Google Analytics keeps data for different periods of time based on the type of data. Here are the different durations for which Google Analytics retains data:
- User-level data: Google Analytics retains this data for 26 months. User-level data includes information such as sessions, interactions, and user-related dimensions.
- Event-level data: Events data, which represents specific actions taken by the user on a website, is also stored for 26 months.
- Ads-related data: Google Analytics stores data related to campaigns, ad clicks, and conversions for 14 months. This includes information about the source and medium of traffic.
- E-commerce data: Transaction and revenue data are kept for 26 months.
It is important to note that these retention periods are subject to change by Google. Additionally, users can modify the retention period in their Google Analytics account settings if they wish to keep the data for a shorter duration.
What is the benefit of retaining data beyond the default retention period in Google Analytics?
There are several benefits to retaining data beyond the default retention period in Google Analytics:
- Historical analysis: Keeping data for longer periods allows you to perform historical analysis and identify long-term trends and patterns. This can help in making informed business decisions and understanding the effectiveness of your marketing strategies over time.
- Comparative analysis: By retaining data for longer, you can compare performance and user behavior across different time periods. This helps in measuring the impact of changes or campaigns over time and identifying any seasonal or cyclical patterns.
- Advanced segmentation: Retained data allows for more detailed segmentation of your audience. You can analyze specific user groups, behavior patterns, or demographics to gain deeper insights into their preferences and tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.
- Regulatory compliance: In some cases, regulatory requirements or legal obligations may necessitate retaining data for longer durations. By keeping data beyond the default retention period, you ensure compliance with industry or legal standards.
- Machine learning and model building: Longer data retention can provide a larger dataset for training machine learning models or building predictive models. These models can help in forecasting future trends, predicting user behavior, or improving decision-making.
It's important to note that retaining data beyond the default retention period may have privacy implications, so be mindful of any privacy regulations and ensure compliance when extending the data retention.
How to view historical data in Google Analytics?
To view historical data in Google Analytics, follow these steps:
- Open Google Analytics and select the desired account and property.
- Click on the "Reporting" tab to access the reporting interface.
- By default, the reporting interface will display data for the current date range. To view historical data, adjust the date range by clicking on the date range selector at the top right of the screen.
- Select the desired date range from the pre-set options (e.g., Last 7 days, Last 30 days) or enter a custom date range.
- Once the date range is set, Google Analytics will display the historical data for the selected period. You can analyze various metrics, dimensions, and reports to gain insights into the performance of your website for that specific period.
- Use the various reports available in Google Analytics, such as Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions, to explore different aspects of your historical data. Each report provides valuable information about your website's visitors, their behavior, traffic sources, and more.
- Customize the reports by applying different filters, segments, or secondary dimensions to delve deeper into the historical data and extract specific insights.
- You can compare different date ranges to identify trends or changes in performance over time. Click on the date range selector and select "Compare to" option to compare the current date range with a previous period.
- Take advantage of the various visualization options available in Google Analytics, such as line charts, bar graphs, or pie charts, to present the historical data in a more readable and easily understandable format.
- Explore the different reports and metrics within Google Analytics to gather insights and make data-driven decisions based on the historical data obtained.
What is the impact of data retention on data processing consent requirements in Google Analytics?
The impact of data retention on data processing consent requirements in Google Analytics is that the retention period chosen by the data controller or administrator can affect the duration for which the user's consent is required.
Google Analytics offers various data retention options ranging from 14 months to indefinitely. The chosen retention period determines how long Google will retain and store the data collected by the analytics cookies and associated identifiers.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data processing requires a lawful basis, which often includes obtaining the user's consent. Consent is typically obtained prior to the data processing activity and must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous.
The consent given by users for data processing in Google Analytics should align with the duration for which their data is retained. If the data retention period is shorter, consent may be sought accordingly and periodically reconfirmed. On the other hand, if data is retained indefinitely, obtaining and maintaining consent for an indefinite period may be challenging, as consent can be revoked at any time by the user.
Data controllers must ensure that they comply with applicable data protection laws and regulations, including obtaining valid consent and ensuring that the consent duration aligns with the chosen data retention period when using Google Analytics or any other data processing tools.
What is the purpose of data retention in Google Analytics?
The purpose of data retention in Google Analytics is to determine for how long the user-level and event-level data will be stored in the Google Analytics servers. It allows website owners and administrators to specify the appropriate duration for retaining the data collected from their website visitors.
By default, Google Analytics retains user-level and event-level data for 26 months. However, users have the flexibility to adjust this retention period based on their specific needs and privacy policies. This can range from 14 months to indefinite retention.
Data retention helps website owners comply with data protection and privacy regulations while still providing useful insights from the collected data. It also assists in managing data storage costs associated with maintaining large amounts of analytics data over an extended period.