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Google is phasing out Universal Analytics and what does this mean to you?

Many of you are already aware that Google has announced that Universal Analytics will stop collecting new data in 15 months. But what does this mean to your business?

Two weeks ago, Google’s Director of Product Management, Russell Ketchum, instructed Analytics users to prepare for the future with Google Analytics 4, stating the dates of when Universal Analytics will stop collecting data permanently, giving all users a firm deadline.

All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. Given the new Analytics 360 experience was recently introduced, Universal Analytics 360 properties will receive an additional three months of new hit processing, ending on October 1, 2023.

What is Google Analytics 4 exactly?

Google Analytics 4 (or GA4) is Google’s replacement for Universal Analytics (UA), which was the standard version of Google Analytics up until now.

GA4 was created to address evolving measurement standards and create an analytics platform that is fit for the future as regulations are updated and users are turning to more private browsing experiences.

This version of analytics also brings a new way of looking at your data, ditching “session” based reporting and focusing on users and events instead.

Why should you care?

If you are currently using Universal Analytics to track your website’s performance and traffic metrics, this switch means that after 1 July 2023, you will no longer see any visitor reports in your analytics account, but you will be able to access historical data for another six months. Once that time has passed, unless your website data is saved elsewhere, users are likely to lose access to it.

Past 1st July 2023, users will need to find a replacement product that would record your web analytics like website traffic, user demographic data and page performance.

I have waited this long; why not wait a bit longer?

We are strongly advising our clients to get Google Analytics 4 implemented now.

Due to the abrupt nature of the end of Universal Analytics, we expect to see disruption in reporting. This change will mostly impact those that use historical data, as the data accurate year-on-year data will be unavailable within the six months after the change.

Beginning to collect data with GA4 sooner will empower your business by strengthening your machine learning (ML) models, making future analysis more meaningful.

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If you would like to talk through the implications for your business with one of our digital experts, please contact us.