Integrated Service Center

Workday Reports 101

Last updated Thursday, January 2, 2020

1. Finding a Report

Each report in Workday is either a “delivered” or a “custom” report.  “Delivered” reports are designed by Workday the software company, and “custom” reports are built by the UW for UW.

  • Custom reports have an R-number (e.g. R0321) and are built for UW business needs and by user requests.
  • Delivered reports do not have an R-number. Many delivered reports can be very useful to you, but custom reports are designed to accommodate UW’s unique business requirements.

What reports can I run?
Your Workday security role(s) determine the information you see in reports, as well as which reports you are able to run.

As an example to illustrate this, if you have the role of I-9 Coordinator for Organization A, but don’t have that role for Organization B:

  • You will only be able to view reports and see data for I-9 Coordinators from the organization you have the role in, A.
  • If you need to see the data from Organization B, you will need to request to have the security role for that organization as well. If you need the role, you can request it using the standard security role request process.

How do I find a report?
Review the Payroll-Impacting Reports by Security Role and/or Payroll-Impacting Reports by Deadline pages to find information about many of the most commonly-used reports.

Then, to run a report, type its name into Workday’s search field. Be careful to spell it correctly or use just partial search terms to find it.

Note for Medical Centers Employees
If you cannot find a report that meets your needs, email the WMS Team for assistance.

Do I have to run all reports via search?
No. Reports in Workday are present in many of the screens you interact with. In addition to searching for a report via Workday’s search field, there are three other ways to see and run reports:

  • Embedded reports: Refers to reports that are found embedded on certain screens in Workday. For example, Worker History, which is a tab available on the Worker Profile, is a report of every Workday transaction that has been initiated for an individual worker. You can export, filter, and sort embedded reports on the screens in which they appear.
  • Dashboard reports: Dashboards are a Workday tool that aggregates several reports into a single screen in order to provide users with a high-level view of relevant to them.  For example, the Manage My Work dashboard (PDF) is designed for HCM Initiate 2s, HR Partners, or Academic Partners a broad understanding of what is going on in their supervisory organization(s).
  • Favorite reports: The Favorites worklet can help you add all the reports you commonly run to one worklet, so you don’t need to search for them each time. To learn how to set this up, use this Quick Guide (PDF).

2. Prompts

A “prompt” is the first screen that shows up when running a report. Prompts are one way to narrow the information a report returns to look for specific “cuts” of data. Knowing how to use them effectively can be the deciding factor in finding the data you need and either missing data you need or creating extra work for yourself.

How do I use prompts?
There are a few key considerations when using prompts:

  • Read the instructions: A good first line of defense against confusion is to review any instructions displayed on the prompt screen.
  • Required prompts: You will see a red asterisk next to the field name. This means this report requires you narrow information by that field in Workday.
  • Leaving prompt fields blank: By leaving an un-required field blank, you are including all of the data for that field in the report.
  • Date prompts: Use date prompts whenever possible. Pulling data from a particular time period will narrow the number of results you need to analyze, and will also improve report performance.
  • Knowing what data the prompt represents: In almost all cases, the name of a prompt matches/closely resembles the name of the corresponding field in Workday. Running the report and seeing the data it returns or looking into the choices in the prompt can help clarify this for you.

screenshot of prompt screen with callouts for required fields, including subordinate orgs, leaving fields blank for the most results, and saving filters

Extra Prompt Tips

Tip 1. Selecting/Deselecting All Items in a Filter List
To select/deselect all of the items in a multi-select prompt list, use Ctrl+A on a PC, or Command+A on a Mac to highlight all of the options. Once the blue bar on the left of them appears, use the spacebar to check/uncheck them.

Tip 2. Save Filter
If you use the same prompt over and over to gather info on a particular sup org or set of sup orgs, saving that filter* will allow you to use it again on the report without having to fill in the information again. Follow the steps below:

Step 1. Select the parameters you will reuse in the future. We don’t recommend adding dates, since you usually change these.
Step 2. Give the filter a meaningful name you’ll understand in the future, and Select Save.

The filter will now appear in the n Saved Filter dropdown area. You can delete a filter by selecting the x button when hovering over it, or view, edit and delete all of your filters en masse with the Manage Filters link.

These filters are report-specific, so you will need to create the ones you use frequently for each of the reports you wish to use them on.

*If the report is a “delivered” report, mentioned in the Finding a Report section you will not be able create these saved prompt parameters.

3. Running a Report

The speed/performance of a report is heavily dependent on how much data the report requests from Workday. The narrower your prompts get, for example, the less data Workday will need to sift through and return. Portions of a report’s speed are also dependent on how many columns of data it has to return.

The best way to make a report run fast is to return a very narrow slice of data. We know that this isn’t always what you need, so, we have some tips!

Tip 1. Working While You Wait
If you’re waiting for a report to run, one of the nice things about Workday is that you can have several tabs or windows open at a time. If you know you are going to be waiting for a report to run, try duplicating the tab you have open first, run the report in the duplicated tab, and working on something else in the first tab.

Tip 2. Using Notify Me Later
If you don’t have something else you can work on while it runs, you can also click the “Notify me later” button. What this will do is send a copy of that report to your Workday inbox. Keep in mind though, that this will always send the report in excel format, so if you wish to manipulate the data inside of Workday you will need to wait and not click that button.

Tip 3. Using Cancel When Necessary
If something is taking too long and you realize that you can narrow your prompts a bit more, simply click the cancel button to get taken back to the prompts screen.

4. Manipulating Report Data

Once you’ve run a report, there is a lot more you can do to manipulate the data returned.

Sorting and Filtering
If you have not exported it and are looking at in Workday, each column can be sorted and filtered in the terms you wish. To do this, just select the header of the column, and use the menu to manipulate the information displayed in the rows of data returned.

Hiding Columns
If you have a very detailed report, some of them allow you to hide columns that you don’t need. Use the columns icon at the top right of the table to select which columns of information are relevant to you. If you do not see this option, it may not be available on the report you are running.

Interpreting Data
When interpreting the data, it’s important to take note of the name of the column header. This is almost always (unless it was designed as a custom element for the report) the exact name of the field in Workday screens where it is entered or filled in.  For example, reporting fields like job profile, time type, and worker subtype are all pieces of information that can be found on an employee profile.

Last, you have the option to export the report as either an excel sheet or a pdf. We recommend using these buttons at the top of the report, and not at the top of the table. This will export any prompts you used as well as the title of the report.

If you intend to export the report, any of the manipulation you did with filtering or columns will be lost. So as a rule, if you plan on exporting and manipulating the data in Excel, start by downloading the report. Always keep data security in mind.