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 $4.32 billion and employs 14,200 people worldwide. In 2018, Workday acquired Adaptive Insights, a planning and CPM software vendor headquartered in Palo Alto, California, to extend its performance management offerings. Workday Adaptive Planning is used by more than 5,800 customers of various sizes from a wide range of industries in over 50 countries.

Workday Adaptive Planning is a business-user-oriented CPM platform with functionality for various performance management processes. As a flexible and scalable solution, it supports planning, budgeting and forecasting processes including modeling, scenario planning, monitoring, reporting and analysis. Financial consolidation and close are also supported. The creation of models is business-user-friendly and mainly done by drag-and-drop or point-and-click so does not require technical coding. This flexible and scalable planning platform enables continuous, active planning across the organization – from enterprise-wide financial planning and analysis to detailed planning for specific functions such as HR, sales, marketing and operations. Workday Adaptive Planning offers built-in financial intelligence with a native understanding of account types such as assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses.

Workday Adaptive Planning can be used together with the Workday suite of applications or with non-Workday solutions. 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.

It is a purely cloud-based CPM platform that can leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure as its hosting provider. The product 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. Workday Adaptive Planning 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.

User & Use Cases

82 percent of Workday Adaptive Planning users are planning users – significantly above the survey average of 64 percent – reflecting the fact that it is essentially an integrated planning and CPM tool rather than a BI and analytics tool. This is also reflected in the area of planning use cases. Customers leverage Workday Adaptive Planning for financial planning (89 percent) and operational planning (70 percent). Here, planning takes place at different aggregation levels. Workday Adaptive Planning is particularly used for budgeting (98 percent) and forecasting (70 percent). Besides planning, customers mainly use it for ad hoc query (89 percent) and standard/enterprise reporting (82 percent). Many respondents plan to use it for dashboards/scorecards (45 percent), strategic planning (40 percent) and data analysis (36 percent) in the future.

Workday Adaptive Planning targets companies of all sizes across all industries. 70 percent of our sample of Workday Adaptive Planning customers come from mid-sized companies (100-2,500 employees) with a median of 38 users (including 23 using planning functionality), but the mean of 90 users (76 for planning) indicates there are also several larger implementations.

Current vs. planned use (planning use cases)


Current vs. planned use (besides planning)


Percentage of employees using Workday Adaptive Planning


Planning users (as a percentage of all users)


Total number of users per company


Planning users per company


Company size (number of employees)


Summary of Workday Adaptive Planning highlights

With three top ranks and 15 leading positions across five different peer groups, Workday Adaptive Planning again achieves a great set of results in this year’s Planning Survey. Convincing ratings in several important KPIs help to consolidate its position as a market-leading planning and CPM platform. Companies can benefit from using Workday Adaptive Planning in terms of increased planning frequency, increased transparency of planning, improved integration of planning with reporting/analysis and more precise/detailed planning, leading to a better quality of planning results for many customers. 83 percent of Workday Adaptive Planning users say they would “definitely” or “probably” recommend the product to other organizations – a strong result, which is a great indicator of customer satisfaction.

Cloud Planning – Top-ranked

Peer group: Business Software Generalists

Cloud Planning

Peer group: Midsize/Departmental Implementations

Cloud Planning – Top-ranked

Peer group: Fin. Plan. & Consolidation-Focused Products

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Planning Survey 22 Awards

Workday Adaptive Planning

Peer Groups Business Software Generalists, Financial Planning & Consolidation-Focused Products, Global Vendors, Midsize/Departmental Implementations, Operational Planning-Focused Products
Number of responses46
ProductWorkday Adaptive Planning
OfficesWorldwide offices in the United States (HQ), Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific
Employees14,200 (Workday)
Customers5,800 (Workday Adaptive Planning)

Quotes from the Planning Survey 22

It is a fantastic product and I would recommend it to everyone.
Person responsible/Project manager for departmental BI, services, 101 – 2500 employees
Its integration with Excel has made output of plan data extremely easy and flexible. Ad hoc queries within the tool itself are also easy and powerful.
Head of business department, services, > 2500 employees
Workday Adaptive Planning is the most user-friendly system I have used in my career. Any company would find the system easy to build/modify to fit their needs, from training to building/modifying sheets to reporting.
Line of business employee, 101 - 2500 employees
Extremely positive. I continue to refine the model to make it more accurate and useful
Head of business department, services, > 2500 employees