What is happening & when?
Universal Analytics and Universal Analytics 360 (the Enterprise version) will both be phased out and new data will no longer be processed through these platforms.
Universal Analytics is sunsetting on 1st July 2023, and UA360 will be sunsetting 3 months later on 1st October 2023. Both platforms will enable users to have access to view historical data for a further 6 months.
What are the key differences?
The primary driver for moving to Google Analytics 4 is the better management of data privacy.
- Anonymise IP addresses by default, therefore preventing the misuse of personally identifiable information and protecting personal privacy; bringing the platform in-line with GDPR compliance.
- Will be less reliant on cookies and instead focus on an event-based data model. This helps to make the platform more future-proof and, by moving away from the previous ‘browser-page framework’, will help to improve the insights available across multiple platforms.
- Allow optimised integration with Google’s BigQuery; helping businesses utilise their data for broader insights and modelling purposes.
As a result, GA4 will enable you and your business to benefit from:
- Broader multi-platform insights
- More valuable data and data-driven attribution
- More actionable data
What do you need to do?
It’s important to be proactive and create your action plan so you’re geared up and ready for when this change takes place. Here are our top 4 tips for ensuring you are ‘GA4-Ready’:
#1 Transition existing report settings
As you’ll no longer be able to process data through GA3 from mid-2023, you’ll need to ensure that you transition your existing tracking tags, in Google Tag Manager or other tagging systems, and report settings over to GA4. This won’t be done automatically by Google so will require some manual work.
#2 Use this time to audit current reporting
Before you transition your existing reporting settings, you may want to view this time as a good opportunity to audit your existing reporting setup. Think about what your current reporting is showing you and whether it’s capturing all the business-critical, as well as ‘nice-to-have’, insights that you require. Don’t transition over a reporting framework that isn’t working for you, use this time to optimise your reporting workflow and improve efficiencies. If you’re unsure of how to optimise your reporting, seek consultation from an agency that can dedicate resources to guide you.
#3 Save historical data
You’ll still be able to access previously processed historical data for around 6 months after the sunsetting of Universal Analytics and Universal Analytics 360. However, you may want to consider exporting any reports so you can refer to these at a later date. If you don’t already track historical data outside of GA, this may be a good time to kick-start that!
#4 Seek additional support for your reporting
Data and analytics can be a complicated web of stats, charts, and figures if you’re not familiar with it. Instead of trying to weave through this alone seek support from specialists that are experts in Google Analytics, as well as other analytics platforms. By onboarding an agency to manage this for you, it will help you to smoothly transition your analytics and reporting set-up whilst saving you time, resources and hassle.