Tech News and Updates

Only weeks left: ensure a smooth transition to Google Analytics 4

Only weeks left: ensure a smooth transition to Google Analytics 4

Google is set to fully replace Universal Analytics (UA) properties with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties by July 1, 2024. From that date, all UA services and APIs will be turned off, rendering UA properties inaccessible through both the Google Analytics front-end and APIs. This significant shift requires users to migrate their data and settings to GA4 to maintain seamless analytics operations.

Users are urged to export their data from UA properties immediately. Google has made it clear that any data not exported by the shutdown date will be permanently deleted and irrecoverable. The Google Analytics Help Center offers various methods for data export. For those using BigQuery integration to export historical data from UA 360 properties, immediate action is recommended, as requests for export will only be honored until June 30, 2024. The data that has already been exported will remain accessible in BigQuery.

The transition will significantly affect integrations with other Google services and third-party products. Here are the key impacts:

  • Conversions and Campaign Performance: UA goals and eCommerce transactions will cease measuring new conversions. This will affect ad campaign performance, mainly if these conversions are combined with Smart Bidding strategies.
  • Audience Lists: UA audience lists will be closed, impacting media activation and performance in ad campaigns.
  • API Requests: All API requests related to UA properties, including those for data deletion through the User Deletion API, will fail. Tools that rely on these APIs, such as Looker Studio, will no longer display UA data.
  • BigQuery Export: Requests to backfill historical data from UA 360 properties can only be made until June 30, 2024. Post-shutdown, only already exported data will be accessible.
  • Attribution Projects: Projects that were part of the Attribution (beta) in Google Analytics will be deleted.

GA4 promises a more robust and flexible analytics platform designed to meet the evolving needs of businesses in a changing technological and regulatory landscape. It offers several enhancements over UA:

  • Customized Reporting: Starting early next year, GA4 will allow businesses to create customized reporting experiences tailored to different organizational roles and teams. This includes creating specific reports for campaign managers, separate from the default GA4 experience.
  • Subproperties and Roll-Up Properties: These features help achieve better data governance, access control, and reporting. They can also be linked to Display & Video 360, Campaign Manager 360, and Search Ads 360 to support media buying goals.
  • Enhanced BigQuery Integration: GA4 will introduce a faster and more comprehensive export type to BigQuery later this year. This will ensure reliable and consistent daily data exports, enabling marketers to create detailed predictive models and gain deeper insights into customer behaviors.
  • Service Legal Agreement (SLA): Early next year, GA4 will launch an SLA ensuring data availability for export at the same time each day, aiding in the standardization of analysis workflows.

With less than a month remaining until the complete shutdown of UA properties, immediate action is crucial. Google recommends completing the move to GA4 by the end of June 2024. This tight timeline leaves little room for delay, making it essential to act now to ensure a smooth transition.

Here are the urgent steps to take:

  1. Export Historical Data: Use the tools provided in the Google Analytics Help Center to export all necessary historical data from your UA properties before they become permanently inaccessible.
  2. Migrate to GA4: Transition all your existing UA properties to GA4 immediately. This includes copying your Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform links and switching UA 360 conversions and audiences to their GA4 equivalents.
  3. Validate and Configure: Ensure that your data and settings in GA4 are validated and correctly configured to match your business needs.

The migration to GA4 is essential due to evolving technological and regulatory demands. Post-July 1, certain advertising capabilities in UA 360 will no longer be supported for traffic in the European Economic Area (EEA). Google will also introduce a new method to programmatically upgrade GA4 properties to Analytics 360 via the API, facilitating the efficient migration of thousands of properties.

The impending shutdown of Universal Analytics marks a significant shift towards a more advanced and adaptable analytics platform in Google Analytics 4. By understanding the impacts and leveraging the new features of GA4, businesses can ensure they continue to meet their measurement and reporting goals effectively. Prompt action to migrate and export data is crucial to avoid disruptions and data loss.

In our blog, we post technology-related articles weekly. Follow us on Facebook and  Instagram to get notifications about updates.

Reading next

Google Ads update: automatic pausing of low-activity keywords - Zest Logic
PHP's updated support policy: extended security support and refined release cycle - Zest Logic

Interested in a specific business & technology topic and looking for an article in our blog but haven't found one yet?

If you haven't come across an article that matches your query, feel free to suggest the topic to us, and we'll consider featuring it in our blog. Share your suggestion in the form below, and we'll be sure to review your request.

Talk with us

If you have any questions or problems in your business that can be solved with technical solutions, just let us know. We'll do everything we can to help you.