Adaptive Insights Lights Path to Business Agility at Adaptive Live

Anomaly detection launches machine learning innovations for Business Planning Cloud

May 22, 2019

Adaptive Insights, a Workday company (NASDAQ: WDAY), today opened Adaptive Live 2019, the annual gathering of finance and business planning professionals that trust Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud for company-wide planning, modeling, and reporting. The conference theme, “Plan for What’s Next,” is represented in breakout sessions focusing on today’s planning best practices, emerging product innovation and digital transformation keynotes, and insight into machine learning (ML) technologies that will offer continuous guidance and power business planning processes of the future.

In the opening keynote, Tom Bogan, CEO of Adaptive Insights, shared his vision for how companies will achieve agility in today’s fast-paced business environment. Emphasizing the need for even faster and more informed decision making, Bogan noted that company-wide planning driven by finance will be powered by ML technologies.

“Companies that will thrive in the coming decade are those that can harness their data to work even harder for them,” said Bogan. “Our vision is to enable our customers to leverage historical information with forward-looking analytics to see any number of options almost instantly, so decision makers can select the best path forward. We’ll embrace machine learning technologies and create ‘business navigation systems’ that offer continuous guidance and deliver the level of agility companies need to remain competitive, or risk being left behind. This is the future of planning.”

Seattle Sounders Embrace Anomaly Detection

Anomaly detection is the first ML feature to be offered on Business Planning Cloud, scheduled for availability next month to a select customer set with general availability later this year. Customers like Seattle Sounders, a Major League Soccer franchise, will be among the first to use the technology. Today the franchise blends financial and operational data for scenario planning, to evaluate multi-year deals for players, and to determine which clubs to select for international friendly matches by weighing variables including ticket sales, travel costs, etc. 

“We use Business Planning Cloud to make multi-million dollar decisions with confidence, basing those decisions on data in the platform,” said Tom Riley, vice president of finance, Seattle Sounders. “As we look ahead, machine learning will let us take a large amount of data and use it to analyze in ways we never could before, like weather data to forecast ticket sales based on what the temperature is that day. That’s far more powerful than what any human can do. Having been an early design partner for anomaly detection, we’re excited to be on this innovation journey with Adaptive Insights.”

Anomaly detection on Business Planning Cloud uses ML to catch potential errors in budgets, forecasts, scenarios, and other models. The ML algorithm compares prior data to detect anomalies and alert planning users of possible errors or inputs not reflective of seasonality, for both finance or operational planning users. Users can provide feedback by accepting or rejecting the anomaly designation provided. The system learns from user feedback to continually improve the process and better predict where anomalies occur.

A Look Ahead: Intelligent Planning with Continuous Guidance

Looking ahead, emerging ML technologies for Business Planning Cloud will help shift the role of finance from describing the past and modeling the future to instead prescribing what should happen.

Bogan noted the intelligent planning system of the future will include capabilities like augmented analytics to automatically identify trends and opportunities, empowering both finance and business users with the capability to harness data in a way previously reserved for data scientists. Much like a navigation system, the intelligent planning system of the future will take in data and make continuous adjustments, recommend various scenarios, and provide a path forward that is optimized for each user and each business.

For more information about the future of planning, read the blog, “Planning for what’s next” or download the book “Plan to Win: Achieving business agility in the age of urgency.”

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements including, among other things, statements regarding the expected performance and benefits of Workday’s and Adaptive Insights’ offerings. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “seek,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If the risks materialize or assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. Risks include, but are not limited to, risks described in Workday’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including Workday’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2019 and future reports that may be filed with the SEC from time to time, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. Workday assumes no obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

Any unreleased services, features, or functions referenced in this document, our website, or other press releases or public statements that are not currently available are subject to change at Workday's and Adaptive Insights’ discretion and may not be delivered as planned or at all. Customers who purchase Workday and/or Adaptive Insights services should make their purchase decisions based upon services, features, and functions that are currently available.

About Adaptive Insights

Adaptive Insights, a Workday company, is powering a new generation of business planning. Driving business agility in a fast-moving world, Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud leads the way for people in companies to collaborate, gain insights, and make smarter decisions, faster. Powerful modeling for any size organization, yet so easy for everybody who plans. To learn more, visit ​​​​​​​