The contacts analytics tools in HubSpot provides a great possibilities of understanding what is working. However, it will often provide an incorrect number. For example when you want to see how many contacts were created January 2021 compared to January 2020.
In order to stay compliant with privacy laws, contact data has to be deleted at some point. Unfortunately, this means that plenty of historical data gets lost (e.g. create date) since the data in HubSpot is connected to the contacts currently in the portal. Exceptions to this is mentioned in this knowledge base article
Why is the report misleading?
If in January of 2020 100 contacts were created, and 10 of those were deleted from the database. Post-deletion, the HubSpot report will only show 90 contacts being created in January 2020. I.e. HubSpot is only showing us how many of our current contacts that were created in January 2020, not how many were actually created (that is: 100).
If we then want to compare number of created contacts in January 2021 vs. January 2020 - we would compare the 2021 number with 90 (which is incorrect) instead of 100 (the correct number of created contacts).
In order to analyse this correctly: the historical data (of course cleared of personal data) has to be exported to another system before the contacts are deleted.
We would like to be able to see, in HubSpot, not only how many of our current contacts were created during a specific time period but the gross number.