Workday, provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, unveiled its new suite of applications, Workday Insight Applications, leveraging advanced data science and machine learning algorithms to empower customers to make smarter business decisions.

The suite builds on Workday’s Big Data Analytics solution by addressing business scenarios in an intuitive, mobile environment within the Workday system, and based on the relevant data.

“We now allow users to bring data into cloud from wherever you see fit with these insight applications,” said Dan Beck, vice president of technology products at Workday. “There are specific questions businesses want answers to. We bring that in to help enterprises answer that.”

In addition to providing insights, the Insight Applications can surface predications and recommend actions for the business’s decision-maker, representing a critical new level of analysis, according to Beck. He outlined the three primary areas of analytics—predictive, prescriptive and descriptive, explaining “it’s a big leap from predictive to prescriptive. With prescriptive modeling, now there is context, something about you, who you are… We use this in our consumer lives, with recommendations and predictions, so why should an enterprise be any different?”

Workday aims to accomplish this with SYMAN, an intelligent information engine combining a predictive engine, a recommendation engine, matching algorithms, and search relevancy into the Workday foundation.

This intelligence can be used to predict whether an employee is at risk of leaving or identify expense report deviation, Beck explained, all in the interest of inferring impact on business goals.

The Insight suite, enhanced with features like improved data visualization, comprise six applications—three financial and three for human resources. Scheduled to be generally available in 2015, they will deliver:

  • Smart recommendations addressing specific business scenarios
  • One complete system unified with Workday Financial Management and Workday Human Capital Management
  • SYMAN, which will use the latest methodologies in data science and machine learning algorithms to automatically map, classify, and normalize similar definitions across multiple sources and structures of data
  • Industry trees (via SYMAN), configured job classification taxonomies to help HR professionals by organizing and streamlining job categories for more than 20 industries
  • Universal data, prefigured public content that can be applied to business scenarios
  • Adaptive applications that get smarter over time

“The system is getting smarter,” explained Adeyemi Ajao, Workday’s vice president of technology product strategy, “and with universal data, Workday is taking a publicly available data set and delivering content that is relevant and unique. Workday proactively gathers the data, enriches it, and then serves it up in a relevant way.”

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