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Data Migration for Workday System Implementation

2018 Excellence Awards Entry: Data Migration for Workday System Implementation

Name: Liz Pittoni (on behalf of Cynthia Eckles)
Title: Workday Data Migration review
Company: Alteryx 





Overview of Use Case:

Workday is the HCM system target for enterprise deployment 4Q2018. During the multiple rounds of data loading and cleansing, Alteryx was used to confirm the data in the current system matches what is in Workday.


Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve:


One of the biggest challenges with any project is moving data and ensuring that it is done quickly and correctly.


1. The first step is to populate the data into the new system from various sources (Newton, ADP, WD DGW). Alteryx was used to pull data extracts from each of the systems, combine the data and populate the template to be loaded into Workday. Seamlessly!


 2. Once the data was loaded, then we needed to validate that the information was correct. The Alteryx workflow removed the manual process suggested by the implementation consultant. This process would have taken weeks and not been as thorough. Alteryx allowed us to check all data and diagnose discrepancies within a few seconds once the workflow was built. With subsequent data loads for this project, this workflow will automate all the data validation. It's HUGE!!!


Describe your working solution:


The workflows were completed in designer. the workflow takes data extracts from ADP WorkforceNow and Newton to populate the Workday DataGathering Workbook (DGW) in the format required by Workday.

ADP-Workday Benefits data validation.jpg




Describe the benefits you have achieved:


By using an Alteryx workflow, we were able to eliminate manual review of spot checking data. Secondly, we saved an enormous amount of time populating the same template over and over (i.e. once the workflow was created it was used to populate all the DGWs for wave 1 and will be used for wave 2). Rather than using vlookups to combine various data sources, Alteryx was able to combine all the source data into an output which was digestible by Workday. Lastly, and most importantly, Alteryx saved the sanity of the team since this data checking would have been performed manually.

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Sounds like an amazing success!....Congratulations on being able to leverage the tool for this. 

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Wow! looks amazing success for everyone involved. Just wanted to check if you're aware if there's way to connect to Workday to source date. would you also mind posting broader checks, validation etc involved. we're looking to initiate similar initiative hence the query.


@Sudeshna adding Cynthia Eckles @CynthiaE who is the mastermind about Workday + Alteryx solution to assist.


Hi @Sudeshna!


We used static sources for the examples above (Excel spreadsheets) and used *a lot* of joins to compare one system to another. It made comparing the multiple data sources, finding duplicates, etc. *so* much easier than if we had to do it by (yuck) eye.


However, if you want a live/real-time connection to Workday from Designer, I would suggest checking out Shane Conklin's XML Parsing tool on Alteryx Gallery:!app/Workday-XML-Download-Macro/5c34f9cc826fd30988ed9e79


In order for the solution to work, you need a few things:

  • If your organization has SSO enabled, you will need to either:

    • Have your Workday security admin allow you to sign into Workday using a username and password. This is managed in the "Manage Authentication Policies" task, OR
    • Create an Integration Security Group and add the group to the "Web Services" Authentication Whitelist.
      • This ISG needs to have access to the data sources that a custom report will use, e.g. "All Workers"
      • Create an Integration System User (ISU) account and add it to the above ISG.
  • Regardless of the method above, you will need to enter the ISU's credentials in the username and password section of the macro.
  • Once that is completed, create a custom report with Web Services enabled in Workday. 
    • Make sure the custom report you create is an Advanced Report from a single data source with no Group Column Headings (e.g. all from the "Workers" business object).
  • Copy and paste the "Simple XML" link from the Web Service URL.
  • You can create and add as many of these single data source reports with additional tools on Designer's canvas as needed and use Designer's Join tool to match them (no Workday calculated fields needed!)
    • For example, I have joined a Positions report <-> Requisitions report <-> Candidate report linking the Req # and Position.
  • Proceed as you would with any additional downstream tools you would use.

I hope this helps!





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Thanks Cynthia for very detailed response. yes, i'm looking for ways to download outputs of the reports scheduled in Workday. i feel ( not aware exactly but need to dig in further) the report i'm looking to pull in automated way .. may be querying more than one source etc.. in short violating the criteria you've outlined here.

is there an option to pull data/report via API?

while all this still in nascent stage, will get back to you with more detailed queries. 

Thanks a ton Liz.




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@Sudeshna Did you ever figure out how to do this with automation? I am trying to do something similar for regularly scheduled reporting, but the URL changes every time the report is run.

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@ebwest Did you figure out how to do this with automation?

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Hi there - No, I didn't figure this out yet. I put it back on hold until I can spend more time trying to work through it.
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Many thanks for your thorough outline of working with the Workday Solution created by Shane. I've been utilizing it in a similar fashion, and was curious if you had ever attempted to utilize the download tool to snag a CSV instead (of the data in Simple XML format via Shane's tool), and if it yielded any success?


I've tried to take this route to reduce the number of times I need to create joins, and it doesn't seem to be working within Alteryx. That is, Alteryx returns a HTTP error when it tries to make the call to the same report which would return when the format is Simple XML. I also want to share that I can get the call to execute appropriately in Postman, so it isn't a question of the link, etc.


Let me know if I can provide additional clarity! Thanks!


Hi, @janellek!


In one of my earliest experiments, the Download Tool was the most successful with CSV, particularly with reports with Group Column Headers. I did not use Shane's version, but instead created this workflow with two tools, which you could turn into a macro, or an Analytic App.


I've attached screen captures of Text Input and Download Tool configurations that worked for me. 


  • Pull in a Text Input tool, create a column called "URL" and the other called "Download To".
  • In the URL field, copy and paste the URL for CSV from the "View URLs" for a report in Workday. 
  • In the Download To field, let Designer know where to put the output of the CSV.


Text input tool.jpg


  • Pull in a Download Tool, and choose "URL" as the URL field, and in the To A File section, select the "Filename from a field" option and select the "Download To" field.

Download tool - Basic tab.jpg


  • Leave all of the other configurations as default.
  • When you run the workflow, a CSV will download into the specified location.

I hope this helps you! Let me know if you have any additional questions.







Thank you for sharing this information @CynthiaE !! Very cool

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@CynthiaE ,


Thank you so much!! This solution worked wonderfully, and I was able to write my report to a CSV in the appropriate destination folder.


That said, the output in the browse tool was a bit odd, as it noted there was an error in a section which was created, "DownloadHeaders":


Error: HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized...


Out of curiosity, have you ever encountered this? 


Thank you again for all of your help!

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It was great to read your post Cynthia - really informative!


I am wondering if you maybe do some testing not only with fetching data from Workday but also with loading data directly from Alteryx to Workday using Workday API? I know that we could simply populate Workday loading template but I am trying to decide if it will be easier to load the data directly.