How to Overcome Universal Analytics’ Sunset & Looming Shutdown

How to Overcome Universal Analytics’ Sunset & Looming Shutdown

Google’s Universal Analytics has been around just shy of 20 years. With its long-awaited shutdown just around the corner, we've got your back with all the need-to-know info on safeguarding your UA data before the deadline hits.

Written by

Preet Singh

Published

15 April 2024

Categories

Marketing

Data

Google Universal Analytics arrow to GA4

Sunset vs Shutdown: What's Changing?

First things first, let's talk about what this transition means for you.

As we all know by now, Google started sunsetting Universal Analytics on July 1st  2023 and announced its plans to fully retire the platform by 1st July 2024.

While Universal Analytics’ sunset meant the platform would stop collecting new data – as of this July, it will cease to exist entirely. Users won’t be able to log in let alone view or export any of their historical data.

With less than two months to go, it's crucial you take action ASAP  to ensure you don't lose any valuable insights and get your Google Analytics migration sorted.

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Will Google delete UA data?

Yes – from July, all the data you've stored in Universal Analytics will be gone for good. Google won't hold onto it for you, so if you haven’t already, take a moment to assess any product integrations tied to UA to avoid any hiccups down the road.

Here's what to look out for:

  • Goals and e-commerce transactions: UA will stop tracking new conversions which could affect the performance of your ad campaigns, particularly if you’re using Smart Bidding strategies.
  • Attribution projects: Projects linked to Attribution (beta) in Google Analytics will be deleted permanently.
  • API requests: All requests associated with UA properties will fail, including requests for data deletion via the User Deletion API. Any tools relying on these APIs, (e.g. Looker Studio) will stop displaying UA data.
  • Audience lists: These lists will be closed, potentially impacting the activation and performance of your ad campaigns.

Getting Your Data in Order

Big changes are on the horizon in the world of digital analytics and the key to a seamless transition is getting your data ducks in a row early.

What can you do with UA data?

In today's digital landscape, data is more than just numbers on a screen—it's an increasingly valuable commodity and your most important tool for driving business growth.

Whether it's understanding website traffic patterns or uncovering hidden customer insights, your data holds the key to unlocking untapped potential.

With July 1st fast approaching, we strongly encourage you to export all your Universal Analytics data before the deadline hits.

How long will UA data be available?

You’ll need to submit a request for a BigQuery export or a backfill of your historical data from Universal Analytics 360 properties by June 30, 2024.

Character vector illustration of migrating data

How do you store Universal Analytics data?

Exporting and storing your UA data is increasingly affordable – even if you never use it again. There are multiple ways of doing this and the resources required aren’t prohibitive enough for you to be upset, but if you ever need it and can’t access it, it could be a huge problem.

Here are some common methods of exporting your Universal Analytics data:

  • Manual Exports: Converting your UA data to Excel, or CSV is the simplest option, but it can be time-consuming depending on how far back your data goes.
  • Google Sheets: GA4 has an add-on that lets you save your data straight to Google Sheets so it can easily be shared with the rest of your team.
  • Google Analytics Reporting API V4: Ideal for large amounts of data, it uses programmatic methods to access your report data in Google Analytics and can be integrated into your business applications.
  • BigQuery: This powerful cloud-based solution allows you to store and analyse large datasets and is ideal for businesses needing in-depth analysis of their UA data.
  • Hire an Agency: If you don’t have the resources to export and store all of your data yourself, we’re here to help. Our robust data warehousing solutions mean we can safeguard and organise your data exactly how you need it.

How do I move from Universal Analytics to GA4?

For step-by-step instructions on how to make the switch to Google Analytics 4, we recommend starting with Google's migration guide.

If you need help setting up your GA4 account, watch our handy GA4 Set Up Tutorial or get in touch with us.

Conclusion

The clock is ticking, but there's still time to get ahead of the game. If you need help securing your UA data or migrating to GA4, book in a free 30-minute chat with us today.

Here's to smooth transitions, data-driven success, and a bright future ahead!

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Written by

Preet Singh
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