Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4

Act now to keep your Google Analytics processes and data after July 1st 2023

google analytics 4 logo

It’s been a great run for Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) toolset. Since replacing the previous Google Analytics iteration in 2012, UA has been the analytics measurement solution favoured by most webmasters, marketers, & businesses – boasting powerful features like cross-platform tracking and custom metrics.

Much like in 2012, Google are again set to revolutionise the analytics space with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Offering exciting next generation features like predictive AI and enhanced conversion modelling, GA4 is such a meaningful update that the vast majority of businesses are going to really benefit by migrating from UA – which is just as well since Google is completely retiring Universal Analytics on the 1st of July this year (2023). If you haven’t jumped to GA4 yet, read on to get to grips with Google’s upcoming changes, or contact Distributed Analytics for a free, no-commitment consultation to get some advice on the right way to make the switch.

What Will Happen?

On the 1st of July 2023 all data and processes on the existing UA platform will be lost permanently. This could have a real impact on the key needs of data-driven marketing, web analytics and sales teams – including shutting down conversion tracking and ending the flow of advertising data. Losing historical data could be even more damaging, stopping businesses from exploring long term data trends and mesuring ad performance against previous campaigns.

Ideally, every organisation’s existing processes could be automatically ported across to Google’s new platform without the need for any tinkering. Unfortunately, this is not achievable: a switch from session-based to event-based data means that GA4 analytics are fundamentally different from their UA counterparts, and for most organisations some level of process review is therefore going to be necessary to migrate across.

On the plus side, these major changes mean that with GA4 your analytics will be more accurate than ever before – offering even more reliable metrics to help model key data points like conversion rate, retention, and click-through.

Google's powerful new GA4 platform will again revolutionise how businesses collect, analyse, & action data - but organisations who don't take the right steps risk hampering the power of their data.

Will I Lose Out?

In theory, no. GA4 should actually empower your organisation to get even more from your data!

Alongside major boosts to data accuracy and resolution, GA4 permits completely new analytics processes – including predictive reach and performance metrics powered by AI that eschew the need for bulding complex data models at high cost. Google’s AI build a cross-channel view of each step in your customer lifecycle, providing deeper behaviour insights to enhance marketing decisions and supercharge ROI.

Similar AI tech powers an overhauled multi-touch attribution system. This allows a unified view of user behaviour inside apps and on the web – serving more accurate behaviour, conversion and return on ad spend metrics.

These changes are really just the tip of the iceberg: look below for a quick comparison of GA4 and UA, or explore Google’s own exhaustive documentation for a more in-depth look.

Of course, in practice, your organisation could lose out by making the switch.  Changes to Google’s data structure mean that after the July 1st deadline businesses that don’t migrate quickly or thoroughly enough will lose access to their historical data, or become unable to meet reporting goals. Google Analytics 4 constitutes a complete reboot of the data systems behind Google’s analytics platforms, and therefore migration really does require businesses to rethink their digital data in order to retain their metrics and processes inside the new ecosystem.

GA4 beats out UA everywhere that counts. Once users get to grips with Google's new toolset, the sky really is the limit!

How Can I Protect my Analytics & Data?

The only way to protect analytics pipelines and valuable historic data contained within Universal Analytics is to switch to Google Analytics 4.

The deadline to get this process finished is the 1st of July 2023, or 2024 if you’re a 360 UA user. If you aren’t certain whether your business uses UA or 360 UA, or if you use Google Analytics at all, your best bet is to reach out to experts within or outside of your organisation as soon as possible to make certain that a full migration has taken place before the 1st of July.

To protect your existing data, processes, google product integrations, & reporting set ups make sure your organisation migrates to GA4 before July 1st 2023.

Who Can Help?

If you’re tech savvy, or your business has its own data/technology department, then you may well be able to make the switch in-house – Google has provided a step-by-step walkthrough to help organisations take the leap. Industry experts have also produced a number of tutorials and videos, including this one from Analytics Mania, to help organisations migrate. The success of a DIY migration is likely to depend on how complex your existing analytics and reporting set up is, as well as the expertise level within your tech teams.

Because the miogration process can be quite complex,  many businesses need some reassurance that their UA to GA4 transfer will preserve key reporting goals like conversion tracking or protect their historic data, so are seeking specialist help. To that end, some providers are offering targeted support to help businesses make the transition. If you already have a preferred provider in the cloud technology or analytics space, it is highly likely they will be offering some kind of migration service given how prevalent GA4 switch concerns are across the industry.

If your organisation doesn’t have a data/tech team, you’re looking for some extra support in your UA to GA4 transfer, or just need to ask some questions: Distributed Analytics is a proven digital transformation partner and ready to help – offering a commitment-free initial consultation at no charge. Just fill in our contact form, or email hello@distributedanalytics.co.uk, and put GA4 in the subject line.

Our team is here to help you - ready to support your business in embarking on the migration journey. Reach out for some free, impartial advice to get the ball rolling.

How Can We Help?

Making the leap from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 can be nervewracking for any business, but Distributed Analytics is here to make the transition much more manageable. We understand that this process can be daunting, and the last thing any business facing this change needs is a sales pitch – so our specialists start by offering free impartial advice to help you make the right decisions on technology partners and transfer processes to set you off on a migration journey that works for you.

If you think we’re the right partner for your Digital Transformation, our experts start by performing an in-depth review of your business objectives and reporting goals, as well as your existing Universal Analytics data flows, to develop a holistic understanding of your business’ needs.

Our team then delivers a sustainable migration pathway towards a cutting-edge GA4 system that works right from the get-go. We can cover the whole process, or work with your technical teams to carry out a seamless migration on your terms.

The steps involved will vary based on your business’ unique data needs, but in most cases will include:

This market-proven migration pathway will ensure your crucial analytics and metrics are protected after July 1st 2023, whilst also unlocking the next generation power of GA4 – helping your organisation:

Why Partner with Us?

At Distributed Analytics, our experts have been working with Google Analytics tools since their inception. We bring 17 years of GA knowledge and 30+ years of digital technology experience into our partnerships with clients, embedding our expertise into their businesses to help them grow.

Our mission is to change the data technology industry, which has historically been quite arcane and anti-consumer due to the plethora of tools and providers available – not all of which do what they say on the tin. We take a different approach, connecting our clients directly with our field-leading specialists to efficiently and openly deliver the optimum solutions to data challenges. We know that this transparency is the best way for clients to get a predictable, meaningful ROI from their data. Building partnerships and mutually beneficial links with other providers in the space AND our clients is paramount to us – it’s the only way that the whole industry can move forward together.

To that end, we promise to give expert, impartial advice to every business that steps through our door (or sends us an email!). This is especially important in the case of UA to GA4 migration, where businesses must get things right or risk losing access to the data that drives them. Whatever your Digital Transformation needs, you can count on us to guide you in the right direction – even if that takes you to another service provider.

So if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free initial consultation. You can reach us via our contact form, or by emailing us at hello@distributedanalytics.co.uk.

Need GA4 Support?

Contact Distributed Analytics

transparent, client first support for sustainable digital migrations
Reach Out

To learn more about Google Analytics, follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. You can also explore a number of GA4 training courses on platforms like Skillshop or Linkedin and even experiment with a GA4 Trial Account to help you get to grips with Google’s changes.

Join the conversation by commenting below – or click to discover more Distributed Analytics Digital Transformation blog posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *