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Google announces shutdown of Universal Analytics. Here's how to migrate over to Google Analytics 4

Updated: Jul 14, 2022




Google Universal Analytics shutdown tombstone
Google has announced the end of life for Universal Analytics (GA3)

Google has officially announced the end of life date for "Universal Analytics," Google's 3rd revision of it's analytics platform originally launched November 14th, 2005. That date is set for July 1st, 2023. 360 Universal Analytics, Google's supplement platform that provides advanced analytical tools enterprises & big data, is set to stop processing data as well on October 1, 2023. Users will be prompted to move their current analytics properties from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.


Key differences between the two analytics versions:


Security:

- The internet was much different back in 2012. Universal Analytics is based on cookies & modern privacy laws limit their use. Google Analytics 4 minimizes cookie usage while providing alternative, more secure ways to give insights

- IP anonymization is enabled by default in Google Analytics 4. This prevents full user IP addresses from being stored


AI:

- Google Analytics 4 is built upon machine learning which enables it to provide much better insights as well as forecasts

- Google Analytics 4 is intended to be futureproof, being able to adapt to changing ecosystems & privacy concerns


Features:

- Google Analytics 4 is able to track users across multiple devices & apps in one simultaneous experience

- Google Analytics 4 is also able to natively track interactive events such as video plays, button clicks, etc. In Universal Analytics this was a complicated process to set up

- Google Analytics 4 uses event-based tracking whereas Universal Analytics uses session-based tracking. Some aspects of sessions aren't used in the Google Analytics 4 platforms at all


There's already been huge revamps due to things like the "General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR) that was enacted in Europe as most providers saw the writing on the wall & choose to apply GDPR rules to everyone regardless of country. With that being said I Google is now updating their terms to comply with CCPA as well which shouldn't be an issue.


DEADLINES:


July 1, 2023 - Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new data

October 1, 2023 - 360 Universal Analytics will stop processing new data


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Overview of the migration process:


  1. Create a Google Analytics 4 property in Google Analytics

  2. Grab your Google Analytics 4 tracking ID & insert that ID in place of your universal analytics ID that is used with in conjunction with the tools you have (your website, mobile apps, etc.)

  3. Backup all of your current analytics data. As with previous service shutdowns, Google only allows a certain time to access previous data. That time limit to backup your data is 6 months from July 1, 2023


In-Depth Process that Nizel Co. can help with:


  1. Consider account structure

  2. Create a Google Analytics 4 property

  3. Create data streams

  4. Enable data collection

  5. Activate Google Signals

  6. Link to Google ADs

  7. Map Universal Analytics custom events to Google Analytics 4

  8. Migrate Universal Analytics goals and conversions to Google Analytics 4

  9. Validate and bid to conversions in Google Ads

  10. Migrate audiences

  11. Migrate ecommerce measurement

  12. Add users


You can find Google's official guide to switching over here. As an IT professional I advise Google Analytics users to reach out to their administrators to go over this process. If you need help switching over please reach out to one of our sales consultants at https://www.nizel.co/contact & we will gladly assist you. DO NOT take your time with this as it will cost you a lot of time & money if you wait until the last minute!




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