Workday’s Approach to AI and Machine Learning

Damien Leach, CTO for Workday in the APJ region, shares key insights on integrating AI and machine learning into their platform at the CDO Vision Singapore conference.

During the CDO Vision Singapore conference held on 25th August 2023 at Novotel Singapore on Stevens, Damien Leach, the Chief Technology Officer for Workday in the APJ region, shared valuable insights into how Workday integrates AI and machine learning into their platform. The conference, attended by over 30 CDOs and Analytics Leaders, provided a platform for thought leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the data and analytics landscape. Damien’s interview was captured in a video titled “Damien,” posted on the AIM Research YouTube channel.

Key Takeaways

Architectural Integration of AI

  • Damien Leach emphasized that Workday has been incorporating AI and machine learning algorithms into their products for about a decade.
  • The technology is not just an add-on but is architecturally integrated into their platform, allowing for a seamless infusion throughout their products and services.

Federated Machine Learning

  • Workday employs a federated machine learning approach, which allows them to benefit from global models while also taking into account data generated at the tenant level.
  • Automated training algorithms are used to continually improve results for their customers.

Philosophy of “Humans in the Loop”

  • Damien highlighted Workday’s philosophy of keeping humans in the decision-making loop when it comes to AI-augmented processes.
  • This philosophy is fundamental to their approach and aims to ensure that AI serves to augment, not replace, human decision-making.

Industry Perspectives

  • Reflecting on the conference, Damien appreciated the diversity of perspectives from different industries.
  • He noted that despite the differences in industries, there are common challenges that everyone is trying to solve in the realm of AI and machine learning.


Damien Leach’s insights at the CDO Vision Singapore conference offer a comprehensive look into Workday’s nuanced approach to AI and machine learning. The architectural integration of these technologies into their platform has enabled Workday to offer intelligent and efficient services to their clients. The philosophy of “humans in the loop” ensures that technology augments rather than replaces human capabilities. As the data and analytics landscape continues to evolve, such conversations provide invaluable insights into the shared challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

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