**Updated 9/11 to add additional information from InformationWeek**
“Workday has unveiled a new software module for its cloud-based HCM (human capital management) application that allows customers to analyze data from both Workday and third-party sources.
Dubbed Big Data Analytics, the product is now generally available after being announced at last year’s Workday Rising conference. It incorporates technology from Datameer, which places a business-user-friendly interface on top of the Hadoop framework for large-scale data processing, as well as homegrown tooling for data integration and other areas, said Dan Beck, vice president of technology product management for Workday.
While the Workday application has already provided built-in analytics, with the new product “what we’re really doing is opening up our cloud to non-Workday data sets,” Beck said. “People can bring in whatever data they want and join it with Workday to answer their business questions.”
Previously, “customers were asking us to bring in non-Workday data sets but we just weren’t ready,” Beck added.
Ease of use is a big focus of Big Data Analytics, with Workday aiming to make it “approachable to mere mortals.””
Doug Henschen of InformationWeek reports additional details on the infrastructure:
“The infrastructure in use behind Workday Big Data Analytics says it all: The service is running on Amazon Web Services, specifically Simple Storage Service (S3) storage buckets and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) processing. For now, the analytic software component from partner Datameer runs on top, in what amounts to a single, simple S3/EC2 node for each customer.”
Datameer normally runs on top of Hadoop, the industry-standard big data platform. Workday is ready to switch to the Hadoop-based Amazon Elastic MapReduce service as data scale and variety warrant, Beck said, and plans call for the eventual behind-the-scenes deployment of Hadoop by Workday. For now, that’s not necessary, Beck said.
Learn more about the new Big Data Analytics module for HCM and Finance here.