Google is shutting down Universal Analytics

Author: Lana Hamawander

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July 1st 2023, the collection of data in Universal Analytics is over – and 6 months later the data is gone!

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Yesterday Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will stop collecting new data from the 1 of July 2023, for standard Analytics customers, and (paid) Analytics 360 customers will have until the 1st of October 2023. So we all have 15 and 18 months to get ready for a new Analytics era…

But this doesn’t mean that you should wait 15-18 months

The data will be available for at least 6 months, but after that Google has stated that they will shut down access to Universal Analytics. So, it’s about time to make the switch and collect data as soon as possible – otherwise you will not be able to compare your data and performance to previous year.

This transition will not be as easy-peasy as when we went from Classic Analytics to Universal Analytics (where Google actually went in and helped you, if you didn’t remember to update the code yourself) this transition requires a bit more planning and work…

It requires you to rethink your Analytics strategy and setup

Previous updates to Google Analytics have just been updates, some of the reporting and the look has been adjusted, but the data schema has remained the same. This is not the case this time. The entire data model in GA4 is completely different from UA.
Everything in GA4 is event-based, whereas it was session-based in UA. This means that everything (and we mean everything, even pageviews) now needs to be tracked with events and parameters. So the entire tracking implementation needs to be reviewed and implemented accordingly.

The reporting is completely different

There’s a completely different UI and reporting that you need to get to know. This of course is really exciting, but will also require some time to get used to. So as soon as you have it up and running, you can compare it to UA, and get to know it with time and be completely ready when the time comes in 15-18 months.

There’s new metrics and way of thinking

This will also require time to get used to, we will for example no longer have bounce rate in GA4, but there’s new metrics such as Engaged users – which makes much more sense in regards to the new data model (even if we all will miss bounce rate, of course).

You need to build your own reports

If you enter a completely new GA4 account, you will most likely wonder where many of the reports are located, you simply can’t find them? And there are a lot fewer reports than you are used to? We can assure you that there’s nothing wrong with your account, this is due to the fact that you need to build some of the reports yourself. This will of course require some time, but it is a quite nice feature, since you are way more flexible in GA4 to build reports that fill your needs.

Breathe, don’t panic - GA4 is actually quite amazing

It will of course require some time and resources to get used to the new Analytics, but when you have, you will realize that it really is an upgrade from UA.

You need to start preparing today

A solid and good tracking implementation might take some time to prepare and implement. It might even take a couple of months. It will require a new measurement plan, and it might require adjustments in your backend and ressources needs to be set aside. That’s why we for some time, and more importantly now, are helping our customers to move their Analytics setup, and way of thinking, from UA to the new GA4.

We’re here to help you

Do you want to make sure you are not losing important data? Our skilled Web Analytics Specialists is happy to help you with preparation, implementation and guides you on how to get the most out of the new GA4.

Want to know more about the phasing out of Universal Analytics?

Then attend our webinar on April 21 at 10.00-10.45 where Lana Hamawander will guide you through the transition.

Sign up for the webinar here.

Do you want to make sure you are not losing important data? Please call, so we can have a talk about your setup.


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