As an Adobe partner we want to make sure you are aware of a recent change that Adobe has announced around analytics data storage. The new policy goes into effect November 1, 2015.
Essentially, Adobe will only keep your analytics data for 37 months. Adobe states that this decision is based on best practices and regulatory requirements (specifically in Europe, some LATAM and most APAC countries).
The Numeric point of view is that in most cases clients shouldn’t need to keep data for longer than this period of time. This is based on our core philosophy that data should be actionable and driving decision-making, rather than rearview mirror monitoring. In this time of accelerated change across industries, is data from four years ago really relevant to a decision today?
However, we believe that it is worth taking a moment to review your company key performance indicators to think through any long-term metrics that your company may be tracking. And we recognize that some companies may want to trend metrics for longer periods of time based on their business model or institutional requirements.
Adobe does allow customers to purchase storage for periods beyond the 37 months. Adobe customers can purchase extended storage in 12 month blocks for up to a total of ten years of storage. The pricing for your storage will depend on the terms of your current Adobe contract as well as how much data you want to store for what additional amount of time. Numeric can facilitate calls with Adobe customers and their Adobe Account Manager for more specifics.
In talking to our clients over the past few weeks, we have found that most are comfortable (if not down-right excited) to limit their analytics data look back to 37 months. Without a limit on your available data, some business stakeholders will request as much data as they can, without thinking about the resource requirements to accomplish the task. Querying large data sets takes time, and parsing through that data can take even longer. Most of us in the analytics field have often had to go back to stakeholders and ask “Do you really need to see a 10 year trend?”. It’s not that we don’t want to pull the data, but we know that it might not be as valuable as the stakeholder thinks. Putting a cost, either to store in Adobe Analytics or in your own database, forces the business to think about how much data they truly need.
So, to review, this change will go into effect on November 1, 2015. If you simply want to buy yourself some more time or have questions about how this will impact your business reporting we recommend talking to Adobe to extend your analytics storage contract. If you have worked with Numeric or are working with us currently we would be happy to discuss your options, too.