Table of contents
What is Partial Delete?
Partial Delete is the less strict rule of the Data Retention settings.
If you enable the option 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.
The purpose of Partial Delete is to delete all personal information connected to the survey respondents. You could call it an anonymization of sorts but instead of just hiding the identity of the respondents, that data will be removed completely from the answer. This is in contrast to the Anonymous results function, which is available in the settings for each, individual survey.
After a Partial Delete has been performed, all background data and open text answers provided by the respondents will be removed with the intention of removing personal data from the survey result. You will still be able to see the overall result of your survey and no reports will be deleted.
Where do I find it?
There are two different locations to manage partial deletes:
- Survey settings
- Account settings
Please note that these settings are only available for administrators.
What will be deleted?
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 answers— 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
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, with specific times depending on the respective length of the deletion queue.
Questions & Answers
When performing a Partial Delete, there are a number of things to take into consideration. Here are a couple of examples:
Comparing survey results/Benchmarking
Question: I am conducting different surveys in consecutive years (e.g. an employee or customer survey) and I want to compare the results from one year to the next, using the previous year’s result as a benchmark. What should I do if the identities of the respondents are scheduled to be deleted?
Answer: Should your previous survey’s background data and open text answers provided by the respondent be removed due to a Data Retention rule set up on your account or survey, this will be a challenge since you will not be able to restore the data. The possibility that you have is to compare survey results on an overall level.
Before the survey’s questions are deleted, you will need to export all the data connected to your survey in a format that you can work with when building your reports in the future. Should you have the possibility of exporting your survey results to a Raw data you will be able to re-build the survey in the tool. In the exported file, remove all personal data in accordance with GDPR. You can then use the function called Import survey data in order to import data to the survey. This will make it possible for you to create merges and comparisons in the tool.
Working with ongoing surveys
Question: I am conducting a survey that is expected to be live over a long period of time. What will happen to my survey over this period of time?
Answer: This depends on what settings you have set in your account and survey settings.
If you only have the number of days specified in the account settings: Nothing. An ongoing survey will not be affected by any of the account Data Retention rules at this time. The partial deletion of survey data is only performed on surveys once the end date has passed and they are set as completed.
If you have set a date for Partial delete in the survey settings: The partial delete will be performed on the date that is set in Survey settings, regardless of whether the survey is ongoing or not. Any background data and open text answers provided by respondents that have been registered on the survey up to this time will be deleted, with the intention of removing personal data from the survey results.
If you have a value set for Partial delete after days: If the survey is sent via e-mail or SMS, the sendout and answers will be partially deleted after the amount of days that is set in the survey settings. This counts as number of days since the sendout to the respondent was completed. In case there are answers submitted from a survey link, there are two options for specifying when the partial delete will happen. First, in the Retention settings where it can be based on the end date of the survey. Secondly, in the Survey settings, where it is based on the date of dispatch.
Respondent lists and send-outs
Question: I have sendouts and respondent lists that I have uploaded to my surveys. What will happen with these sendouts?
Answer: The sendout will remain in the survey, but the respondent list that is attached to it will be removed. No data connected to the survey respondents will be saved in the survey when a partial delete has been performed on the survey.
Selection of Background Data
Question: Not all my background data is personal information, will I be able to select what information to delete and what to keep?
Answer: No, you will not be able to choose what information you want to remove and what to keep. The partial delete will automatically remove all background data, open text answers, and contact information.
Should you want to keep open text answers or background data that does not contain personal data, you may export this information as a Raw Data. In the exported report, you will need to remove all personal data in accordance with GDPR. You can then use the function called Import survey data in order to import data to the survey. This will make it possible for you to create merges and comparisons in the tool.
Anonymise vs partial delete
Question: I have already anonymised my survey. What is the difference between anonymising a survey and partially deleting it?
Answer: The setting called Anonymous results in the survey settings is a pseudo-anonymity setting meaning that there is no visible identifier (e-mail address, phone number, etc). This identifier is still available and can be traced by the system in order to send automatic reminders. The users of Netigate will not be able to trace any information back to the respondent since the identity of the person who answered the survey is hidden, but there is still information connected directly to the respondent through the system.
Partial Delete, on the other hand, does more than just hide the identities of the respondents. When the partial delete is performed it removes contact information, background data, and open text answers, with the intention of deleting all personal information connected to the survey respondents.
Timeframe of deletion
Question: What happens if I insert a previous date or a date close to the future as a Partial Delete date in the Survey Settings?
Answer: Should you insert a partial delete date that has already passed in the Survey Settings the partial deletion will be scheduled at first possible opportunity. If you set yesterday’s or today’s date in the box Partial delete in the Survey Settings it will be scheduled for partial deletion at midnight 23:59 CEST. Nothing will be deleted immediately.
If you insert a date only a week from now, but the survey end date is two weeks from now, the survey partial deletion will be performed at the scheduled date. The partial delete will take effect before the end date of the survey.