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A deeper dive into Workday Innovation Services

Opting in to Workday Innovation Services allows you to take advantage of best-in-class third-party utilities, advanced technologies, and intelligent services. There are a handful currently available: 

  • Benchmarking
  • Public Data
  • Skills Cloud for HCM and Recruiting
  • Content Cloud for Learning
  • Natural Workspaces

Please note you must subscribe to Workday’s Innovation Services, by submitting an Innovation Services Order Form. Once the umbrella legal agreement is signed with Workday, you can turn on each Innovation Service as you choose. All of the most current details about each are found in Workday Community.



Workday Benchmarking allows you to compare your key performance indicators to metrics from peers in your industry, giving you visibility into where your organization stands compared with other Workday customers. The benefit of using benchmarking data allows you to make strategic decisions about where to invest your resources to gain a competitive advantage. The beauty of using Workday Benchmarking is that the data is compiled and updated monthly, so your benchmarks are always current (and you don’t have to go through the heavy lift required to gather and submit your data when using a third-party benchmarking vendor).

The two most common questions we hear about this service are: is my company’s information protected? and how much data is available to benchmark against? Workday protects participant company data in a few different ways including de-identification, encryption and setting a minimum participation threshold so that no single customer may be identified. At the time of this writing, Workday Benchmarking has data from over 600 companies across all industry groups in more than 70 countries.

So now that you know what it is, let’s look at some practical ways that you might take advantage of Workday Benchmarking. Some of the basics include the ability to quickly gauge the average span of control of your managers as compared with others in your industry or compare the average number of steps in your business processes to others in your region or industry. Digging a little deeper, you could also gain insight into activity across your industry, like last month’s overall turnover for female employees, or the rate of absenteeism during peak holiday times for your region. With more than 70 benchmarks across HCM, Recruiting, Financial Management and Workday usage, you have many options for gaining valuable insights.


Public Data

Continuing with the theme of access to useful data to gain business insights, Workday’s Public Data option delivers high-value, publicly available data directly to your tenant – and keeps it current. The current public data set available is the American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Similar to Benchmarking, access to these data allows you to see your metrics alongside external factors.

Using this information, you can tap new geographies that possess critical talent for recruiting purposes or view the ethnicity breakdown for an occupation in a location for your diversity initiatives or gain line of sight into the size of the workforce in your current location or compare prospective locations.

Keep an eye on Workday Community for more information about future public data sets.


Skills Cloud for HCM and Recruiting

Was it just us, or did you also notice that Skills Cloud received a lot of attention during the HCM Keynote at Workday Rising this year? There is good reason it is getting a lot of buzz. Skills Cloud, which provides a standardized list of worker skills, sets the stage for simplifying the arduous task of connecting the dots between worker skills and job skills. Because there is no standard nomenclature for skills and skills are continually evolving, every organization has to continually update and manage their list of skills. Not only that but if a worker or candidate enters in their own skill, recruiters cannot use it as a search facet.

To solve this universal problem, Workday is using machine learning to curate and normalize a list of skills, identify synonyms, and infer certain relationships between skills. Simply put, this means that when a recruiter wants to find candidates with process design skills or JavaScript skills, they do not have to figure out the ten different ways candidates might have entered it. Skills Cloud also carries no administrative overhead to maintain.

As an aside, please note you will find a lot of great information about Skills Cloud in Workday Community; just not on the Innovation Services Descriptions page. There, you will find Workday Graph. This is because Skills Cloud is Workday’s first offering under Workday Graph.


Content Cloud for Learning

If you are using Workday Learning, you can take advantage of Workday Content Cloud to configure access to third-party providers with a regular sync to ensure the most up to date content is available in your learning catalog. Current providers are Harvard ManageMentor, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy for Business (in preview as of 18 October 2019) and YouTube. You may enable YouTube content for free and choose from 33 different channels. For the other providers, you will enter information about your existing subscription to set up the integration.

When you integrate your external providers in Workday Learning you improve and streamline your employees’ user experience in Workday. Employees will not have to go to multiple places to get training and vendor courses completed in Workday will appear on the transcript, so managers will have a more comprehensive view of the training their employees completed. System admins may use vendor content in programs or campaigns to provide more comprehensive learning programs.

Check Workday’s strategic roadmap for any additional external content providers planned for future releases.

Natural workspaces

Workday’s Natural Workspaces gives employees a way to access and use certain Workday features directly within leading social and collaboration platforms. Today, with Natural Workspaces, you can integrate Workday with Slack; Microsoft Teams is planned for the future.

With Natural Workspaces employees can perform common Workday self-service tasks, such as managing time off requests, sending anytime feedback and looking up employee information, directly within the collaboration tool. It provides a better, more unified employee experience and helps employees and managers work more efficiently because they do not have to leave the application they spend the majority of their time in to perform tasks in Workday.

For more information, check out the Slack FAQs on Workday Community.

Signing up for Workday’s Innovation Services sets your organization up to take advantage of these features and future offerings as part of your existing Workday services agreement.

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