visualizations (viz).

A discovery board is made up of sheets and vizzes. If we compare Discovery Boards to dashboards, we can think of sheets like dashboard tabs, and vizzes like worklets. Each sheet can contain up to 10 vizzes. There is no hard limitation to the total amount of sheets and vizzes you can have in a single discovery board. However, the recommended limit is 15 due to performance concerns.

Discovery Boards are created in Workday Drive. You can share Discovery Boards with individual users or security groups within Drive. You can grant users view or edit access. Discovery boards use the same Workday security model to secure access to data.

Each viz references a single data source. A sheet can contain vizzes from different data sources. Workday recently extended support for many Workday-delivered data sources. Discovery boards only support indexed data sources. You can also leverage Prism data sources if you are a Workday Prism customer.

There are several available viz types that allow you to display your data in different ways. Some viz types are able to be exported as custom reports. Other types are unique to Discovery Boards and cannot be exported as custom reports.

Currently available viz types and their compatibility:

  • Discovery Boards (cannot export to a custom report)

    • Bar Chart

    • Line Chart

    • Area Chart

    • Heatmap

    • KPI

    • Scatterplot

    • Waterfall

  • Matrix Report

    • Chart – Bar, Line, etc.

    • Donut Chart

    • Pivot Table

  • Advanced Report

    • Table

To help you get started, Workday has provided some pre-built Discovery Boards. These delivered Discovery Boards can be found in your tenant by running the task/report “Delivered Discovery Boards.

You are able to copy these delivered Discovery Boards and modify them directly in your tenant.

There is also a great link on Community that has different use cases for each viz type, along with steps for creating them in your tenant.

Here are some examples the viz charts:

#1 Line Chart

#2 Area Chart

#3 Bar Chart

#4 Heatmap

#5 KPI

#6 Scatterplot

#7 Waterfall

In our assessment, Discovery Boards is a tool that all Workday report writers and data analysts should have in their tool belt. Discovery Boards has improved significantly since it was made generally available with the 2020R2 release. Workday has shown us that they are making a significant investment in this area. There are several key components that set this tool apart from other reporting capabilities in Workday. Discovery Boards offers unique visualizations like KPIs and Waterfall charts that we can’t easily create with Report Writer or Dashboards. It also gives us the ability to customize colors for many visualizations which can greatly improve how your data is presented. Also, for many use cases, you can build things in Discovery Boards much faster thanks to the drag-and-drop interface. This can be a “game changer” for your organization.


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