In the digital marketing world, things are always changing, and we are always learning. Here's how to make sense of these new data retention changes from Google Analytics.
Data Retention – What’s That?
In a recent update, Google Analytics has added a new option known as Data Retention. Put simply, this setting gives you the ability to choose the amount of time Analytics will hold onto your user identifiable data. As soon as this time is up, this data will be deleted, whereas previously it would’ve been kept forever. However, this new setting only affects user and event related data, so most standard reporting will be completely unaffected. If you do not want this data to be deleted at all, don’t worry, as there is still an option for this as well.
The retention period options are as follows:
- 14 months
- 26 months
- 38 months
- 50 months
- No expiry
By default, the retention period will be set to 26 months.
One More Thing
There is also an option called “Reset on new activity”. If this is switched ON, it simply means that anytime a user interacts with the website, the data for that user will be retained for a full retention period after the activity occurs. Therefore, if a user initiates a new session every month, the time will keep resetting and the expiry date will never be reached. If this setting is switched to OFF however, the user’s data will be deleted after the retention period regardless of their activity.
All of these changes will take effect from May 25, 2018 onwards.
What We Recommend
Our advice to our clients is that there is no need to worry about the new update. The default 26 month period will be sufficient for the way we use Google Analytics, so it shouldn’t need changing. If you would still like to change your data retention settings however, they can be accessed in Google Analytics under Admin > Property > Tracking Info > Data Retention. Otherwise, we can update it for you.
If you have any further questions, follow the link to find out more about Google Data Retention.