Introduction to Dashboards in Workday Adaptive Planning / Adaptive Insights

Dashboards put the power of interactive visualisations and charts into your hands.

With Dashboards in Workday Adaptive Planning you can:

  • Monitor and drive business performance
  • Visualise numbers and charts side-by-side
  • Enter data with sheets on dashboards and dynamically see your charts update
  • Analyse real-time financial and operational data over time, reach your own conclusions, and apply what you’ve learned to improve your plan
  • Add text on dashboards to create notes and collaborate with your team

In this article we will walk you through how to build a basic suite of graphics using Dashboards. We will create a dashboard to review Revenue performance in our demo instance.

Watch the video or continue reading below.

Create a Perspective and Dashboard

Let’s get started by clicking the navigation menu: “Dashboards”.

dashboards adaptive

The perspective overview is the starting place.

Click “New” to create a new Perspective.

new perspective adaptive planning

A Perspective is a group of dashboards often focused on a common function. In our case, we are doing a dashboard for Revenue review.

Provide a name and click “Save”.

new perspective name


Then click “Edit” and we are now ready to add a dashboard to the new perspective. Dashboards display as tabs in the perspective. Each dashboard can have one or more charts.

edit dashboard

We are going to create a Dashboard name “Revenue” and put in a few charts to review the Revenue of the demo company.

In the Appearance Settings  appearance settings   on the right, type a name for the dashboard. 

appearance name

Create a KPI chart: Revenue (Forecast vs Budget)

Drag and drop in the KPI chart from the left panel

  • On the left panel, click  view charts    to view the list of charts.
  • Drag and drop the KPI icon   kpi icon   to the design area. You will see a KPI template that is ready for editing:


  • To add an account, click  view accounts   to view a list of accounts. Click the Accounts tab and navigate to “GL accounts”, click the blue arrow to the left of “GL accounts” to expand the account list. Then select “4000 Revenue” and drag and drop into the KPI chart.
  • Drag a corner handle to resize the KPI chart.

    KPI chart

Change the appearance of the KPI chart

We can edit the appearance and change the overall format and style of the KPI chart.

  • From the right panel, click appearance settings  and change the name of the KPI to “Revenue (Forecast v Budget)”.
  • Change the Layout by removing any unnecessary information. We might choose to hide the Version Header.

    version header

  • We select version to be “Forecast” from the “Current year” version folder for Reference Value and keep Time Alignment, Period, Data Range and Font as default.

    reference value

  • For Comparison Value, we select version as “Working Budget” and keep Time Alignment, Period, Data Range as default.
  • For Variance, we select “Reference Value – Comparison Value” to display “Forecast – Budget”.

    variance adaptive planning

  • For Variance Percent , keep the default as “Variance Divide by Comparison”.
  • Format the Micro Chart. Change the Period to Yearand Breakdown Period Level to “Month”. As per below setting, it let you to see the 12-month trend for the year. Keep the defaults setting for Time Alignment, Date Range, and Accumulate.

micro chart dashboards  

Create a Column Chart with conditional formatting

Create the column chart to show Revenue trend by month, version: Forecast vs. Budget

column chart adaptive

  • From the left panel, click  view charts   to view the list of charts. Drag  chart icon  to the design area to create column chart.
  • From the right panel, click the data setting icon round icon   , click “Add” > Accounts to view a list of accounts. Expand GL Accounts and select “4000 Revenue” to add the account in the column chart.

data settings

Note: this is an alternative way to add an account into a chart.

  • Once the chart is created, at any time we can come back to the data settings  round icon   to add additional accounts into the chart, edit or replace the existing accounts.
  • After revenue account is added, we can select the Version to be “Forecast” and rename this first account as “Forecast”.

    select version

  • Repeat above step and add the revenue account again and set Version as “Budget”.

    select budget

Please note: We can choose the chart type for the comparison account to display as “Follow Chart” being the same as the default chart type, or we can choose to display the comparison series as one of “Line”, “Column” or “Area” chart.

For example, if we choose “Line” chart for the Budget version Revenue account, the chart will look like the below:

appearance settings planning

    • To change the order of the two column series, we can swap the order of the two accounts as below:
        • Point the mouse to the left of the account header, and drag the account up or down.

data settings accounts

        • Next we click  clock icon   to edit the time settings. Change these:
            • Change Stratum to Month.
            • Change Span to Range.
            • We can also pin time to select a start from period to an end period. OR Click  pin icon to unpin time. Change the relative period to Backward 1 month and Forward 1 month. This will display data for three months:  previous, current month, and next month.

time settings

  • We can resize the chart by selecting the chart and dragging the corner or edge indicator.
  • We can also reposition the chart by selecting the chart and dragging it to the new position.

Create Conditional Formatting

Change the appearance of the chart and add rules for conditional formatting.

