Thursday, 4 July 2013

Historical data and Workday HCM

Many of us who have spent years in HR systems—be it SAP, PeopleSoft, Lawson, Oracle, or some other HR ERP or HRIS—have gone through conversions and upgrades.  Many of us have gone through major releases or one ERP to another.  However—Workday is a different HRIS entirely. 

Should we convert historical data?  If so, how much should we convert from our legacy system to Workday?

Workday history functionality

Workday provides some pre-delivered functionality that allows you to track job and compensation history from a previous system.  It looks like this if you're viewing it online:


As you can see, it's not so detailed. 


Advantages of using WD Previous System pages:

  • It is pre-delivered functionality from WD, so you only need to put the data into the system to use it.  You can enter the data manually online or via EIB.
  • It's also available for reporting too.
  • It saves you the hassle of keeping an archive HRIS or secondary system for reporting purposes.
 

Disadvantages of using WD Previous System pages:

  • You are limited to the fields WD provides. You cannot choose to bring in other history fields.
  • If you're trying to run a report of BOTH current and history data, it can be a little ugly as the structures are slightly different. 
 

What about 'recreating' our history in WD?

Some companies choose to replicate their historical data (or a subset of the data, or perhaps for certain employees) in Workday.  Then, they recreate all the transactions.
  • It's cleaner from an end user perspective, when viewing the data. 
  • ALL of your data elements can be used, so reporting is less manual as you can directly drive the reporting from WD
  • It requires effort to set up all the supporting data though (supervisory orgs, locations, job profiles, security, reporting relationships, etc.)

Other perspectives

Fortunately, many companies have already gone through such analysis efforts, so it’s good to research online what others have done, to learn the pitfalls and advantages in advance.  Interesting reading:
  • University of Southern California’s decisions on history in WD
  • Cornell’s analysis of moving history from PeopleSoft to Workday 
  • Some guidance from Towers Watson – check out the pdf

 

Our decision

We have 20+ years of history in our PeopleSoft system.  We're implementing WD as part of an HR Transformation though, so much of the data structures will be changing.  With that in mind, we'd prefer not to bring over any of our legacy data.  We'll be converting people with two rows:
  • A hire row, with defaulted data
  • A current row, with current data
We will not utilize the WD Prior history functionality detailed above.
 

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