Workday offers a number of benefits to companies in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, media, insurance, and everything in between. And no matter what category your business fits in, it’s a near-universal truth that you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Luckily, Workday offers a variety of ways to create reports that will help you better understand your company’s performance. This Workday reporting guide should provide you with an insight into the different types of reporting available in the solution.

Different Types of Reporting in Workday

Workday offers three primary types of reporting (although some are more useful than others): Basic, Advanced, and Composite.


While Workday does offer basic reporting, its features are very simple, which makes it less useful than the other two types of reporting. At this level of reporting, you’ll be able to summarize information related to Time Off, Pay, and more. You’re also able to create basic reports as needed or on a recurring basis, and export them to Excel or as a PDF if needed.


Advanced reporting is your workhorse, your bread-and-butter, the feature that will serve the supermajority (think 90%) of your reporting needs. This type of reporting will allow you to do fairly complex multi-data object reporting (joins on tables) and allows for complex record selection (filtering) and multi-level sorting.

Some built-in functions exist in Advanced reporting, including totals/subtotals, simple graphing (bar, pie, column), and security on data access that’s automatically applied—which means report developers don’t really have to consider security as it’s built into the system. Other useful features of Advanced reporting include outputs can be fed into an EIB, as well as easy viewing for the person running this type of reporting (so long as they have access to all the data for all the employees called by the report, of course).


Composite reporting is most often used in edge cases (the 10% of situations that Advanced reporting can’t handle). This type of reporting supports more complex calculations and is used a lot on the Finance side of Workday, but is only occasionally necessary on the HCM side.

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Workday Reporting Example

Here’s an example of how we could use the Composite report writer to simplify reporting on a gender wage gap. Let’s say we needed to analyze whether pay (actual pay results, not just the compensation rate) for men and women is equitable in our company, over time, by pay grade.

We want to aggregate pay results into quarters for the last two years. We don’t want to look at it by individual pay period but rather want to separate out base hours pay from overtime and shift differential time. We also want totals, averages, and percentages as a ratio of one subgroup (gender) to another, as well as compensation pay grade and grand total.

The “Composite” report writer would help us get all of these requirements in one report. It would also help us answer whether there’s a base pay difference by gender or if the difference is due to assignment of overtime, as well as if there’s an issue in some pay grades but not all of them. 

Our Workday reporting guide is a great place to get started when it comes to learning more about the power of Workday reports. But if you’d like to learn more about them, our senior-level Workday consultants know Workday reporting like nobody’s business and are here to help you move beyond the out-of-the-box solutions. (For example, do you know how to beef up your reports with Workday calculating fields?)

If you want to make the most of your Workday reports, it’s time to call in the big guns.