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What is a Retention Schedule?

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A retention schedule is a plan for the retention and disposal of data. This classifies data items into record types that each have different criteria for retention and disposal according to business requirements, regulations and applicable industry standards.

Why retain?

It is common for regulations such as tax laws to require documents such as expense receipts to be retained in case of audit for a number of years. Businesses also have strategic reasons to maintain data for extended periods of time. For example, a retailer may backtest pricing strategies against historical sales data going back a number of years.

Why dispose?

Maintaining physical documents and data always has an expense such as the overhead of data governance and management. Data can also represent a risk. For example, a firm may face liability in the case of a data breach. Data doesn't typically age well and may lose its value quickly.
Overview: Retention Schedule
A classification of data that specifies requirements for retention and disposal.
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