Workday data models and data sources

Consider FDM to be the cornerstone of our “financial” home; it will support all of our accounting and financial processes (as well as some HCM processes).

The most significant distinction between Workday’s FDM and our legacy chart of accounts is the quantity and quality of descriptive attributes or keywords, referred to as Worktags in Workday, that are assigned to define business processes and assist users in identifying and locating specific accounts.

How Does FDM Work?

For reporting and analysis, FDM enables Workday users to apply common keywords or “Worktags” to transactions. The university will more accurately report and evaluate data by correctly marking information with Worktags that is exchanged between business areas (finance, HR, and payroll).

The FDM framework requires supervisory organization and work profiles as the backbone of HR data to achieve these benefits. In addition, the FDM would standardize Worktag meanings and values across the university, removing the need for “user-specified” tags.

These modifications strike a balance between three important system functions: reporting, protection, and business transactions.

Data Model for the Foundation

The Foundation Data Model, or FDM, is at the heart of Workday Finance. Our existing map of accounts will be replaced by the FDM. A map of accounts is a company’s or organization’s accounting system. It determines the classification of expenses, revenue, properties, and liabilities.

All financial, management, and organizational reporting at the university will be supported by this new structure. The framework is made up of data elements called “job tags,” and each transaction may have several work tags for better reporting.

Making the switch from FIS to Workday

During that period, we’ve come up with some innovative – yet inconsistent – ways to categorize financial data throughout the university. Reporting becomes excessively time-consuming as a result of this. From the university level to the school or unit level, the new FDM would make it easier and quicker to understand our financial health.

In today’s world, the degree of flexibility versus control is shown in red, compared to our current FDM values, which are shown in blue.

The majority of our current structure is on the left, with academic and administrative units having the freedom to develop new values as needed. To achieve the quality needed for significantly improved university-level reporting, our new framework will have less flexibility.

Our latest chart of accounts is mapped to the Workday FDM in the diagram below. Fund numbers, SR codes, and nil funds are all being phased out. Grants, donations, programs, and endowments will all have identification numbers.

Work tags

Ledger Accounts Work tags and Ledger Accounts are two types of data elements.

and Worktags are two main components of the FDM structure.

Financial reporting, including external reporting and regulatory criteria, is guided by ledger accounts. Revenue and expense divisions (such as tuition) are examples of Ledger Accounts (like lab supplies).

Financial transactions

All financial transactions have worktags, which are data elements or tags. They use classification to clarify the business goals of financial transactions and to create common relationships between them.

  • There are three types of worktags: driver, linked, and authorized.
  • The related worktags are auto-populated when you join a driver working. This feature allows you to type less!
  • Allowable worktags can also be entered, allowing you to further identify a transaction for more accurate management reporting.

Financial Institutions

Cost Centers and Hierarchies of Cost Centers

Today, we use a coding scheme to organize our financial data. Since academic and administrative units have largely been able to establish a framework that better suits their individual needs, their structure differs across the university. However, this complicates reporting.

We’ll have a more uniform framework around the university until we move to Workday. In Workday, cost centers refer to the lowest degree of fiscal accountability and financial transactions (both spend and revenue). They’re used to keep track of financial transactions and budgets.

Cost centers are close to what we now refer to as divisions or department-fund combinations. One department or departmentfund could be reflected by many cost centers in the future. Multiple divisions or departmentfunds may also be combined into a single cost center.


There is just one corporation in our current state, and the rest are department numbers. There will be several companies in Workday. Companies are legal entities with a specific tax ID to which transactions are recorded and financial accounting information is specified.

It would be able to do true intercompany accounting with this new setup. Businesses will invoice each other, and we will distribute payroll costs across companies.

Data sources and business objects

Workday stores the data as business objects, such as companies, staff, and roles, which are similar to database tables or Excel worksheets. A Workday business object has fields and instances, much as a database table or worksheet does. A business entity is made up of a collection of related areas, just like a table or spreadsheet is made up of a collection of related columns. In Workday, instances of a business entity are similar to rows in a table or spreadsheet, with each instance representing a single instance of that object type, such as an organization or a worker.

Choosing a Data Source is the first and most critical step in creating a custom report. Workday is in charge of defining and delivering data sources. A primary business entity exists in a data source. Workday provides a variety of data sources for the most important primary business items. Depending on the filtering and roles involved, the same primary business object can be represented by several data sources. Each data source linked to a primary business object has its level of protection.

A user’s ability to generate or run a custom report based on a data source is determined by the access established for that data source.

Data sources

The workday can deliver different data sources for a single primary business object to allow reporting on different sets of instances, depending on the user’s security access. The prompt list only shows data sources that have been approved for security groups to which you have been assigned. The data sources in the Do Not Use category should not be used.

There is only one Data Source in each custom study. There is only one Primary Business Object per Data Source. The Primary Business Object is significant since it determines which Related Business Objects may be included in the study. The Primary Business Object and the Related Business Objects have a 1:1 or 1:M relationship. We’ll concentrate on the Worker company object Data Sources since many reports and integrations focus on Workers (a subset of Employees and Contingent Workers).

Standard and Indexed data sources

These are the two types of data sources. Many data sources within standard data sources would all refer to the same business object. There are about 35 data points that all apply to a worker/employee, for example. Filters in Indexed Data Sources enable us to provide a single data source for a business object. The business object can then be associated with multiple filters. Filters can only be applied to indexed data sources.


A data source can be configured to return all instances of the primary business object (All Workers), or it can provide Workday-defined filtering logic. The filter comparison value(s) may either be built into the data source (All Active Employees) or programmed so that the user is asked for the comparison value while running the report if it has built-in filtering. Employees by Organization, which often asks for an Organization from the customer. You can learn more about the data model and data source through Workday online training.

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