Workday Worksheets

Three Plus Published Aug 8 2022


Worksheets are Workday’s answer to spreadsheets and an alternative to exporting data into Excel. Almost everyone, including myself, at some point in their Workday career has pulled a report into excel in order to work with and manipulate the data. Whilst this isn’t best practice, it’s a common approach for many organisations and introduces risk with data security and data integrity etc.

This quick guide will give an overview of setting up Worksheets in your tenant and how to unlock this easy and quick way to collaborate in Workday, giving you and your organisation an alternative to exporting data to Excel.

The below information is from a GMS tenant using Logan McNeil as the user.

Domain Setup

Worksheets sit under Drive within Workday, so in order to access them you will first need to setup Drive in your tenant. If you need help setting up Drive, you can reach out to us at

The following domain exists and sits under the System Functional area:

You will need view and modify access to the Worksheets domain in order to be able to create and manage Workbooks in Drive. Generally, access is granted for Report Writer but can be done for other user-based groups depending on requirements and how your organisation self-serves reports.

If you require further info on security group and domain setup contact and we can review your Workday security configuration in order to best support this decision.

Once this has been applied and you have activated pending security policy changes in your tenant you will have access to Worksheets in Workday.

Worksheet Setup

Go into Drive by searching or click on your profile icon. You can add this to your home page:

In the top left-hand corner click “Add New” and you will see Workbook in the drop down.

This will prompt you for a name for the Worksheet:

You’ve then created a blank Worksheet and an excel style layout will be presented.

As well as looking like Excel, Worksheets function exactly like Excel, where you can input data as well as write formulas e.g. VLOOKUP, SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, IF, MAX/MIN etc.

The advantage of Worksheets however is the tool allows you to “Add Live Data” by importing Workday Advanced Reports into your Worksheet – exactly the same as you would do to manually extract the report into Excel.

Once you’ve clicked ‘Add Live Data’ you will be prompted to select an Advanced Report you want to import the data from.

Reports can be enabled for Worksheets in the ‘Advanced’ tab when editing or creating the report. Alternatively, you can select the tick box to ‘Include reports not enabled for Worksheets’ when you Add Live Data.

If there are prompts built into the report that you’ve selected, these will be displayed for you to choose appropriate values, just as you would when running the report normally.

You then have the option to import any (or all) of the fields held in the advanced report to your Worksheet. These fields can be sorted into any order you wish, not just the order they appear in the original report. You can also include a ‘Note Column’ or ‘Formula Columns’ directly in the import. These will automatically calculate when data is brought in from the report.

Once you’ve decided on the columns required for your Worksheet, you’ll be prompted to select how you want to insert the report data. This can either be as static values i.e. snapshot at the time you import the data, or as live data area i.e. data can be refreshed on demand.

Workday will then insert the data into the Worksheet as per the configuration you previously defined as well as an overview of the Data Details including details of the import status etc.

The data can now be used as it would be in Excel. Formulas can be applied to the data and graphs or pivot tables built off the back of it, these will be updated in real time when you refresh the data in the Worksheet.

Please Note: If you already have an existing template with data, you can upload this directly onto Drive. This will be converted into a Worksheet and will reduce the need to build new or existing templates.

Schedule Data Refresh

It’s also possible to setup a schedule to update the data in the worksheet. To do this, navigate to the ‘Data’ tab of the Worksheet and select ‘Schedule Live Data Refresh’. You’ll be prompted for when you’d like to schedule the data refresh and how often you’d like this to happen.

Create Charts and Pivots

The building of Charts or Pivots work in the same way as Excel does in that you can insert tables and charts based on a data range. To create a Chart or Pivot, navigate to the ‘Insert’ tab and select either Chart or Pivot, like you normally would in Excel.

You can apply chart configuration that functions in the same way that charts in Workday reporting do today, be that donut, lines, bar etc. These are easily adjustable in the Chart Configuration options in worksheets.

Sharing Worksheets

Once the Worksheet template is complete, you can share this with workers in your organisation with an edit, view or comment only permission. To do this just navigate to the ‘Share’ button in the top right of your Worksheet. If you want to share the Worksheet with security groups rather than individual workers, you’ll need to configure group sharing in Drive. If you need help setting this up, feel free to reach out to us at

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