Friday, 28 June 2013

How to create a calculated field in Workday

I was having a discussion recently with someone, about the calculated field functionality in Workday.  I've previously posted about procedures and tips around using calc fields in an operational capacity, but I recently put together this quick example to explain the topic further, so thought I'd share it here too.

Once you're in Workday, the first thing to do is to define the type of calc field that you'd like to build:
There are many different options, more than I'm showing here, but the point is to know what you are seeking to do.  An average, untrained user would probably be stopped at this point.  Let's keep it simple and do a concantenation example.  It's also relevant to note--you need to know what business object should be invoked here.  We'll use the Worker object, since it's a main source for employee data.

On the next page, you're brought into a screen that functions in the same manner as the 'normal' reporting page.  So you can choose your fields, as well as add in the more intense logic if you're building something more complicated.  In my example, I just want to concatenate two fields together.  I'm using email+mobile just as a sample, so that I get a mix of letters and numbers:

Next after you save your new calculated field, you can use it in your reporting.  You need to choose the same Object (in our case Worker), to be able to find the field.  Then, your new calculated field will exist like any other field on Worker.

Then, you're ready to run your report.  Here's the example which I then ran into Excel:
A few points (and the reason I included a snippet of the output)'ll see some workers have only a phone or some have only an this is all you get.  So getting a good output on a calculated field will depend on what data you have to work with underneath it.  You can see where these can get tricky then as well, once you make more complex your bad output due to bad design of your calc field or bad data?
This was a quick and dirty two minute example.  WD offers a 3 day/15 hour training class on the topic, to get really in-depth with the logic of creating these special fields.  However, seeing how easy it is to create them, you start to get an idea of how dangerous they can become, if not regulated.  

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