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How to Avoiding Losing your Google Analytics Data on May 25, 2018

Watch the video to understand how Google Analytics is changing and how to protect your data before new Google Analytics rules come into effect on May 25, 2018.  Below the video you will find more in-depth details on why all this is happening and how it can affect you.

The Facts

On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s privacy policy called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect.  At the same time, and quite possibly because of this new policy, many data collecting agencies (Google Analytics, Email campaign service providers like ActiveCampaign, and form tool creators like JotForm) are all letting their clients know about what measures are being taken to be GDPR compliant.

Risk Losing Data

As of May 25, 2018, Google Analytics is putting into effect a new data retention control whereby your Google Analytics data will be deleted/removed after 26 months.   So if you had a website that was collecting data for 5 years you would almost 3 years worth of data!

Google says that aggregate data (standard reports found in Google Analytics in Audience, Acquisition, Behavior) should still work however what makes Google Analytics so powerful is the ability to deep dive into the data – run different reports, filter out information, add extra levels to reports – to see a better picture of what’s happening with your website traffic.


Do you like the Behavior Flow report?  Do you like seeing where people enter your site and seeing what path they take to move around your site?  In researching this topic I found out that the data that makes the Behavior Flow report work is not considered a part of aggregated data and so the information will be deleted based on the data retention control rules coming into effect on May 25, 2018.

I assumed that the Behavior Flow report would have been based on aggregate data, or in easier terms a “standard report”.  However this is not the case and that’s very concerning.

What can you do?

No matter what, I’m guessing that you want to avoid losing any data that Google Analytics has captured so far (if it’s longer than 26 months) and going forward you don’t want Google Analytics to delete any data either.  Even if you don’t deep dive into your Google Analytics data, I can promise you that a website strategist devising a plan for your website does.  So my recommendation is to change your data retention control settings to protect your data.

The video above walks you through how to change your data retention control settings in Google Analytics to ensure that you do not lose any of your data provided you perform these changes prior to May 25, 2018.

NOTE: This post is not about how to become GDPR compliant.  If you are unsure if you need to be compliant with GDPR please check with a law firm.

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