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Google Universal Analytics Is Going Away

Google Sunsetting Universal Analytics In 2023. Here's everything you need to know and do around it.

Last updated on May 26, 2022

It is finally happening.

Google has announced that Universal Analytics will be deprecated on 1st July, 2023.

That means, you will now need to upgrade to the next generation measurement introduced by Google that’s GA4.

What is happening? When?

According to Google’s official press release, here are some important dates you must make a note of –

  • Until July 1, 2023, you can continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties.
  • After July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months.
  • In the coming months, we’ll provide a future date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available. After this future date, you’ll no longer be able to see your Universal Analytics reports in the Analytics interface or access your Universal Analytics data via the API.”

Don’t panic yet, here’s what to do…

Don’t get overwhelmed, you still have time but you need to work on a few things before July 2023.

Step 1: Export historical reports

As per the press release, post 1st July, 2023 you will only be able to access only six months of historical data. But soon after (date is yet to be decided), you’ll no longer be able to access any data linked to Universal Analytics.

So the smartest thing to do now is SAVE your historic data. Starting today.

Now Google understands that historic data is important. So it provides you multiple ways to export and save your historic data.

How can I export data from my Universal Analytics property?

1. Export individual reports into the following formats:

  • CSV
  • TSV
  • TSV for Excel
  • Excel (XLSX)
  • Google Sheets
  • PDF

Advantages:

‑ You can export any report from Google Analytics.
‑ Multiple export formats to choose from.

Disadvantages:

‑ Process is completely manual, time consuming.
‑ Need to know excel operations to further filter data.

2. Use the Google Analytics Reporting API to export data.

Advantages:

‑ Ability to customize dashboards.
‑ Automate complex reporting tasks to save time.
‑ Integrate your Google Analytics data with other business applications.

Disadvantages:

‑ Coding knowledge needed.
‑ Setup is time consuming.
‑ Difficult to implement and sustain.

3. Google Analytics 360 customers can also export to BigQuery.

Advantages:
‑ Ability to run super fast queries on large databases.
‑ Once data is exported to BigQuery, you own the data.

Disadvantages:
‑ Technical dependency.
‑ Difficult setup.

Step 2: Configure GA4 for your website

Once you have exported data from Universal Analytics, you should configure GA4 for your website. Here are the steps:

GA4-Setup-1

1. Go to the admin area and spot the ‘Property’ column. You will see the ‘GA4 Setup Assistant’ at the top of the column.
2. Click on it to launch the upgrade assistant.

GA4-Setup-2

3. Create a new GA4 property by clicking here

NOTE: Your new GA4 property won’t have historical data. So you will need to keep the Universal Analytics property to view the historical data.

Few other things to remember while setting up GA4:

  • Only the most basic settings will be copied. This means you should not expect it to copy more advanced customizations, such as goals or filters.
  • Enhanced Measurement will be enabled. This feature automatically tracks certain actions on your website, including clicking outbound links, watching embedded videos, downloading files, and scrolling.
  • Installing GA4 with tags is recommended.
  • If you use Google Tag Manager, you will see a message telling you that you need to install a new tag.

Time to act now

If you have a Google Analytics account, make sure you follow the steps mentioned above to save your historic data before it is gone forever.

Also, it’s highly recommended that you implement GA4 ASAP to get a hook of user behaviour on your site as it will be a new property and tracking will start from zero.

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