Google has added a new feature to their Google Analytics suite which allows users to recover data that has been accidentally deleted and even recover deleted accounts.
The Google Trash can acts as a safety net, allowing you to undo delete operations. The Trash Can will save information each time a view, property or account is deleted. Using the Trash Can is simple. To make use of it, users simply navigate to the Administration tab and then click on the Trash Can icon. This will then show a list of deleted information, and users can then simply tick a check box next to the information that they want to recover, restoring that information to their accounts.
The Trash Can does have limitations. The feature will save information for only 35 days, after which it will be deleted permanently.
Google has not officially launched the Trash Can feature, but it is already up and running, and information that is being deleted will be stored in it. When the feature launches, that information - assuming that it is less than 35 days old - will appear in the Trash Can folder.
The Trash Can feature has been implemented as a result of feedback from end-users. A lot of people have had problems with mistakenly deleting properties and views, and in some cases in a multi-user environment even accounts can go missing by mistake. The intent of the Trash Can is not that it will serve as a permanent archive, but that it will provide users with a much-needed safety net so that they can get information back if things go wrong.
Google is well known for liking to hold on to information. Emails that are deleted in Gmail, for example, are not actually deleted the first time the user gets rid of them. The action that users consider to be “delete” in their inbox simply removes the email from the inbox view. Users must delete the emails properly if they wish to get rid of them completely.
This feature can be offered because storage space is no longer at a premium, but it can lead to complacency with the way that information is handled. This can be particularly problematic in organisations where there are multiple people handling the analytics profile. A safety net, however basic, is a good starting point in addressing this.