New Google Data Retention Strategy

As of 25 May 2018 Google is rolling out it’s new data retention strategy within Google Analytics.

This directly affects how long your user and event data are stored within Google Analytics. Many Goals use event tracking, so if you think that your GA account may have custom reports, user segments or conversions set-up using events, take a look at your settings before 24 May. It takes effect after 24 hours, so doing this on 25 May (the day changes are affected) will already be too late.

The default retention period seems to be set for 26 months. In itself, this doesn’t sound bad – but think about how you sometimes need to do YoY reporting? You won’t have this data (esp on event tracking) post year 3. ie You’ll only be able to compare present year to the year before, and not further back. And if your Goals are running off events, this will impact how you can compare conversion metrics. Also this could affect some of your advertising lists used for remarketing purposes – such as DoubleClick cookies. All dependent on industry and how long you need the info for, or course. Unless you set your retention option to “Do not automatically expire”.

The second part looks at how you wish the user treated based on their activity. A toggle button for “on” or “off” – which basically asks: Do you wish to reset the ‘user’s data retention’ each time there is a new activity from them. (For example, if data retention is set to 14 months but a user initiates a new session every month, then that user’s identifier is refreshed every month and never reaches the 14-month expiry.)

Or read Googles explanation on data retention here.

Go to Admin ➝ Property ➝ Tracking Info ➝ Data Retention to set yours.

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