• Technology

Universal Google Analytics Deprecates on July 1, 2023: Activate GA4 Now!

Stephen Medve
Stephen Medve
Client Success Director
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If you are not already aware, you need to migrate or download your current Universal Google Analytics data, as Google will stop processing Universal Google Analytics on July 12023.

If you are the person that is responsible for reporting for your company, you are most likely aware of this, and are amid making the change happen, correct? In case you haven’t set up GA4 yet, you can follow these steps below to ensure a successful transition.

*** Please note that if you haven’t already created a GA4 property, Google has created one for you, unless you decided to opt out. So you may have a very small amount of data already captured. ***

To ensure a successful transition from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4 before July 1st, 2023, you should consider the following steps:

  1. Familiarize Yourself with GA4: There are clear differences between GA4 and UA. GA4 works on an event-based data model, which makes reporting much more effective, but definitely makes it more important to understand what KPIs are important to track.

  2. Assess your current Google Analytics implementation: You will need to identify the tracking codes, goals, and custom configurations you have in place. One major drawback could be that you need to evaluate any custom configuration and see if there is a current way to translate it to GA4, as there may not be a one-for-one translation to GA4.

  3. Set Up a New GA4 Property: Everything starts with the creation of a new GA4 property within your Google Analytics account. This will allow you to collect data specifically in the GA4 format while maintaining your existing Google Analytics data. Remember, once a new GA4 property is created, this is the beginning of the tracking process, and your journey. No historical data is provided.

  4. Implement GA4 Tracking Code: You will need to install the GA4 tracking code on your website and apps. You can do this by adding it through Google Tag Manager. This will ensure that data is collected using the event-based model and is compatible with GA4 reporting.

  5. Create Custom Reports and Dashboards: The advantage of customizing reporting capabilities in GA4 is to provide more deliberate measurement on user activities. Set up custom reports, dashboards, and data views tailored to your organization's specific needs and metrics, so that you can measure “key performance indicators” that are important to success. This is a task that you can gradually work on as you identify new metrics you want to monitor.

  6. Identify Reporting Discrepancies Between UA and GA4: You will need to understand and communicate to your stakeholders that there are differences in data collection and reporting between UA and GA4. Analyze any discrepancies and communicate them to stakeholders to ensure they understand the changes in data interpretation. Do not try to find the same report/data point in GA4 that you used to use in UA. The concepts are different. If you need help with this, let us know.

  7. Manage and Update Integrations: If your organization relies on third-party tools or platforms that integrate with Google Analytics, ensure they are compatible with GA4. Update any integrations or seek alternative solutions that support GA4. You will need to test any scenario that you are looking to report on, as third-party tools may not have all features migrated to GA4.

  8. Train Users and Educate Stakeholders: As the interface and reporting have changed dramatically in GA4, you will need to provide training and educational resources to users and stakeholders who will be working with GA4. The main guidance needed will be around the new interface, reporting, and analysis methodologies to ensure a smooth transition and effective utilization of GA4's capabilities.

  9. Monitor and Optimize: Once you have transitioned to GA4, the journey begins. You will need to monitor data accuracy, validate tracking, and optimize your implementation as needed. Continuously monitor and update events that can provide you with better insights on tracking KPIs. With GA4 consistently adding new features and updates to its platform, you can leverage its full potential for data-driven insights.

Remember, the transition from UA to GA4 requires planning, implementation, and education. By following these steps, organizations can ensure a successful migration and take advantage of the enhanced capabilities offered by GA4. Some users will export some of their UA data an import it into GA4 so that specific reports have more history. However, it is generally not helpful to try and import all of your UA data to GA4. The data structures are that different.

This can be a daunting task, so if you need any support we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.

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