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2/27/2014
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Workday Beats Forecasts, Buys Analytics Startup

Workday wraps up fiscal 2014 with 71% gain, buys HR-oriented predictive analytics company.

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Workday wrapped up its first full year as a public company reporting Wednesday a 71% year-over-year gain in total revenues and an 86% increase in subscriptions revenues. The results handily surpassed Wall Street expectations. The company also announced it has acquired Identified, a startup company that offers predictive analytics software for human resources applications.

Workday's total revenues for the fiscal year ended January 31 were $468.9 million, while subscription revenues were $354.2 million. Fourth-quarter revenue jumped 74%, to $141.9 million, while analysts had expected $137.9 million. The company said revenue in the current quarter will be $148 million to $153 million, whereas financial analysts were expecting $148 million to be the ceiling.

"Fiscal 2014 marked a significant year of growth with more than 200 new customers and 800 new employees joining Workday," said Workday chairman, co-founder, and co-CEO Aneel Bhusri in a statement. "During the year, we also accelerated adoption of our financials product, increased market presence in the education and government industries, and expanded our applications with the delivery of Workday Big Data Analytics."

[Want more on Workday? Read Workday Brings Consumer Web Experience To Enterprise Apps.]

The young company is still far from profitable, but the income trend is headed in the right direction. The operating loss for fiscal 2014 was $153.3 million, or negative 32.7% of total revenues, compared to an operating loss of $117.9 million, or negative 43.1% of total revenues, in fiscal 2013. Given the company's cash flow and backlog of new business, the financial community isn't worried.

"We believe Workday is driving the transition of HCM and Financial applications from stale and technologically limited on-premise solutions," wrote Wells Fargo equity research analyst Jayson Maynard on the company's latest results. "We believe that Workday's SaaS delivery model, broad product offerings, and developer tools represent valuable differentiators."

Workday co-founders Dave Duffield, left, and Aneel Bhusri.
Workday co-founders Dave Duffield, left, and Aneel Bhusri.

Workday said in a statement that it acquired Identified to "enhance search capabilities and accelerate the delivery of predictive analytics and machine learning throughout Workday's suite of applications." The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Identified launched in 2011 promising a better job search engine. It later added analytics-driven recruiting software. The company's technology combs social media profiles to find best prospects and spot job-market trends. Its predictive capabilities will likely be applied to financial trend analysis as well as HR management.

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Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/27/2014 | 1:07:04 PM
Re: Predictive Analytics
I'd say predictive analytics will become table stakes. The next wave will be "prescriptive" analytics. The first tells you what's going to happen while the second tells you what to do about it. Analytics in general are increasingly being embedded into applications. From there, it shouldn't be a huge leap to figure out what levers to push when orders come up short, quality rates decline, or whatever other condition crops up within the context of a process or workflow.
BRIAN_CIAMPA
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BRIAN_CIAMPA,
User Rank: Strategist
2/27/2014 | 12:51:53 PM
Predictive Analytics
Will predictive analytics become a standard feature when purchasing software, whether SaaS or otherwise?
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