Google Analytics Is Changing – Act Now Before It’s Too Late

4 minute read

Google has announced it is decommissioning Universal Analytics (UA) on 1st July 2023, and while that might seem like a long time away, it is essential you take action now.

Google Analytics allows you to track your online traffic, better understand user behaviour and, most importantly, measure your website’s ROI through event and conversion tracking. It’s a vital tool to improve your online brand presence.

Should I stick with Universal Analytics or move to Google Analytics 4?

We recommend you switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible to provide year-on-year reporting value in 2023. If you don’t have GA4 set up by June this year, you’ll have no year-on-year data to report and benchmark against after 1st July 2023. So don’t delay!

When will Universal Analytics be deprecated?

Google says UA users will be able to access previously processed data for at least six months after each measurement solution is deprecated. In the meantime, it is encouraging users to export historical data and says it intends to offer more guidance on data export as the date approaches when UA will no longer be available.

However, Google isn’t giving a date when UA will no longer be available but says it will provide a ‘future date’ after which users will no longer be able to see their UA reports in the Analytics interface, or access UA data via the API.

Those who don’t make the switch face being left behind, although users will be able to use and collect data in their UA properties until 1st July 2023.

What’s behind the change to GA4?

GA4 was introduced just over two years ago to address evolving measurement standards driven by what Google calls ‘the need to navigate new challenges and to understand the complex, multi-platform customer journeys — all while prioritising user privacy’.

Writing in an article entitled, ‘Prepare for the future with Google Analytics 4’, Russell Ketchum, Google Analytics Product Development Director, says: “UA was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions, and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete. Meanwhile, GA4 operates across platforms, does not rely exclusively on cookies, and uses an event-based data model to deliver user-centric measurement.

Google To Announce Universal Analytics Will Be Terminated scaled

“And though UA offers a variety of privacy controls, GA4 is designed with privacy at its core to provide a better experience for both our customers and their users. It helps businesses meet evolving needs and user expectations, with more comprehensive and granular controls for data collection and usage. Importantly, GA4 will also no longer store IP addresses. These solutions and controls are especially necessary in today’s international data privacy landscape, where users are increasingly expecting more privacy protections and control over their data.”

Don’t delay – act today

We are contacting all Cornerstone clients to alert them to the ‘hidden timeframe’ of the Google UA changes.

The great news for all our clients is that we can make the changeover for you – all you need to do is contact us as soon as possible to get a date in the diary.

Unsure whether you need to make the change? If you created your property before October 14, 2020, you’re likely to be using a Universal Analytics (UA) property. If you created your property after October 14, 2020, you’re likely using a Google Analytics 4 property already.

To arrange a migration, or if you need more advice about whether you need to make the change, contact us today.

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