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Workday Update 33—What’s New in the HCM Suite?

Oct 10, 2019

You probably already know that Workday released Update 33 early this September, but since many of the updates improved things behind the scenes, you may not be familiar with everything that’s new. While we won’t list all of the ways Workday has enhanced its solution, here’s a closer look at some of the Human Capital Management (HCM) changes you’re going to find useful.

Data Scrambler = Data Protection Improvements

Your Workday HCM suite is a veritable treasure trove of important employee data—data that needs to be scrambled before you transact it into your tenant. In the old manual process, you had to collect the data and scramble it in Excel before you could safely send it to your tenant, a process that was not only time-consuming but also left you open to potentially costly manual errors.

With the new WD33 Data Scrambler, you can load your normal worker data into the tenant and then scramble it with the click of a button. It’s that easy! While the whole process takes 4-10 hours to complete, that’s time you don’t have to spend because the system does it for you. When the data’s ready, you can validate the scramble and then proceed. Scrambling data this way not only satisfies requirements from the GDPR, unions, shop-floor organizations and more, but the new Data Scrambler also saves you time and money; offers increased worker data protection; and makes training, testing, and integrations a snap. What’s not to love?

Things to Keep in Mind About the Data Scrambler

It’s important to point out that the Data Scrambler is only available to implementation tenants. To set it up, you’ll need to add your system admin to a new domain, run the “Generate Data Scramble Values” task, and then initiate the “Start Data Scramble” task. Note that setting up Data Scrambler is irreversible until/unless you restore the tenant. Also, keep in mind that scrambling is limited to 27 fields of personal information, including First, Middle, and Last Name; Date of Birth; Passport/Visa Identifier; Tax ID Number; and 1099 Tax ID. 

Say Hello to Workday Assistant

What is Workday Assistant? At its core, Workday Assistant is a way to make interacting with Workday more intuitive. Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP), users can use Workday Assistant to perform tasks and get the information they need through a conversational UX. Perfect for employees, managers, and admins, Workday Assistant can do everything from getting employees the info they need (but aren’t sure how to find) to allowing managers to easily give their teams public feedback through the tool’s conversational UX.

While this feature is available at no extra cost, it’s only accessible to Fast Followers as of Update 33. But never fear—Workday plans for it to be generally available with Update 34.

Other Exciting Upgrades

We don’t have space to go into every detail about Workday Update 33, but here’s a quick overview of some other exciting changes to the solution brought by this latest update:

Organization Restructure Improvements

As a whole, improvements to Organizational Studio and Mass Actions add trackable changes, increase efficiency, decrease the likelihood of errors, and create auditable approvals.

Job Change Enhancements

A number of aspects of Job Change have been upgraded, including the ability to configure multiple templates, improved accuracy of change reporting, and a streamlined UX. And don’t forget about the auto-complete feature, where certain fields will now auto-complete for internal candidates, saving you time and effort (and reducing the likelihood of manual errors).

Updated Out-of-the-Box Features

Job Profile Prompts now have better overall performance, but if you have screenshots in your training materials, you might want to double-check them to ensure that everything still looks how you’d like it to after you update. Time Off for mobile allows users to request time off for a specific position as well as include attachments in requests for sickness-related time off. Open Enrollment has been redesigned (although this can be disabled if needed). Finally, some steps in the Initiate Bonus, Initiate Merit, and Initiate Stock BPs have been retired, as have some data sources and report fields.


Hopefully, Workday Update 33’s nifty new features will minimize your pain points and boost your org’s productivity, but if you’d like to fine-tune things even further, we have you covered. Our senior-level Workday consultants can help with everything from creating Business Processes to optimizing your security setup (or even your entire Workday organization). Contact us today to get started.

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