Data Retention and Purging: What You Need to Know | HelpSystems

Data Retention and Purging: What You Need to Know

March 30, 2017



Everyone’s talking about data. Why? It’s big—and it’s important, as Jared notes in this edition of “No-Stress Job Scheduling.” Read on and watch the video to find out what you need to know specifically about retaining and purging your data as it relates to an enterprise job scheduling tool.

The Balance Between Data Retention and Purging

To begin, though data storage is relatively cheap, it’s not free. Your organization should plan for future scalability by attaining enough storage for your growing data needs. Thinking about data storage now before it becomes a problem will prevent critical issues, such as running out of disk space in the future.

Not only is data retention important when looking to the future, but data retention also comes into play in terms of historical records. Many businesses make key business decisions using their data. They might look back to their enterprise job scheduler to see what ran, and when. If you’ve retained every piece of data for the 20-year history of the company, you might struggle to focus on what is relevant for your current decision.

Make business decisions easier and data searches faster on your company by considering how much data you actually need to store to help you make critical decisions, which in turn makes data indexing much easier.

Perhaps most importantly, an enterprise job scheduler can help you meet compliance regulations for your data, such as SOX, PCI, and HIPAA. You can better meet compliance regulations if you have ready information about who has accessed your enterprise job schedule, what they changed, and when they changed it. In this way, you know who has accessed important data and you can control security access to ensure that your data is closely monitored and regulated

But What Data Is Important?

The data that your enterprise job scheduling tool collects is yours—and it represents the critical processes that make up your business. One type of data that your job scheduler produces is the execution history, which describes when your jobs ran and how long they took. This is important data because it helps you forecast for how long future jobs might take. 

As we mentioned above, searching through your data to find the critical pieces shouldn’t be a lengthy task, especially when important decisions are on the line. Job logs within an enterprise job scheduler help you trace to find subtle or large problems within your data that would have been recorded by the scheduler. When a critical issue affects your data, you’ll always want to know sooner rather than later.

Again, we noted that protecting your data and meeting regulatory compliance is key to maintaining a trustworthy business. An enterprise job scheduler allows you to track user changes. When you know who changed a job—and why—you will better understand the effects on your data, which helps you keep your data reliable and safe.

Customize Your Data Purge

It’s critical that any enterprise job scheduling tool you use allows you to customize when and how you access, retain, and purge your data.

Typically, companies determine how much data they will keep based on how old the data is, which is typically measured in days. For example, if it’s a daily or weekly job, you might keep the history of a particular job for 100 days, which would provide you with valuable data on that process.

But things change if it’s a job that runs less frequently. If it’s a job that runs at the end of each quarter or every six months, you might realize that having only one record of that job is not enough to anticipate trends and make business decisions. Thus, enterprise job schedulers should allow you to set individual rules for individual jobs or workflows.

For obvious reasons, historical data is critical to a company. Not only does it need to remain secure in the long-term, but organizations may want to look at historical data years in the future to understand scheduling and data trends. Many companies will create static reports and send them to a long-term storage facility—perhaps their disaster recovery site—so that their data is safe for years to come.

Ultimately, what’s important about data retention and purging is that you are able to customize the processes for your business needs. Meet with stakeholders to determine how much you’ll keep of any given data process and how long you need to keep each segment of data. When you’re evaluating products that interact with your data, consider the features that relate to data retention and purging.

Start a free trial of Automate Schedule today to experience how Automate Schedule makes managing your data and workflows easier—and more effective—than ever.

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