Implementing Workday is a significant undertaking, and one area that can be the most challenging for organizations is data conversion. It’s a bit like moving after having lived in the same place for a long time. You use your legacy system and your current data all the time, but now you have to pack it up and make sure that it all fits nicely at your new place, which is far easier said than done. 

That’s why we wanted to shine a light on this critical stage in the process to help clients ensure a successful journey to Workday. Our first article in this series, Workday Expert Shares What You Need to Know About Data Conversion, covered the foundations of what you need to know about data conversion with Workday. In this article, our implementation consultant (who also spent a decade of his career at Workday) shares 5 best practices tips on all things data. 

Let’s dive right in. 

1) Keep Security Top of Mind

Data security has always been important, but with the increase in cyber threats and number of employees working remotely, there have never been more opportunities for sensitive data to get into the wrong hands. That’s why we always stress the importance of security when dealing with data. One rule of thumb is to only exchange data through an SFTP server to ensure it’s encrypted and that only authorized individuals can access it. 

2) Start Early 

Data conversion and migration are often the most neglected part of a Workday implementation, but if they’re not given the attention and time they need, an otherwise meticulously planned implementation can go south quickly. To ensure your migration is successful, we recommend you start early (even earlier than you think) by thoroughly cleansing your data to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Additionally, it’s important to identify your internal team that will be doing the data extraction work long before they actually need to do so. Because this isn’t part-time work that someone can do on top of their existing day-to-day responsibilities, figuring out who will be doing what will save you a load of headaches down the line.

3) Think Programmatically 

When converting data from a legacy system to Workday, it’s likely that you’ll need to massage the data to get it into the exact format required for Workday. (As an example, you might have to write SQL scripts for the tenant builds.) To minimize manual intervention as you extract the data during this process, automation and thinking programmatically are the way to go. 

4) Execute to a Checklist 

Have you ever seen a pilot getting ready for takeoff? Even though they’re highly trained and have likely performed these tasks thousands of times, pilots go through each and every item on their checklist to prevent complacency and ensure the aircraft is safe for the flight ahead. This same process will prove invaluable when building a tenant in Workday. While it may feel slower, executing to a checklist will actually decrease the amount of time it takes to build the tenant, and you won’t have any surprises come go-live. 

5) Conduct Multi-tiered Testing

Once you have all your data scripted and everything starts to feel organized, your focus should turn to testing, and when it comes to testing for Workday, your strategy should consist of multiple tiers, beginning with record counts. 

When testing record counts, ask yourself these questions: How many employees do we have? How many companies? How many cost centers? (And so on and so forth.) Essentially you need to compile the record counts of all the data that you’ll be reproducing in Workday. 

As you begin importing into Workday, these record counts will make discrepancies easy to spot. For example, if you had 365,000 employees and only loaded 364,900, there would be 100 employees that couldn’t load. In that case, you’d need to track those errors to resolutions and record counts. 

Don’t Forget to Compare to Your Source Files!

A final step in testing would be to pull reports out of Workday and compare them with your source files. This can be a complicated process, but a qualified third-party consultant can assist in this phase to ensure it doesn’t detract from other tasks during the implementation. 

Getting Started with Workday Data Conversion

There’s much to consider and execute accurately regarding data conversion in Workday. But remember—your team doesn’t need to be Workday experts. Your internal team should consist of human resources (HR) experts with a willingness to learn, work hard, and execute a plan. All the specialized Workday knowledge can be left in the hands of your third-party consultants.

And if you’re in need of an expert, Surety Systems has a team of senior-level Workday consultants ready to guide you on your implementation journey. From planning to go-live and beyond, our team will help you navigate the roadblocks and potholes to keep you on the path to Workday success. 

Contact us today to get started.