4 Reasons to Use Workday Discovery Boards

What are Workday® Discovery Boards?

Workday Discovery Boards offer a new and intuitive report authoring experience. Whether you need some time sensitive ad hoc reports or you want to perform a thorough analysis of your workforce, Discovery Boards empower your report writers to quickly generate tables and visualizations that allow you to effectively analyze your data in real time.

1. Ease of Use

Discovery Boards are designed to enable users to manipulate and share Workday data more intuitively. Unlike traditional report writing—which can be tedious and requires extensive practice, Discovery Boards help users hit the ground running with an easy-to-use select, drag and drop functionality.

Users can lean on one of the delivered templates and customize as needed or they can choose the data source they want to work with, select the type of visualization they want (chart, table, KPI, etc) and populate with the desired fields and metrics. Discovery Boards leverage the same report fields and calculated fields that are used to build custom reports making for an easy transition.

2. Delivered Templates

Workday provides templates that you can use as a starting point to create your own Discovery Boards. Here are some of the templates already available in your production tenant:

Pay Equity

  • A starting point for our customers to begin their pay equity analysis. This discovery board includes two sheets, using the Workers for HCM Reporting and Completed Employee Compensation Events for HCM Reporting data sources, that examine current employee data, along with historical data from compensation events.

Spend – Buyer Manager Insights

  • Buyer Manager Insights helps buyer managers make informed decisions on short- and long-term operations. It also enables them to customize the discovery board visualizations to provide more refined views into organizational spend.

Assistant Usage Reports

  • Discovery Board for Assistant Usage Metrics


  • Discovery Board for Learning provides insight on the usage and quality of content in Workday Learning. Visualizations reflect enrollment and content data source information. This enables administrators to make informed decisions, refine poorly performing content, and identify areas of interest for learners.

Spend Actuals

  • Unified Spend Actuals enables visualization of Actual spend from multiple Spend sources. It presents a unified view of Supplier Invoice Lines, Expense Report Lines, Ad Hoc Payment Lines and Procurement Card Lines. Note: Spend Actuals uses a Prism Analytic Data Source that must first be configured in your tenant with an associated schedule.

Spend Strategic Sourcing Savings

  • Strategic Sourcing Savings helps Sourcing managers to demonstrate the progress of Savings initiatives and identify new opportunities.

Spend Strategic Sourcing Savings

  • Strategic Sourcing Savings helps Sourcing managers to demonstrate the progress of Savings initiatives and identify new opportunities.

Supplier Diversity

  • This discovery board helps diversity officers track progress towards diversity and inclusion initiatives by analyzing the number and ratios of suppliers to which you’ve assigned Diverse supplier classification categories. It also enables you to visualize and compare the invoice spend associated with those suppliers.

Stay tuned as there are many other templates in the works that will be coming in future releases.

3. New Report Types

In addition to the report visualization types that are available to you via report writer, Workday now delivers 2 new Discovery Board exclusive report types:


  • This VIZ type compares 2 attributes by a common metric (summarization field)
  • Heatmaps enable you to use color to see variations in the data.
screenshot of a sample heatmap in a workday discovery board


  • A Waterfall is a viz type that displays the incremental transitions of quantitative values that increase or decrease.
  • Use a Waterfall viz to visualize and understand the progression of a specific value and how it’s influenced by positive and negative factors. Example: Use a Waterfall to display how headcount is influenced by hiring and terminations.
  • By default, Waterfalls display the Total (the end value), which summarizes all values and calculates how all the increments affect the starting value. Optionally, you can hide the Total. You can display either Numeric or Currency metrics in a Waterfall viz. To create a Waterfall viz, place multiple summarization fields in the Measures drop zone. Workday displays the top field as the starting value and displays each field in order.
waterfall viz example

Workday is committed to building out this tool and will continue to expand its viz library with new report types in upcoming releases!

4. Collaboration

Discovery Boards enable teams to collaborate and share insights with edit or view-only access. Discovery Board owners can choose specific individuals or security groups with whom they want to share or who they want to collaborate. Once given view access, users can create copies of a discovery board to create their own versions that they in turn can share with other users and security groups.

Final Thoughts…

The days of creating advanced reports, exporting to excel to create your data points and visualizations are long gone. Discovery Boards makes it easy to perform data analysis natively within workday. The drag-and-drop builder is intuitive and can empower experienced report writers and curious business leaders alike. Workday Report Training is not a must.

Discovery Boards allow you to manipulate indexed data sources to quickly generate KPIs, Charts, Tables, Heatmaps and other exclusive visualizations. In addition to being able to create custom boards, Workday delivers a growing suite of templates that provide a good launch pad into pay equity, Learning and spend management reporting. Furthermore, Discovery Boards allows your teams to collaborate and share with new view and edit sharing features.

Workday is investing heavily in this tool and will continue to expand its suite of features and templates in coming releases. Get ahead of the trend and start making use of this excellent tool! It requires a very limited effort to set up and it is included in your Workday subscription for FREE!

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