Data conversion is tough. It’s possible to set up all your integrations perfectly and have everything in your system in the right position, but if you don’t have clean data conversion at your go-live, the outcome of your Workday implementation can come down to a coin toss.

Data issues, lack of raw data quality, and other complications with the configuration of your data sources are some of the many challenges companies must address throughout their implementation, specifically while moving from a legacy system to Workday.

While implementing your Workday system, migration of employee data is arguably one of the most important parts.

Why is Data Conversion an Important Step in the Process?

Especially when moving your employee data from a legacy system to Workday, ensuring that your data quality is preserved and properly organized, and has a rightful place in your system is an important step in its development and maintenance, data conversion makes this happen.

Data configuration and migration is an essential piece of the puzzle, and completing this step properly can make or break your company’s success.

How Can a Workday Data Expert Help You?

Luckily for you, we have a Workday implementation consultant who’s not only passionate about Workday data conversion but who’s also spent a solid decade of his career at Workday, working with load reports, EIBs, and advanced load.

With the complexity of his experience and skill, he has seen pretty much everything there is to see throughout Workday data conversion, especially different challenges found from business to business and ways that a proper system for data migration can affect the future outcomes of companies. Now, we’re putting his insider knowledge to good use by helping our clients succeed with Workday. 

We recently caught up with him to get his insights on one of the most challenging and often neglected parts of any Workday implementation: data conversion.

In this article, we’ll cover what you need to consider regarding your data and some of his best practices to ensure a successful Workday data conversion. 

Data Migration Process in Workday

Understanding what data migration entails for you is an important stepping stone in moving your data from the legacy system to Workday.

In building the right data migration process for your company, it’s important to consider the ability of your team to handle the data, the functionality of your internal systems and teams, and the attention to detail required to complete data loading and conversion effectively and efficiently.

Why is this important?

No matter what module of Workday or type of data you’re working with, consistency, predictability, and timeliness remain necessary pieces of the puzzle for a successful data conversion process.

Extracting, cleaning, and importing data from your legacy system to Workday are non-negotiable parts of your data migration and can be make-or-break moments for you.

Without careful data cleaning and standardization among systems, your team’s functionality in Workday will not reach its full potential.

Getting Started with Workday Data Conversion

When you’re getting started with your Workday implementation, there are a few important things to consider to ensure your data conversion plan is optimized for your success:

Start Early

Preparation for complex data migration can be one of the key benefits for your team as you transform your workforce from a legacy system to Workday.

One of the biggest keys to success is outlining a plan of action for data conversion long before your implementation begins. That way, once your team goes head first into the implementation process, no data is missing or left in the wrong place.

Work Proactively

Beginning your preparation for the Workday system before your implementation begins is another key step in your plan. From ensuring your data is in the right format to be converted to Workday to having your entire implementation team prepared for what’s to come, working proactively will enable your team to reach all of its implementation goals on time, the first time.

Execute Your Plan

Having a plan is one thing, but being able to execute it properly is another story. Checking off your to-do list before your implementation begins is an important step in preparing your team for go-live and ensuring there are no surprises when that date arrives.

Outline a Testing Strategy

Once your data is organized and properly formatted, finding the right testing strategy is your next step. Testing record counts, checking for discrepancies in your data, and comparing your source files can be a bit of a hassle as you approach your go-live date, but with the help of your internal team and our Workday consultants, you’ll make it through with flying colors.

Mapping Legacy Data to Workday

Now, let’s chat about mapping your data.

You’re likely going from a relational database system to a cloud-based system with Workday. This means that everything will go through a web service that must be transformed into a CSV (or Excel workbook) or the native XML that goes right into the web service. 

Doing this correctly can be a challenge for clients who don’t understand the difference between an object model and a relational database model. Typically, we find that clients like this end up extracting data from their legacy system without knowing what the key field values are in Workday.

Why is Proper Data Mapping Important?

Negligent data extraction can affect the safety and security of your data, exposing sensitive data to the wrong hands. Data security is becoming increasingly more important with an influx of employees working from home and heightened risk from cyber threats.

Being able to keep track of your data, understanding what goes into the data extraction process, and keeping that data in the right place is essential to not only your success in implementing a new system, but that of your company as a whole.

Foundation Planning

With Foundation Planning, you need to know what you’re planning to move to Workday before you move it. This process starts by holding a foundational workshop with your diverse group of stakeholders and experts.

This is when you need to have an object-by-object conversation about what needs to come over to the new system. For example, if you need to create a higher record for job profiles, that could open up bigger questions about what a job profile is in Workday. 

You can only start mapping from your legacy system to Workday by having a firm foundation to work from.

Develop a Tenant 

After we’ve had our foundational planning workshop, and we’ve begun mapping legacy data to Workday, our next big step is creating a tenant.

Basic Tenant

We’ll start with the basics like companies, cost centers, job profiles, and the information you need to hire someone. You’ll want to get those initial objects loaded into the system in the first few weeks of the project to provide a foundation for the functional teams to go into design sessions with actual customer data in Workday.

Prototype Tenant

Next, you’ll create a configure and prototype tenant. If the initial tenant is the data you need to hire someone, the configure and prototype tenant involves adding their compensation, benefit elections, and more. 

Next Steps in Data Conversion with Workday Implementations

We’ve covered just some of the things to consider when getting started with data conversion in Workday, and we understand if it all feels a bit overwhelming. But there’s no need to worry when you have consultants like ours to lead and support Workday data conversion jobs. 

Our senior-level Workday consulting team can help you through each stage of your Workday integration, including the critical data conversion steps that come with implementing new technologies. Contact us today to get started!