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Why Workday Customers Should Convert Base Data Sets to Tables in Prism

Workday has recently announced a significant update to its Prism Analytics platform, requiring all data to be converted into Tables before analysis can take place. This update simplifies how data is handled, making it more organised and easier to manage and ensures that all your data works seamlessly together within Workday, enhancing overall efficiency and governance.

Workday Prism Analytics is a powerful tool that integrates relevant external data with your Workday data, providing a unified platform for robust analytics and reporting.  However, as technology evolves, so do the tools we use. In a future release, 2025R1, BASE DATASETS WILL BE RETIRED and only tables will be available in Prism, changing how data is ingested and managed.

What are the advantages of this new approach?

This shift towards a table-based data management system brings several key benefits:

  • Enhanced Data Analytics: Tables enable more advanced analytics, helping you gain deeper insights and make data-driven decisions.  The structured format of tables allows for more sophisticated querying and data manipulation, using direct table query, which base datasets cannot support.
  • Improved Data Integration: With tables, integrating various data sources becomes seamless, allowing for comprehensive and cohesive reporting.  This integration capability is enhanced through data change tasks (DCTs) which support an improved experience for moving data across pipelines, enabling easier schema mapping, row-level deletions, updates and use of the S3 AWS connector.
  • Streamlined Operations: Converting to tables simplifies data operations, reducing the time spent on manual data handling and improving efficiency. Tables use industry-leading technologies that offer better performance in data ingestion, querying, and publishing compared to base datasets.
  • Increased Data Accuracy and Consistency: Maintaining data accuracy is critical. Tables ensure consistent and reliable data, minimizing the risk of errors. They offer granular controls over data operations, allowing precise management of data modifications, which enhances overall data security.

Timeline for the transition

FOR NEW CUSTOMERS, as of Workday Release 2023R2, tables will be the only option available for bringing data into Prism.

FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS, Workday has set a DEADLINE of 2025R1 (15 March 2025) to transition from base datasets to tables. In the meantime, to encourage the adoption of tables moving forward, Workday have added the “(Do Not Use)” label to:

  • The Base Dataset menu under the Create button.
  • The Related Task pages associated with creating base datasets.

Until the deadline, existing pipelines with base datasets will continue to run as expected, and there will be no interruption of service, but it’s crucial to start planning your migration strategy now to ensure a smooth transition and to take full advantage of the enhanced capabilities that tables have to offer.

Case Study

One of our clients saw a significant improvement in reporting accuracy and operational efficiency after making the switch, as tables utilise industry-leading technologies that provide better performance across data ingestion, querying (via Direct Table Query, enabling the table for analysis via a discovery board or custom report) and publishing. They were able to integrate data from multiple sources seamlessly, providing more reliable insights to their executive team.  This transition not only streamlined their operations but also significantly reduced manual data handling tasks, leading to better efficiency and decision-making.  The data operations also allowed for a more fluid way of working with operations such as insert, update, delete, upsert, or truncate available via a table.

Common Questions

I am an existing customer with pipelines containing base datasets. Do I need to change them all? It’s good to start planning.  The recommendation is to use tables for new use cases and Workday is working on a migration playbook to help you transition and will provide more details when appropriate.

Why is this retirement happening? The Workday product team is standardising on tables as the underlying technology due to their superior performance, enhanced capabilities, and improved security. This standardization aims to provide a more consistent user experience and optimise support efforts.

Can you share 3 key advantages of tables over base datasets?

  • Performance: Tables offer better performance across data ingestion, querying, and publishing.
  • Pipelines: Tables support enhanced data change tasks, making data management more effective.
  • Security: Tables provide granular controls over data operations, enhancing data security.


This new mandate to convert all Base Data Sets to tables in Workday Prism Analytics marks a significant step towards improved data management and analytical capabilities. While this transition may require some initial adjustments, the long-term benefits are substantial. If you need help with this conversion process or still have any unanswered questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our capable team are more than willing to help.

This article kicks off our LinkedIn series on Prism Analytics. Next, we’ll delve into “You’ve Got Prism Analytics. Now What?” where we’ll provide you with the essential building blocks to start creating successful use cases for Prism.

By Teade Beltran, Reporting & Analytics Architect, VirtualResource

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