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Customer Story

The Salvation Army Improves Data Migration Process By 5x With Alteryx

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The Salvation Army Key Stats

Industry: Non-Profit
Department: Business Intelligence
Region: Asia-Pacific

hours saved in manual effort

workers in Workday migration

+ automated migrations

Automating the migration of 10,000 worker records into Workday

As one of the world’s largest social welfare organizations, and with more than 1,650,000 members working in over 128 countries, it’s safe to say The Salvation Army has a large headcount to track. This was especially true for the organization’s Australian territory known as Salvos, as they house numerous job categories including officers, volunteers, workers, and independent contractors.

So when Sambit Das, a Workday Data Test Lead, was assigned to the Salvos project of migrating over 200,000 rows of data for 10,000 workers from multiple legacy systems into Workday, he knew he was in for a challenge. “The state of systems and data flow at Salvos was complex, with no single source of truth of the national workforce,” Das says. “The sheer volume of historical data was overwhelming. It was duplicated, unlabeled and unharmonized in different systems like Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and hard copy files. Creating organizational reports such as national level workforce reporting, tracking integrity checks, and training compliance data was time-consuming.”

“We needed a solution that could automate our data migration and transformation processes in an easy and repeatable way.”


Sambit Das
Workday Data Test Lead
Salvation Army

If we quantified savings from all of our Alteryx workflows that were developed, we have easily generated savings of over 2,000 hours of manual effort to date.

Finding a solution that automated a complex analytic workflow

“My search for a solution led to the paper Alteryx Workday Data Migration by Cynthia Eckles (an employee of Alteryx), who had used Alteryx to support Workday data migration in 2018,” Das says. “I decided to reach out to her on LinkedIn, and after a video chat with her, I was inspired to use Alteryx as the data migration and transformation tool for this daunting task.

“It was very exciting to use the platform as a beginner,” Das continues. “I had never been so excited in my career to use a solution on a day-to-day basis that has the power Alteryx does to solve these challenging tasks. You could visually see the data being cleaned in each step of the workflow.

During the multiple rounds of data loading and cleansing, Das and his team used Alteryx to automate and optimize a series of mundane and complex processes, including:

  • Transform raw data into Workday workbooks, then validate and confirm that the data in the current system matched what was in Workday
  • Optimize business processes to determine which role can initiate, approve, review, and complete a business process within Workday
  • Generate a live feed of data from Workday to transform, clean, and transfer the data to the third-party system IPS
  • Automate data validations for Workday data migration
  • Conduct real-time data audits of Workday to make sure we were constantly reviewing and cleaning data issues that may impact upcoming payroll runs
“We were able to automate and develop a repeatable data migration process that made my team’s lives much easier, and it enabled us to work through the migration process at a much quicker pace than it would have it if we did this manually,” Das Says

One solution for thousands of hours saved

“If we quantified savings from all of our Alteryx workflows that were developed, we have easily generated savings of over 2,000 hours of manual effort to date,” Das Says. “Additionally, the Platform gave us the ability to be able to prototype data migration with a live dataset through the various data cycles, and payroll parallel runs enabled us to keep reducing lead time.

“My program manager was able to see the value right away, so it’s been easy for team leads to pick up on the time savings and want to learn more for themselves as well.”

I had never been so excited in my career to use a solution on a day-to-day basis that has the power Alteryx does to solve these challenging tasks.

What's Next?

Building a culture of analytics, one step at a time

So what's next? For a large, data-dependent organization like The Salvation Army, a Platform like Alteryx that allows anyone to perform drag-and-drop data blending, analytics, and data science is a key to enabling a shift in culture from manual and painful to automated and powerful.

“Our department heads are seeing the power of the Platform and the effort that it can save for manual work, so now it’s being introduced across other departments like the procurement team. People are now celebrating data work that’s being done in Alteryx, which is not something you typically see out of data-heavy projects,” Das says.

What’s next for Das and his team? “We’re looking at completing a phase two of the migration, which would be to migrate 30,000 to 40,000 worker and volunteer data into Workday,” Das says. “I also think we are going to take advantage of the predictive analytics and assisted modeling capabilities in Alteryx to tackle other projects. The data we are working with is huge across the organization, so it will be important to use that culture of analytics we are slowly but surely creating here.”

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