Reimagining Productivity to Spur Innovation

We’re thinking of common business challenges in fresh ways to help make our customers more productive, collaborative, and informed. Learn more about our built-in Workday Productivity Suite, consisting of Workday Drive, Worksheets, and Slides for early adopters.

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Productivity and innovation are two sides of the same coin. The internal combustion engine wasn’t fitted into mechanical horses, after all. Inventors skipped a few steps and everyone was doing more, with less effort.

Workday, the engine of many enterprises, works behind the scenes to make everyday tasks not just easier, but more effective. Our built-in Workday Productivity Suite, consisting of Workday Drive, Worksheets, and Slides for early adopters, is engineered to enhance collaboration—exactly what’s needed in a nimble and modern organization, especially in light of current circumstances. 

The question is no longer if you can turn your organization on a dime—recently, most of us have had very little say in the matter. The question now is this: Will your pivot in people practices and financial management be painful and messy, or efficient and clear?

Let’s talk about a few common business challenges, and how we’re trying to solve them with Workday’s Productivity Suite, a set of capabilities included with Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Financial Management.

Challenges in a Data-driven Organization 

Extracting data from your human resources and financial management systems to model and play out what-if scenarios might be necessary, but often creates as many problems as the exercise is trying to solve. Needing to perform the same analysis on rapidly changing datasets means you’re forced to choose between constantly re-extracting data, or applying your modeling and analysis to data you know is stale. 

As a standalone product offered to both Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Financial Management subscribers, Worksheets allows for ad hoc analysis on live and secure data. It also solves a common problem that most people encounter when playing out what-if scenarios: Repeatedly extracting and analyzing data (which soon becomes outdated) from a system of record. 

Another challenge with data modeling and analysis is security and access rights. With Worksheets, the Workday security model is always applicable, and the right people get the right level of information for their role. Perhaps even more important in the modern era of GDPR compliance and email phishing: All data remains secured in the Workday cloud instead of leaking out into individual desktop files, or as attachments just one typo away from the wrong recipient.

In early December, we released a new innovation called Worksheets templates that enables you to create a template workbook file including formatting, formulas, and business logic alongside live data. This makes scalable distribution—with each recipient’s file respecting that worker’s contextual security—effortless. Many organizations want to become more data-driven, but secure distribution at scale is the hurdle that few have been able to clear. 

We think that Worksheets templates will be a game-changer for increasing data leverage and ROI with confidence. Imagine if a chef could share a recipe or technique with full confidence that the ingredients others would use were of the highest caliber. The final product would be unique to each cook’s implementation, but the chef would have absolute confidence in its quality. 

Worksheets is also embedded in certain Workday transactions or business processes, delivering a timely and pre-populated starting point for key data activities. A couple of examples: Reviewing data before acting on bulk hiring. Or, finalizing headcount details prior to initiating a re-org design, which was created in Workday Org Studio within the system itself. In those places, Worksheets is not only a read-only view of data, but has the added capability that lets users write data updates to the system of record from within the workbook (customers can learn more here). This capability seamlessly unites the entire data workflow into a single system of taking action—a powerful productivity gain for your entire enterprise. 

Giving Context to Live Data

Formatting pie charts doesn’t add much business value to your organization. But, as companies around the world struggle with which offices to open, and which offices to keep closed—while juggling employee needs, data from their country’s health authority, and the near- and long-term financial impacts on the business—employees have had to spend too much time lately tweaking slides. That may be a minor and relatively insignificant problem, but having to rebuild the same presentation every few weeks (if not days) is the exact sort of “business as usual” time-sink that shouldn’t have a place in the modern enterprise.

Slides makes the “what” the easy part, freeing up time to give more context and welcome more collaboration.

We believe that sharing a narrative around numbers, tables of data, and charts to provide relevant context should be an exercise in finding creative solutions, not data extraction and formatting. Enter Workday Slides, which generates a presentation with embedded data from Workday. This can accelerate decision making by supporting key stakeholders with the most up-to-date information possible because the Workday data (and external data for Workday Prism Analytics users) within Slides can be refreshed as necessary. And, since we all know understanding data is a team sport, Slides, like Worksheets, integrates seamlessly with Workday Drive to make sharing and collaboration with individuals and groups a breeze across your entire organization.

With an intuitive user interface that allows you to easily arrange and display the data in a way that’s most useful for your stakeholders, Slides makes the “what” the easy part, freeing up time to give more context and welcome more collaboration. This way, business leaders can not only accelerate decision making, but also arrive at their consensus with much more clarity and confidence. Customers can learn more about the Workday Slides early access programs here (login required).

One System of Action

Workday is built on an architecture for continuous evolution, which enables us to introduce solutions to solve real business problems. We have more in store when it comes to Workday Productivity Suite, but it’s important to remember why we’ve developed these new innovations.

Bottom line, we want to increase collaboration and productivity in an organization from the moment workers start using Workday. And, when we say “productivity” we don’t mean (just) saving time. We mean freeing up time to do the things that are most important: Finding root causes and then building a narrative so that others, who might have a different view of the world based on their role, can understand how these root causes impact the whole business.

Context and understanding are key to navigating our ever-changing world. Rest assured we’re doing everything we can to help our customers gain the time to build context around people and financial data, help others arrive at understanding, and collaborate in real time. 

To see how one of our customers is leveraging Workday Productivity Suite, and to see Workday Slides in action, watch here.

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