Upgrade Now to Google Analytics 4
Is Universal Analytics going away?
Yes, Google has announced that Universal Analytics end of life will be July 1, 2023. On that date, hits will stop being collected and processed in standard Universal Analytics accounts*. *Google Analytics 360 properties will receive a one-time processing extension ending on July 1, 2024.
After July 1, 2023 Google will still provide access to your previously processed Universal Analytics data for at least 6 months and strongly encourages you to export the historical data to Google Sheets or BigQuery during this time period if you think you’ll need it in the future.
In the coming months Google will provide a future date when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be accessible via the web interface, mobile app or API.
In the article below, we’ll provide more detail on some of the main differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics, the advantages of GA4, and important things to consider when making the transition. If you need assistance with GA4 migration services, Kiosk can help you implement GA4 and set you up for success.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is Google’s latest marketing analytics platform that leverages predictive capabilities to drive improved business outcomes. GA4 will help you to better understand user journeys and optimize advertising campaigns.
Should I switch to GA4 now?
Yes, it’s recommended that you implement GA4 as soon as possible so you’ll have historical data in place once Universal Analytics stops collecting data. Leaving it until the last minute may place your business at a significant disadvantage to competitors who made the change sooner and are leveraging Google’s new event-based tracking and predictive audience analytics.
While you should switch to GA4 as soon as is practical, you should not immediately remove your Universal Analytics implementation. Rather, implement GA4 in parallel with your existing Universal Analytics so you can validate the data Google Analytics 4 is collecting against your Universal Analytics data. Keep in mind that GA4 and Universal Analytics data collection models are different so you will likely not see data parity between the platforms.
It’s also a good idea to check your GA4 lead or e-commerce conversions against your CRM or e-commerce platform to ensure that your conversion count is within a reasonable margin of error.
Getting started with the latest version of Google Analytics
A lot has changed with the arrival of Google Analytics 4. One of the most notable changes is that in GA4 all hit types are now events.
Events can be any action on your website or app. A screen view, a form submit, a login, really any interaction you’d like to track can be set up as an event. This change allows greater flexibility for data collection and improved tracking of web and app based user interactions.
GA4 also takes a different approach to data processing and reporting, when compared to Universal Analytics.
There are enhanced controls for privacy, data retention and machine learning to assist with insights, predictive features and bridging gaps in data. In short, GA4 is a modern analytics platform with smart and flexible features built in. Let’s dive into to learn more about GA4’s new features, benefits and things to consider when making the switch to Google Analytics 4 from Universal Analytics.
Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics
There are some key differences between Universal Analytics and GA4. As mentioned previously, the data structure, data collection, and reporting interface have all changed in GA4.
All hit types in Google Analytics 4 are event based, not session based like Universal Analytics. One of the most interesting changes is that each GA4 event allows for up to 25 event parameters to be sent along with the event, a significant improvement over GA3’s limited three event parameters. Event parameters can be used to describe specific details about the event. This is a massive improvement that offers a great deal of flexibility in data collection and reporting.
GA4 also makes it easier to combine web and app data than Universal Analytics. GA4 includes new privacy controls including cookie-less measurement, as well as behavioral and conversion modeling. In our next article we’ll cover some steps to upgrade to GA4 . You can also learn more about how Google Analytics 4 is different from Universal Analytics.