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Workday Puts Predictive Spin on HR Analytics

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Posted November 6, 2014 By Staff     Feedback

Workday brings an even stronger focus on analytics to its human capital management software by adding predictive capabilities.

It's a new day for Workday, the maker of financial management and HR software, as it rolls out a suite of HR analytics applications called Insight Applications.

The software is built on the technology Workday gained with its acquisition of Identified, a predictive analytics specialist, earlier this year.  As ISG analyst Stacey Cadigan wrote in a blog post, the Identified purchase gave Workday "not only leading-edge technology, but also some pretty impressive talent, as the acquisition brings on a team of data scientists and engineers with strong expertise in search, machine learning and predictive analytics. …"

"With Identified, Workday gains important capability in analytics technology that can be applied not just in recruiting, but throughout the Workday Human Capital Management suite," Cadigan wrote in her blog post.

While Workday has offered its clients visibility into past and current business activity, the new HR analytics software utilizes SYMAN, technology developed by Identified that Workday describes as "an intelligent information engine that weaves a predictive engine, a recommendation engine, matching algorithms, and search relevancy throughout the Workday foundation."

Adeyemi "Ade" Ajao, Workday's vice president of technology strategy, said that Insights can, for example, help HR professionals discover if a company's high-value employees are in danger of leaving by looking at data within Workday such as employee tenure and time between promotions, adding external data such as indexes of public job postings for high-demand positions, and then using SYMAN to determine the likely flight risks.

"From there, you're able to pull up recommended job changes for each person ranked by impact on retention risk. And right within Workday, you can start the process to make that job change. We think it's pretty exciting stuff for our customers," Ajao said.

Dan Beck, Workday's vice president of technology products, said Insight's ability to make recommendations and offer a path for acting upon them within the Workday system are what differentiate Insight Applications from competitive analytics products.

Workday has been investing in analytics over the past year, adding Big Data tools as part of an ambitious product refresh in late 2013.

Insight Applications will become generally available to Workday customers in 2015.

In addition to Insight, Workday this week announced improvements to its mobile interface. Noting that Workday has seen a 400 percent increase in customer activity on mobile devices, Joe Korngiebel, the company's vice president of user experience, said Workday has tweaked its iOS experience to make it more elegant, efficient and personalized. For example, Workday developers have reduced the number of navigation tabs and better leveraged touch gestures to make it easier for users to explore data.

The iOS version is available now and Workday will introduce an Android version in the first half of 2015.

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