Workday, the human resources software maker that defied expectations with its initial public offering, unveiled its strategy today at its annual user conference, Workday Rising.

In short, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company is committed to building a recruiting mobile app for hiring teams, as well as a big data analytics toolset. With these technological advancements, it is better positioned to compete with giants in the space, Oracle-owned Taleo and SAP’s SuccessFactors.

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The idea for the big data tool originated when AIG, a large insurance company, requested an analytic capability to better understand the profitability of each employee. Workday combined data from its internal HR systems with finance and external claims information. It processed and stored the data using Datameer’s Hadoop-driven analytics tool.

As is the case with the majority of big data solutions, it will incorporate social data from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, along with the most relevant public information that pertains to salary and employment. All the data will be presented on a spreadsheet-like interface so analysts can make changes, and any user can play with the reports — all without the involvement of IT.

The analytics solution is still under development and is expected to ship to the first pool of customers in the spring of 2013.

“We are combining Workday data and any type of third-party data into our unified platform to create the analytics and dashboards in the intuitive Workday user experience our customers have come to expect,” said Aneel Bhusri, chairman, co-founder, and co-chief executive officer of Workday in a statement. “With Workday Big Data Analytics we are re-thinking how insights that lead to better decisions should be delivered to businesses.”

In addition, the company has announced its new recruiting platform, which is intended to be useful throughout the sourcing and signing process. Of course, the solution is described as “mobile first” and “collaborative” (more buzzwords). Specifically, customers can expect an application that can assist with headcount planning, social sourcing, background checks, job requisition, and pipeline management.

The company is also in the process of building a UI tool for Windows 8 mobile devices — although it’s still in the idea stages at this point. Read more about unexpectedly cool features for the Windows 8 phone here.