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Prepare, Blend, and Analyze Workday Data in Alteryx Designer

Build workflows to access live Workday data for self-service data analytics.

The CData ODBC Driver for Workday enables access to live data from Workday under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with Workday data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to Workday data using an ODBC connection in Alteryx Designer to perform self-service BI, data preparation, data blending, and advanced analytics.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Workday data in Alteryx Designer due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Alteryx Designer to Workday, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Workday and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Workday data using native Alteryx data field types.

Connect to Workday Data

  1. If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can configure the DSN using the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the Help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

    To connect, there are three pieces of information required: Authentication, API URL, and WSDL URL.

    Authentication

    To authenticate, specify your User and Password. Note that you must append your Tenant to your User separated by an '@' character. For instance, if you normally log in with 'geraldg' and your Tenant is 'mycompany_mc1', then your User should be specified as 'geraldg@mycompany_mc1'.

    API URL

    The API URL may be specified either directly via APIURL, or it may be constructed from the Tenant, Service, and Host. The APIURL is constructed in the following format: <Host>/ccx/service/<Tenant>/<Service>.

    WSDL URL

    The WSDLURL may be specified in its entirety, or may be constructed from the Service and WSDLVersion connection properties. The WSDLURL is constructed in the following format: https://community.workday.com/sites/default/files/file-hosting/productionapi/<Service>/<WSDLVersion>/<Service>.wsdl

    When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  2. Open Alteryx Designer and create a new workflow.
  3. Drag and drop a new input data tool onto the workflow.
  4. Click the new input data tool and under Connect a File or Database, select Database Connection -> New ODBC Connection.
  5. Select the DSN that you configured for use in Alteryx.
  6. In the wizard that opens, select the fields you wish to include in your query. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to Workday, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL engine embedded in the driver.
  7. If you wish to further customize your dataset, you can open the SQL Editor and modify the query manually, adding clauses, aggregations, and other operations to ensure that you are retrieving exactly the Workday data you want.

With the query defined, you are ready to work with Workday data in Alteryx Designer.

Perform Self-Service Analytics on Workday Data

You are now ready to create a workflow to prepare, blend, and analyze Workday data. The CData ODBC Driver performs dynamic metadata discovery, presenting data using Alteryx data field types and allowing you to leverage the Designer's tools to manipulate data as needed and build meaningful datasets. In the example below, you will cleanse and browse data.

  1. Add a data cleansing tool to the workflow and check the boxes in Replace Nulls to replace null text fields with blanks and replace null numeric fields with 0. You can also check the box in Remove Unwanted Characters to remove leading and trailing whitespace.
  2. Add a browse data tool to the workflow.
  3. Click to run the workflow (CTRL+R).
  4. Browse your cleansed Workday data in the results view.

Thanks to built-in, high-performance data processing, you will be able to quickly cleanse, transform, and/or analyze your Workday data with Alteryx.