  • From the right panel, click  appearance settings   and change the name of the column chart as “Revenue Trend”
  • Expand the Conditional Formatting section, click “Add rule”

conditional formatting

  • A dialog box pop up will appear:

conditional formatting

        • Define a rule
        • Fill in the description, ie, Above Budget
        • Build the expression, click  question icon  for syntax rules and list of operators and functions.
        • Pick the highlight colour ie, Green, to format the column in the chart when condition Forecast > Budget is true.
        • Select the series for the conditional formatting to apply: Forecast
        • Click “Save” to close
        • Add another rule by clicking the “Add” button again
        • Set the rule as Below Budget

conditional formatting planning

        • Pick the highlight color as Red to format columns in the chart when condition Forecast < Budget is true.
        • Again, Select the series for the conditional formatting to apply: Forecast
        • Click “Save” to close

Please Note:
We can create many conditional formatting rules in a chart. These rules are evaluated from the bottom up. The order of rules matter only if there are rules that evaluate true on the same data point. The order of the rule determines the conditional formatting to apply.

We can reorder rules by dragging  the handler icon to the new position.


Create a Waterfall Chart

Create a Waterfall Chart: Budget vs Forecast, broken down by product (or by departments)

waterfall chart adaptive planning

A Waterfall chart shows where it started, where it ended, and how it got there. We can set up a waterfall chart by specifying a start value (reference value) and an end value (comparison value) and the waterfall steps.

Set up a waterfall chart: Budget vs Forecast version

In the Perspective, ensure you are still in Edit mode. If not, click  edit icon   to get back in Edit mode.

  • From the left pane, select the Chart tab  view charts  . Drag and drop  icon   to the design area to create the waterfall chart.
  • Select the Accounts tab  view accounts   to view a list of accounts. Click the Accounts tab and navigate to “GL accounts”, click the blue arrow to the left of “GL accounts” to expand the account list. Then select “4000 Revenue” and drag and drop into the waterfall chart.
  • In the right pane, click the Appearance Settings tab appearance settings . Expand the General section and rename the chart to: Revenue (Budget vs Forecast)
  • Leave the Data labels, Axis, Legend setting as default (or change base on preference)
  • Click the arrow to the left of “Reference value” to expand settings for the reference value.

    reference value budget

        • Version: From version selector: Budget – Board Approved
        • Time Alignment: Current
        • Period: Year
        • Data Range: To Date


  • Click the arrow to the left of “Comparison value” to expand settings for the reference value.

        • Version: From version selector: Forecast
        • Time Alignment: Current
        • Data Range: To Date

comparison value

  • Click the Time Settings tab  clock icon  and change:
        • Stratum: Year
        • Unpinned time: Current

Please note:

  • Time alignment in “Reference Value” or “Comparison Value” settings work together with the Time Setting tab to determine the time period in which data set is evaluated in the chart.
  • Time alignment has options as below, and these relevant time settings are based on the pinned time set in the Time Setting tab. If unpinned, time will be based on time period selected in the Time Period Selector.


    period selector

        • Current: Based on the default Time settings
        • Previous: For a period that goes back by a specified number of periods, such as go back 12 months.     
        • Next: For a period that moves forward by a specified number of periods, such as move forward 12 months.        
        • Trailing: For the specified number of past periods including the period selected in the chart.        
        • Leading: For the specified number of future periods including the period selected in the chart.

In the Waterfall chart, the first 3 options are used most often.

Waterfall chart “Breakdown” settings

The Breakdown settings is in the Data Setting tab.

data settings tab

The Waterfall chart can be broken down by a number of different options:

waterfall breakdown

  • Metrics : Showing the immediate children accounts
  • Dimension: Including options to breakdown by Levels (ie, department or cost centre), Level Attributes (ie, location, region etc), Dimensions or Dimension Attributes.

    select dimension

  • Time: If the Waterfall chart time setting is showing a year, we can choose to break down the chart by Quarter or Month.
  • Please Note: The “Sorting & Limits” settings located underneath the “Breakdown” setting works together with the Breakdown selection and finetunes the display of the Waterfall chart by limiting the selected values and ordering them.

sorting limits

        • Max Data Points: Default to 10, it can be replaced by another number.
        • Sort Order: Default or any one of below options.

          sort order

Once you have finished creating all the charts required in the Perspective, click the done button button located at the top right corner of the Perspective tool bar to save the changes.

After the Dashboard is created, we can keep it as a personal Dashboard or share the Dashboard with other Workday Adaptive Planning users.

    dashboard test


The above is what we walked through in the QMetrix Workday Adaptive Planning User Group. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us.

If you would like to learn more about other charts, check out the Workday Adaptive Planning site for dashboard chart information.

Health Check for Workday Adaptive Planning

Does your Workday Adaptive Planning instance perform slowly or have poor user uptake, outdated models or limited capability? Does your team lack knowledge on how to use the solution, and want to know what more can be done?

QMetrix provides a Health Check service where we review your instance and propose steps to optimise it so Workday Adaptive Planning continues to deliver value for your organisation.

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