Data retention best practices

A data retention policy helps businesses protect, store, and retrieve data. This guide covers best practices in data classification, compliance and deletion.

Data retention best practices

Many organizations today require their data to be protected, stored, and retrieved as needed. However, are these organizations retaining their data the best way?  In most cases, no. In the worst cases? They don’t even have a retention policy.

Why a data retention policy is important

A data retention (or records retention) policy helps you organize and manage your data, ensuring you have the data your business needs, that it’s secure, and that you have sufficient backups. This policy is also used to properly manage it in compliance with industry guidelines and regulations.

Without a data retention policy, organizations are more vulnerable to financial, operational, and legal penalties stemming from poor data management. In a way, your data retention policy is an investment and it will scale with your data estate, enabling you to be more efficient and secure as you grow.

Data retention best practices

There are several best practices to help determine if your organization is retaining data properly.  In this guide, you’ll learn about  three key areas of this policy:

  • Classification: identifying and classifying the data your organization holds
  • Compliance: knowing which legal requirements apply to you
  • Deletion: knowing when to delete data once it is no longer required

You’ll also learn about different types of data, how to create handling guidelines, what the common data regulation frameworks and requirements are, options for archiving data, and much more.

Below is an overview of best practices for data retention, which you can download and review with your organization and keep for your reference.

Reminder: A data retention policy should be developed and reviewed with your organization’s legal counsel. This is meant to serve as a guide to get you started.

Learn more:

If you’re dealing with legacy systems and data,  data modernization can help your organization get the most out of your data and resources. Learn how you can go about building a modern data environment here.