Overview – Data Retention
What is Survey Retention?
Survey Retention is an administrator function in Netigate where you can regulate the storage of survey data within your account. It is a way for you to automatically schedule actions that will be performed after a set amount of time. These actions are focused on data protection and the security of personal data.
The functionality itself is not very complicated, but it is important to pay close attention to what the different options are and what the effect will be on your company data; data that you may have collected for a number of years.
Survey Retention settings can be assigned to either the entire Netigate account or to an individual survey (see Where do I find it?). If you use the functionality for an individual survey, those settings will outweigh the settings set on an account level.
What are my options?
1. Full Delete
If you enable the option Full Delete in your Netigate account or survey there will be a scheduled deletion of all survey data based on your Survey Retention settings.
Fully deleting surveys will irreversibly remove all data connected to the survey.
- All answers connected to the survey(s) will be irreversibly deleted
- All survey reports connected to the survey(s) will be irreversibly deleted
- All respondents connected to the survey(s) will be irreversibly deleted
- All questions and send-outs connected to the survey(s) will be irreversibly deleted
- All translations connected to the survey(s) will be irreversibly deleted
2. Partial Delete
If you enable the option of Partial Delete in your Netigate account or survey there will be a scheduled deletion of survey data with the purpose of removing personal data or personal information about your respondents.
Partially deleting a survey means that only certain data points will be deleted from a survey. All answers, besides open text answers and background data, will be kept. A partially deleted survey can still be copied and merged.
- All respondent contact details will be irreversibly deleted from the survey
- All open text answers will be irreversibly deleted from the survey
- All background-data connected to the survey will be irreversibly deleted
- All survey reports will be affected
The table shows you which data will be deleted with the respective functions:
|Partial Delete||Full Delete|
|All Background data||YES||YES|
|Respondent lists (survey level)||YES||YES|
|Open text answers||YES||YES|
|Survey reports / Shared reports||NO (but affected)||YES|
|Survey answers / results||NO (except open text)||YES|
|Surveys with zero respondents (e.g. used as templates)||NO||YES|
|Email template (account level)*||NO||NO|
|Respondent lists (account level)||NO||NO|
* this is an Enterprise License feature
Where do I find it?
Please note that these settings are only available for administrators. If you feel you need to make adjustments but do not have the features described below in your account, you most likely do not have administrator rights. In that case, please contact your administrator to discuss making the changes for you.
There are two different locations to determine the deletion date of your survey:
- Survey settings
- Account settings
Survey Deletion Settings Outweigh Account Deletion Settings
Survey deletion settings always outweigh account deletion settings, so keep this in mind when you choose your alternatives.
What does it mean “outweigh”? This means that if you set a deletion date in survey settings and you have another deletion date in account settings, the survey will be deleted according to the survey settings.
Example: End date of your survey is 31st May 2018.
- In survey settings, you choose deletion date 31st May 2020.
- In account settings, you choose deletion 365 days after end date – this would be the 31st May 2019.
- Survey settings outweigh the account settings = survey will be deleted May 2020 and not May 2019.
Note: If you do not set any deletion date in survey settings, the account settings will apply.
When you are in the survey overview, click the edit icon to go into edit mode of your survey. Click on Other Settings at the top of the page of your survey. A pop-up will open. Here you will find two settings for Partial Delete and Full Delete, each with a box connected to them.
When you click on the box for partial or full deletion dates, a calendar will open and you can easily choose the preferred date. You will also see the deletion date which is set in account settings. You only need to enter a deletion date when you need this survey to be retained longer than the general retention policy of your company.
In case you want to partially or fully delete answers a set amount of days after the answer have been submitted you should input a number in the boxes for Partial delete after days or Full delete after days. This is useful when working with ongoing surveys that is online for longer periods of time.
Click save at the bottom of the pop-up.
Beware: End date and (partial) deletion date are not the same thing! End date of your survey determines the date, after which respondents cannot answer your survey any longer. You will still have access to the results and make your analysis. (Partial) deletion date is the date, after which the survey data will be (partially) deleted, this means you will not have access to it any longer, as (part of the) data is irreversibly removed from the servers.
Go to Settings on your start page. In your Settings, you will find the tab Survey Retention.
In the Retention Settings you will see two options:
- Partial Delete
- Full Delete
Choose which of the two you want to set. You will see an empty box under the option. Click into it and you can either type in the number of days after a survey ends that it should be automatically (partly) deleted or you can use the arrows that appear when you click into the box, to increase and decrease the days. Click Save Account Settings. The (partial) deletion date is now set for the entire account, this means all surveys in the account are affected. The only exception is if you have set a varying date in survey settings (see above: Survey Deletion Settings outweigh Account Deletion Settings). You can see those exempted surveys in the list at the bottom of the page.
You have two headers:
“Upcoming survey anonymization / deletion”: Lists all surveys that are affected by your change.
Please note: Deletion is always at 23.59 CEST, so don’t be surprised when you see the surveys there for the rest of the day.
“Surveys with specific retention settings”: Lists all surveys that have retention settings in their respective survey settings and are, therefore, exempted from this retention in account settings.
If you realise that you made a mistake with your selection, you can use the Reset link. This will set the selection back to zero. Consider that this is only possible before the surveys have been deleted. It cannot reverse deletion.
When will it be deleted?
Data gets deleted during the evening of the scheduled day. This means that if you set a deletion to 4 years after end-date, and the end-date is the 31st May 2018, your survey will be scheduled for deletion on the 31st May 2022 from 20.00 CEST. Deletion jobs are performed during the night, specific time depends on the respective length of the deletion queue.