In March, Google announced that it will sunset Universal Analytics as of June 2023. Here are the answers to some questions you might be asking.
What is Universal Analytics?
Universal Analytics was the name for the previous (third) version of Google Analytics, which focused its data model on pageviews. Analytics properties with tracking IDs in the UA-XXXXXX format are Universal Analytics properties.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest version of Google Analytics. It provides more relevant insights into your website’s performance so that you can make better, data-driven decisions across your marketing initiatives. GA4 bases its data model on events. Analytics properties with measurement IDs in the G-XXXXXXX format are GA4 properties.
Why the Change to GA4?
Google Analytics 4 is radically different from Universal Analytics. Google is making this change for two reasons:
- End-user privacy is top of mind. From regulatory changes and browser updates, there’ve been a lot of updates to online privacy in recent years. Users now want more control over their data. This has pushed Google to transition to a more secure platform, while still providing marketers with accurate and rich data.
- There is too much data to consume. Whether you have a local business or enterprise-level website, marketers are overwhelmed by available data. In this world of big data, Google Analytics is changing how it consolidates and displays its data so that it’s more useful and powerful.
What Happens After June 2023?
On July 1, 2023, Google will stop processing Universal data into reports. From that day forward, your Analytics reports will show 0s for pageviews, sessions, time on site, etc.
Google will allow marketers to access historical data for their Universal Analytics properties for at least 6 months after this date. During that grace period, you can download historical data as needed.
Can I Upgrade a Universal Analytics Property to GA4?
Because the shift from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 changes the way data is collected and processed, you can’t simply upgrade a Universal Analytics property to Google Analytics 4.
Instead, Google recommends a dual setup. This means running a Universal Analytics property in parallel with a Google Analytics 4 property.
How We are Approaching the Transition to GA4
We’ve already started migrating our customers to begin collecting data in Universal Analytics and GA4. We’ll continue to use the Universal Analytics data for analysis and insights for the coming 12 months. At the same time, we’ll be collecting GA4 data so we are ready for the transition to GA4 next summer.