We all know the rollout of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) is fast approaching. GA4 is the future of measuring your traffic and engagement metrics across your websites and apps. It collects data in an event-based collection platform instead of a session-based platform, which is what we had with Universal Analytics (UA). GA4 also includes privacy controls allowing for cookieless measurement alongside behavioral and conversion modeling to help marketers with predictive guidance when needed.
On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. You'll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after July 1, 2023 (a minimum of at least six months). However, new data will only flow into Google Analytics 4 properties. You probably heard the folks at Digible talking about this over the past year, but what exactly does that mean? Well, to recap:
This means that now is the time to set up your GA4 properties in the Google Analytics platform if you don’t want to wait for Google’s automatic migration. Also plan to export any historical data you want to keep before existing Universal Analytics properties disappear.
GA4 is not a simple system. That’s why Google announced the required transition with over one year's notice. In this post, we’ll review both required/recommended actions and an overview of the new system. Let’s cover the requirements first.
As mentioned before, migrating historical data from UA to GA4 is not possible. Here’s what you will need to do to prepare for the sunsetting of Universal Analytics:
Not yet! We are still reporting and monitoring campaign performance using information from Universal Analytics, we need to continue using the UA interface until it is turned off. Here is a support article on how to create GA4 and UA if Google automatically routes new accounts to be set up with GA4 only.
Yes! We currently still need the Universal Analytics code to pull performance data, and it does not impact your metrics to have both collecting data from the site. It will help you in the long run by having access to some historical data in 2023 when Universal Analytics is gone.
We recommend that clients initiate this change if they are not comfortable with Google beginning the process for them. Our team will go in after the initial round of automated migrations and perform setup and configuration processes that will allow us to track and report on campaign metrics. If you have questions, please reach out to your Account Manager.
Not yet. Google has rolled out the new Google Analytics Data API for GA4 which provides features in both Alpha and Beta channels. The Data API v1 can only be used to access Google Analytics 4 properties and is not compatible with Universal Analytics. So future reporting from Digible may take on a bit of a new look. More on that Soon! We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.
Absolutely! See links below.
Okay, that was a lot! While this was a good list of updates, it certainly does not entail all the specifics of working with GA4. Once you have both UA and GA4 running on your website, it’s important to remember that UA metrics and GA4 metrics are not an apples to apples comparison, there are differences in how the new data is being collected and reported. Read this help article from Google to better understand why the numbers don’t always match up and see a full list of differing metrics from UA to GA4.
Though it’s helpful to read through updates, sometimes we need to engage our other learning tactics in order to fully comprehend a new topic. We encourage you to utilize the GA4 demo account, provided by Google, in order to get more comfortable with GA4 and generate ideas for how GA4 can help your properties.
Still have questions? Contact your account manager for more information!