Workday Adaptive Planning
Workday is a cloud-based enterprise software and ERP vendor with a particular focus on human capital management, financial management and enterprise planning. The company has a turnover of $6.22 billion and employs 17,500 people worldwide.
Workday’s portfolio includes applications for finance, HR, planning, procurement and analytics. The vendor’s main offerings for performance management and analytics are Workday Financial Management, Workday Adaptive Planning and Workday Prism Analytics.
Workday Adaptive Planning (formerly Adaptive Insights) was an acquisition to extend Workday’s enterprise planning and CPM capabilities. The flexible and scalable cloud-based platform offers business-user-friendly functionality for various performance management processes, particularly planning, budgeting and forecasting, but also reporting, analysis and dashboarding. It enables continuous planning across the organization – from enterprise-wide financial planning and analysis to detailed operational planning for specific functions such as HR, sales, marketing, production and demand. Moreover, Workday Adaptive Planning offers embedded ML-based capabilities for advanced analytics called Intelligent Planning. Intelligent Planning consists of a meta learning algorithm (generates time series forecasts, for example, for demand forecasting) also including capabilities for intelligent demand forecasting, anomaly detection and outlier reporting. Embedded ML functions surface insights to business users that are incorporated in the planning process. Workday Adaptive Planning is used via a fully web-based application (HTML5), which is compatible with popular browsers and can also be run on browsers on mobile devices. Supplementary Microsoft Office add-ins are available. The platform is based on a multidimensional in-memory modeling engine (Elastic Hypercube Technology), whereby data is stored in a relational database in the back end. All calculations and aggregations are performed in-memory. Workday Adaptive Planning enables interoperability and data integration with numerous software applications, back-end systems and other third-party offerings including ERP, CRM and HCM systems. Customers have the flexibility to either use Workday Adaptive Planning’s application programming interfaces (APIs) or purpose-built embedded integration framework (which comes with multiple prebuilt integration connectors) to manage their own data integrations.
Workday Adaptive Planning can be used together with the Workday suite of applications or with non-Workday solutions. Workday’s marketing and sales strategy positions it as a standalone product as well as offering it as a part of the suite to Workday HCM and Workday Financial Management customers. The vendor will continue to position the product within its existing customer base as a future strategic direction. Customers who deploy Workday Adaptive Planning with Workday HCM and/or Workday Financial Management leverage a unified security and user experience, as well as native data management with the ability to drill back to data and master data in the ERP system or publish plans back to Workday core transactional systems. Overall, Workday Adaptive Planning is used by more than 6,100 customers of various sizes from a wide range of industries worldwide.
Workday Financial Management offers complete ERP with comprehensive finance and accounting capabilities. For financial consolidation and close, it provides functionality that allows companies to consolidate as they transact. Workday Consolidations combines financial results of subsidiary companies into the parent company to create combined financial results. It automatically creates intercompany and eliminating entries across the group. As accounting and journal lines are created, Workday Journal Insights detects anomalies leveraging embedded ML capabilities.
Complementing the portfolio, Workday Prism Analytics (acquired with Platfora) offers data management and analytics capabilities, including the ability to integrate and ingest operational data in order to blend this together with financial information to drive more comprehensive insight and decision-making. Workday Prism Analytics supports an analytics layer that enables Prism data sets to be discoverable, searchable, combined with core Workday data and surfaced in a wide array of dashboards and reports.
User & Use Cases
86 percent of Workday Adaptive Planning users are planning users – significantly above the survey average of 69 percent – reflecting the fact that Workday Adaptive Planning is essentially an integrated planning and CPM tool rather than a BI and analytics tool. This is also born out in its typical use cases. Customers leverage Workday Adaptive Planning for financial planning (90 percent) but also operational planning (74 percent). Here, planning takes place at different aggregation levels. Workday Adaptive Planning is used for budgeting (97 percent), forecasting (61 percent) and strategic planning (60 percent). Besides planning, customers mainly use it for ad hoc query (87 percent) and standard/enterprise reporting (83 percent). Many respondents also plan to use it for dashboards/BI applications (48 percent), strategic planning (33 percent) and forecasting (32 percent) in the future.
Workday Adaptive Planning targets companies of all sizes across all industries. 68 percent of our sample of Workday Adaptive Planning customers come from mid-sized companies (100-2,500 employees) with a median of 35 users (including 25 using planning functionality), but the mean of 83 users (75 for planning) indicates there are also several larger implementations.
Current vs. planned use (planning use cases)
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Percentage of employees using Workday Adaptive Planning
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Company size (number of employees)
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