Adopting modern, cloud-based solutions like Workday is not just about the technical work—it’s about the changes to an organization that technology makes possible.

While Workday’s intuitive user experience and unified platform enable employees to spend less time on processes and more on value-add projects. This means that as technology evolves, it allows for HR and managers’ roles to shift. As I shared in my earlier post, Workday enables HR transformation and delivers more value when an organization adopts new ways of working, delivering HR-as-a-Service.


One of the potential benefits of Workday-powered transformation is the enablement of data-driven HR services where an organization drives continuous improvement through workforce analytics and data-driven insights to optimize its workforce makeup and talent productivity. With data together in one system, businesses can better train and allocate people, identify leadership candidates and gain new workforce insights that directly impact company performance. Leaders have always been hungry for this analysis, but data problems, slow systems and long processes previously made it too difficult.

To get the most of their data, organizations are now empowering their workforces by putting it into users’ hands. Instead of reacting to only pressing questions, it is now possible for those who properly understand the data—whether it’s HR, a manager or a combination of the two—to analyze and respond to business requirements proactively. For example, in the very early stages of a Workday deployment for a global technology firm, executives were able to see how their workforce was aging, leading to a renewed focus and expansion on succession planning and accelerating talent attrition programs.

When business intelligence is no longer solely driven by IT and HR, answers can be instantaneous, personal and meaningful. Users gain direct, real-time and secure access to data, with easy-to-use, intuitive analytics that require curiosity and business knowledge more so than system training. For example, Workday Prism Analytics empowers users to explore the data most meaningful to them, enabling users to react, adjust and collaborate with HR in roles requiring robust analytics skills and a strong understanding of the business, so they can integrate workforce data with business data to produce actionable insights.

To make this kind of transformation, organizations must think beyond the technology. They must expand thinking to include data sources, capabilities of data consumers, the culture and expectations of the organization at large, and an integrated security model that creates and maintains a level of trust between employees and their employers who ultimately consume this workforce data. Getting this right is critically important: According to recent Accenture research, the difference in growth rates between losing and earning employee trust through the use of workforce data is as much as 12.5 percent, or US$3.1 trillion globally.

Starting with its unified data and security model, enabled with a consumer-grade user experience, systems like Workday are helping organizations around the world shift to this data-driven mindset. This also presents a large opportunity—by enabling self-service and giving employees access to their own data, it improves employee trust and enables a greater flow of workforce insights across the organization.

As organizations shift to this model, perhaps most importantly, HR must embed a repeatable, ongoing change-management capability to support the business in making talent and human capital adjustments based on this next level of democratized data access and analysis. Without a focus on managing the change associated with acting from data insights, momentum can quickly die as users and the business return to old methods, processes and programs.


Continuous improvement through HR analytics and data-driven insights helps maximize the return on talent investments when organizations change to take greatest advantage of the technology. However, a focus on data is not enough—HR must also adopt agile principles to be responsive to the ongoing changes in strategy, culture and technology.

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A focus on #data is not enough—#HR must adopt agile principles to be responsive to ongoing changes in strategy, culture and technology.

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My next blog in this series will explore how agile HR helps drive Workday-powered transformation. In the meantime, learn more about Accenture’s research into Trust, Data and Unlocking Value in the Digital Workplace.

Ed Miller

Managing Director – Workday Business, Advisory Services Lead

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