Workday Data to Snowflake, Azure, Redshift, BigQuery

 

workday data extraction

Need your Workday data delivered to Snowflake, Redshift, Azure, BigQuery?  We can now provide that focused data integration capability for customers who just wish to get their data out of Workday to integrate into their own People Analytics or BI strategy.  We have many customers and current prospects that have come to us to solve their challenges in accessing obtaining and maintaining a historic data load from Workday.  Workday's tools don't allow for scale or up to date synchronization and other data integrators use the simple access points missing out on granularity, and complex transactions. One Model has the only integration that is purpose built to deliver a granular historical history and to overcome Workday's limitations in providing snapshot data and the many complex data transactions that require specialized interrogation of the API. Previously customers needed to buy our Enterprise product offering but we can now offer our Workday value proposition at an affordable entry point. We're data engineers ourselves and know the difference that our data integration can make to Workday customers.  See below for detail on the offering and how we solve for Workday.

 

Why is it such a problem to get data out of Workday?

Architecture

Workday’s much touted architecture of being object oriented actually causes major issues in extracting data from Workday.  The need to access many millions of objects means that complexity has increased in order to pull a useful data feed.  Workday objects are snapshot in nature such that a time reference must be provided which hampers retrieving a historical view.  The architecture is highly efficient for a transactional system but is terrible for data access and reporting at scale. This is a large reason why you see complexity limits in the embedded reporting and analytics. In comparison to the other HRIS vendors Workday is much harder, and much slower to extract data from.  

Goodbye, Object Oriented Programming | by Charles Scalfani | Medium

Front End RaaS / Custom Reports

"No RaaS report has ever been accurate and it absolutely stops workday" 

- large Workday customer

The front end reporting is the primary method many organizations use to get data out of Workday.  Reports can be created and made accessible via API which makes automation easier.  When you hear organizations say they use the API this is generally the API they refer to and it’s what most integration software vendors connect to.  The interface is fine for simple reports but it fails for large extracts that need to maintain synchronization with an external data store. Retroactive changes generally cannot be seen in these snapshots so they get out of sync with the data’s true reality pretty quickly. To overcome this most organizations will configure a daily snapshot extract, a weekly extract to replace retro changes for the week, and a monthly or bi annual extract to replace all data through history.  The issue here is obviously records changing in between these extracts won’t be seen and your data store will be out of sync with workday resulting in analytics, reporting, and data users losing trust in the data. 

Large organizations have found running large RaaS reports are unreliable and prone to failure due to their size.  It becomes exceedingly difficult to keep an external copy of their workday data maintained with the tools provided by Workday.  The only scalable solution is to build against the larger SOAP API that you can see here  

 

Solving for Workday Data Extraction

 

Integration Built for Workday

One Model has the only integration built for Workday that uses the larger SOAP API and has been built to overcome the challenges we see with hidden transactions and changes that are not visible/reportable in the API or front end reporting.  We have spent 25,000 hours and counting on this integration.  

The SOAP API is the only way to run a large integration at scale and to build full historical extraction that transitions to accurate daily incremental updates incorporating retroactive changes without having to replace the entire data set.  The initial extraction can take some time; a couple days for smaller organizations through to weeks for larger organizations.  The data set is significant ranging into the Terabytes, workday is slow, and multiple additional calls are required to get a complete history.

Complex Transactions

There are several types of transactions that are not easily accessible within the API and require specialized additional processing and decision making by our extraction software.  Many of these have to do with Organizational and Reporting relationship changes, for example think about a Supervisor transfer which can be seen for the Supervisor themselves as an event but isn’t natively seen as an event for the direct reports below.  The result is incorrect data and relationships that typically are not found until individuals question the data (trust us we found all these problems the hard way).  

We have had to build for dozens of scenario’s like the above where data needs to be understood during the transaction and Workday re-interrogated to extract the complete data set.  Your average integration toolset can’t/won’t deal with this or even understand that this is a problem.  

Handling Workday's Maintenance Periods

Every week Workday will shut down access to the API's for Maintenance, the window for this activity can vary and isn't always consistent.  Any long running extraction must take into account the maintenance period, be able to pause and restart without losing data or requiring a restart.  This is particularly important for large organizations and initial full data extractions that may run over these maintenance windows.  

How to Understand the Workday Data Model

Our complete extraction will pull over a thousand objects and tables from Workday, even our core workforce data pulls several hundred tables.  These must be distilled down and connected to be useful for analysis, reporting, and usage downstream.  We have extensive experience delivering solutions for Workday customers and have a powerful data model providing an analytics-ready view of Workday data.  A set of Fact and Dimension tables are provided that can be used directly in your Tableau, Power BI, or tool of choice.  Importantly reporting relationship structures are available for immediate usage.  

Use these models or customize them for your own needs or simply learn from them as you build out your own approach and capabilities.  

 

Workday data delivered to Snowflake, Redshift, Azure, BigQuery

With the raw and analytics-ready data created this data can be pushed out to your own data store. We can currently or will shortly support pushing data out on your own configured schedule to 

  • Warehouses: Redshift, Snowflake, Azure SQL, BigQuery
  • File Stores: AWS S3, Azure, Google
  • Files: SFTP

What you Get under our Workday Data Essentials Service

  • Daily data extraction from Workday.
  • A complete historical view of Worker data incorporating hidden transactions.
  • Analytics-ready data models for viewing or optionally editing and extending via our IDE
  • Optional access to our Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to manage data model’s and use One Model to orchestrate your Workday data ready for usage.
  • Data Quality and Validation Dashboards for Workday
  • Example analytics and reporting content for Workday.
  • Options for which modules and the integration of additional external data are available.

 

What's It Cost and How Do I Get More Information?

You've made it this far so we know it's your next question.  This capability has been separated from our Enterprise product so it's now positioned as an entry point product.  Pricing is based on size of the organization and is comparable to off the shelf integration tools.  The One Model advantage gives you purpose built people analytics integrations, data models ready for analytics and content ready to consume.   

Reach out to us through the below

Request a Demo

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Or via the chat bubble in the bottom right of this page

 

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