Configure data retention policies

Who can use this feature?

Totango provides options to configure custom polices for the following:

  1. Entities 
  2. Account history
  3. Free accounts
  4. Backup files

Be cautious of data loss when configuring any retention policy. See archiving accounts for removing accounts individually.

Define a retention policy for an entity

Data retention policies help keep your account base clean, based on periods of inactivity. You can configure an automatic deletion policy for the following customer entities:

  • Accounts
  • Users
  • Custom collections
  • Free accounts**

*Free accounts refer to your customer accounts that with a "Free" contract status to denote a non-paying, active account. 

What is an inactivity period?

Inactivity means that no new information about this entity was sent or entered:

  • No attribute was uploaded/sent
  • No usage activity was logged
  • No touchpoint was logged via API
  • No tasks were created/completed via API

The system counts the number inactive days based on the day the daily process runs, which may be one or two days after the last update date (depends on the UTC time of the last activity). Consider the following examples:

Last update: July 4 at 5pm CDT
(10pm UTC July 4)
July 4 at 8pm CDT
(1am UTC July 5)
  # of days of inactivity
July 5 0 N/A
July 6 1 0
July 7 2 1

When does a policy go into effect?

When opening the retention policy for the first time for your service, Totango runs a process called initialization. This process runs only for the objects where a retention policy is enabled—hence, if a retention policy isn't enabled for an entity (for example: an opportunities collection), the initialization will not run for that object.

If later you decide to enable a retention policy for an entity (e.g., your "opportunities" collection), the system considers the following in order for those records to be deleted: (1) after the opportunities collection record was created for an account (2) the record needs to be updated and only after this update the system starts to consider the retention policy for this record.

As an example, if I created an opportunities collection record for an account and later updated it, after the update if my retention policy is set to 2 days, after 2 days without an update, the record gets deleted.

On the other hand, if an entity was included when the retention policy was first enabled, there is no need for an additional update; if X days passed since this object was created, it will get deleted according to the X days set by the retention policy.

To define a data retention policy:

  1. From Settings, expand Data Management > Data Retention.
  2. For the entity you want to modify, click the drop-down to choose the number of inactive days you want to use, or choose Custom and type a number.
  3. Click Save.

The retention policy applies immediately. Totango starts marking the last information update for the entities with a defined policy (starting at this point), and inactive records will be marked for deletion in the next daily process if the number of inactive days set in the policy applies.

For example, I defined a retention policy to delete accounts after 3 days of inactivity. The last activity date for all accounts will be set to today and will be updated according to the next daily process. Once an account is reached 3 days of inactivity, it will be marked for deletion.

Once an entity is marked for deletion due to a retention policy, it must continue to be inactive for an additional 30 day period (known as the "revive period") before Totango permanently deletes it.

Account deletion considerations

  • Whenever an account is deleted, its users and collections will be deleted as well.
  • When the Retention Policy is set to delete accounts after X days of inactivity, if the parent accounts have X days inactivity, then along with the parent account, its sub-accounts will get deleted as well as part of the retention policy.
  • Whenever a new collection is defined, it will inherit its retention policy from the account level.
  • If the entity was marked for deletion due to a retention policy but you now want it back, you can revive it within the first 30 days from being marked for deletion by sending new information about it. This action will unmark it as deleted and will revive it. After the 30-day “revive period" is over, you cannot restore the entity, and any new information about this entity will re-create it as a new entity.

Configure the account history policy

Totango collects historical data on accounts. Historical changes and trends is automatically kept for:

  • 90 days for Totango free trial and non-paying customers
  • 365 days for paying customers; however, paying Totango customers may choose to change historical default to 90 days, or longer than 365 days with extended data retention.
  1. From Settings, expand Data Management > Data Retention.
  2. Under the Account History drop-down, choose from the following options:
    • 365 days (default)
    • 90 days
  3. Click Save.

Users and collection objects do not have historical data. Learn more.

Configure expiration for free accounts

Totango provides an expiration mechanism to remove Totango resources for accounts that were created in error or are no longer in use. This is particularly relevant if your application allows free trials managed by Totango. In those cases, the majority of accounts may be active for a few weeks during the trial, and then permanently abandoned once the trial has ended.

By default, Totango automatically expires any account with “Free” or "Unknown" contract status that has been inactive for 60 days. You can modify this default behavior to support your freemium model. Suggested recommendations include:

  • Trial programs of 14 days or less: Set expiration to 14 days
  • Freemium services (unlimited free use of reduced functionality): Set expiration to 90 days
  • All others: Set expiration to 60 days

Free accounts are part of the account entity, therefore the account entity deletion policy (if defined) overrules free account expiration deletion policy.

The benefits of automatically expiring free accounts include:

  1. Lists and searches ignore irrelevant past accounts, making the data in Totango cleaner and simpler to navigate. For example, when generating a list of “all trial accounts that have not logged in recently,” results will ignore inactive trials
  2. Expired accounts are not counted against your Totango usage quota
  3. Smaller data sets improve overall performance and information clarity
  4. Statistical information about old accounts is not deleted, so when creating a trend report on past data, past behaviors of expired accounts are still taken into consideration. For example, if you create a report on a Segment [Trial accounts that have not used Feature-X], the trend line in the report will count trials matching this segment that have since expired.

If you want certain trial accounts to never expire, simply move them to the paying status. If they are not generating any revenue, set their Contract Value to zero.

Accounts in a cancelled status never expire, unless otherwise configured in your data retention policy.

Configure backup file policies

Totango stores backup files for recovery and processing of past data. Currently, backup files are stored in the Customer Data Hub backup folder to enable download historical files and in the DNA-CX backup folder to enable historical calculations of metrics and health. The backup file retention policy will enable you to define how much time you allow Totango to keep files for backup.

DNA-CX operational data is not be deleted. Operational data enables viewing of past data in real-time, including metrics and rollup change and usage aggregations The operational data is stored in Elastic Search, DB, and Operational files.

  • Customer Data Hub backup files: Enables download of historical files during the selected time period.
  • DNA-CX backup files: Enables past calculations, like metric and rollup recalculation, past health recalculations, and past data processing calculations during the selected time period. In addition, these backups are used to past data analysis for support issues and RCAs.
  1. From Settings, expand Data Management > Data Retention.
  2. Under the Customer Data Hub or DNA-CX backup options, click the drop-down to choose the number of inactive days you want to use, or choose Custom and type a number.
  3. Click Save.

Backup data file deletion considerations

  • Historical recalculation of data can occur ONLY for timeframes defined in the policy
  • Metric and rollup recalculation can occur ONLY for timeframes defined in the policy
  • CDH downloads of historical files can occur ONLY for timeframes defined in the policy
  • Support deep analysis and RCAs can occur ONLY for timeframes defined in the policy
  • View and analyze past data in real-time for any attribute, metric, custom metric, and rollup will not effect by the backup file retention policy
  • Metrics, rollups, and usage aggregations relative change versus a previous period for 1d, 3d, 7d, 14d, 30d, 90d, 180d relative periods will not effect by the backup file retention policy.

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