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What is Workday Prism Analytics?


Use Workday Prism to grow your analytics

Regardless of where you are in your Workday journey, implementing Workday Prism Analytics into your system gives you the ability to dive deeper into your company data for better insights and decision making. In this article, we will review the basics of what Prism Analytics is, the associated benefits and examples of what this add on can do for you.

In July of 2016 Workday purchased Platfora, a leading provider in the operational analytics and data discover tooling space. Since then, Workday has been working to integrate the analytics platform into its core solutions, now known as Workday Prism Analytics. The key features of Prism Analytics include: data integration, data preparation, data governance, reports and dashboards and data discovery.

Prism Analytics enables data administrators and data analysts to create datasets for blending Workday and non-Workday data that data analysts can analyze inside Workday. With this technology, you can take data collected from outside of Workday and bring it into your tenant to leverage Prism’s advanced reporting and dashboarding capabilities. Examples include the ability to:

  • Import external data via sftp, manual upload, or API

  • Import internal data via custom report

  • Create base and derived datasets using:

    • Transformations (Filter, Group By, Union, Join, Manage Fields)

    • Calculated Fields

    • Period-to-Date Aggregation, Period-over-Period Trending

  • Develop Workday Reports off the new datasets

  • Leverage the new Workday Data Discovery Tool, a visualization tool to support more advanced analytics

Since it’s conception, Workday has been aggressively evolving and growing the Prism Analytics product.  They have over 240 customers using Prism and 76% of new Workday subscriptions have Prism in the proposal at the close of 2019. Due to this success, Workday is looking to have an additional 300 Prism customers added in 2020.

The benefits purchased with Prism

Prism is an additional SKU that you need to purchase from Workday.  While many companies already have their own enterprise integration and analytics product, not all end user data needs can be met by just one solution.  Leveraging your Enterprise Data Delivery System and Prism can lead to an enhanced solution to the following scenarios:

  • Insights on demand - Investing in the delivery and support of ERP systems aims to meet the main goal of making the end users’ life easier with intuitive solutions that keep up productivity. That’s why it’s imperative that organizations are giving the end user the data they need and more importantly, when they need it.  Prism’s ability to leverage data from other systems and integrate with Workday data allows data analysts and administrators to make business decisions without having to leave their system.

  • Security First - To allow other data delivery solutions like PowerBI and Tableau to work, you need to lift and shift the security model from Workday to those tools. This introduces risk and a potentially clunky user experience. With Prism, this becomes a non-issue as you are leveraging the Workday delivered security construct to manage the Prism data.

    • When you don’t provide your users access to the data they need to do their job, they create data “puddles”, or data that exists outside of your ERP or Enterprise Data Delivery solution (data warehouse/data late) and introduces data leakage risks. End users may take a report from your ERP, load it to an Access DB/Excel or other data manipulation solution and have it stored on a local desktops or laptops to do their job.  By solving for this need in the ERP itself, you mitigate this risk of sensitive data leaving your system.

  • Workday People Analytics- Your Prism Analytics subscription will give you access to a new product from Workday called Workday People Analytics.  These are delivered Workday dashboards that leverage AI to do predictive and prescriptive analytics. While this product is sold separately, using this technology with Prism Analytics allows for greater insights directly in your Workday system.

Prism customer use cases


Use Case: CRM data loaded to Workday Prism to see if any correlations between attrition and call center representative ticket types and work schedule.


  • Sample company is a technology management company that provides hardware, software and telephony support to client end users
  • They provide call center support to end users in support of procurement, desktop and server issues
  • Currently management pulls terminations from current month and compares to CRM data manually from prior to look for trends that may be contributing to attrition
  • Proposing team leverage Workday Prism to look for trends in the CRM data and Workday data that may be driving attrition
  • Will load CRM file into Prism and co-mingle with Workday indicative data and look for trends
  • Look at shifts, call duration and ticket volumes

Findings: Correlations between attrition and Leave of Absence requests and

  • 3d shift resources (expected)
  • Specific customers call center reps supported

HR Response

  •  Introduced additional HR policies to incentivize 3d shift work.
  • Rotated team members on and off specific customers, provided additional training for challenging customers and worked with customer to understand what was driving the volume to the call center in the first place and looked for opportunities to update call center scripts.
  • Worked with specific managers to help understand what was driving the attrition and offer additional manager training.  Monitor month over month to track changes.
  • Certain managers may have not been effective


Use Case: Legacy PeopleSoft HCM data being loaded into Workday Prism to create trended data sources for executive reporting.


  • Use Workday Prism/Discovery Boards to replace Oracle OTBIE Dashboards as part of the Workday implementation.

  • Not all PeopleSoft data will be converted into Workday as transactions, so this will be converted into Prism instead.

  • Both PeopleSoft and Workday data will be formatted as trended data in Prism.

  • Use Prism to join the legacy PeopleSoft data to Workday data to be able to create seamless historical dashboards. 

Summary: Bringing in legacy system historical data is a common use case we are seeing at Alight. We developed what we call our Point of View (POV) around this space.

Alight Point of View use cases

We have and are developing standard Prism delivery packages for clients related to the following:

  • HCM: Developed deployment approach in partnership with Workday for Legacy HCM ERP Data.

  • Financials: Developing Prism offerings by domain and industry vertical.  For example: Historical Invoices, Historical Revenue DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) and DPO (Days Pay Outstanding).

We currently have ten customers with multiple additional use cases in flight and a global support model for deployment and ongoing application management services (AMS).
Final considerations for Prism Analytics:

  • Prism allows you to pull in data from external sources and co-mingle it with your Workday data to provide visualizations to end users.

  • The main benefits are insights at the point of need in the Workday system while doing work in Workday.  Able to publish Prism dashboards with other end user dashboards for quick access

  • Prism leverages Workday’s existing security model so no need for redundant tools and risks of data leakage.

  • Prism use cases are many and varied.  Analytic needs are different in each organization because they are driven by a company’s core values.  Take time to understand what the tooling can do and work with your leadership to define an analytics delivery strategy leveraging external data.

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