How to prepare for Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is the next-generation measurement solution, and it's replacing Universal Analytics. On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new data. If you still rely on Universal Analytics, we recommend that you prepare to use Google Analytics 4 going forward.

GA4 is built out of the need to be privacy-focused and more durable for the future. It offers intelligent machine learning to unearth insights about the customer journey across platforms and devices. Lastly, it utilises enhanced, seamless integrations with Google's advertising platforms to optimize campaign performance and drive greater marketing ROI.

Understanding what's going to happen

Until July 1, 2023, it will be possible to continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties.

After July 1, 2023, you'll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. As historical data is key, it is strongly encouraged that you export your historical reports during this time.

In the coming months, we'll provide a future date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available. After this future date, you'll no longer be able to see your Universal Analytics reports in the Analytics interface or access your Universal Analytics data via the API.

Preparing for the migration

UM view:

We strongly suggest exporting all historical data and preparing for a period of consolidation for the GA4 platform and eventual co-habitation period of GA4 and GA UA accounts. We will offer clients consultation and migration packages to help with the transition over the next 16 months to ensure the right data is reflected in both versions of Google Analytics.

The best course for this migration is by acting quickly to ensure that the platforms are set up and then begins the next stage of getting the data to match. The issue with leaving it until the cut off date means that there could be a period without data insights and therefore influence mapping performance of the website.

What’s next?

With the packages, we aim to roadmap, advise, and develop a migration solution based on the needs of digital analytics. Starting from onboarding, auditing, and developing the roadmaps taking all major considerations on what the data represents all the way up until and past the deadline of 1st July 2023.

In the meantime:

We are now in a period of grace, but the sooner the process of co-habiting the platforms and eventual archiving of the UA accounts begins, the better in the long run. Whilst other companies will leave it until the last minute, the brand-new functionalities of GA4 will give the edge to optimise and monitor performance more effectively.

It also coincides with the great internet space race of our time with a cookieless internet. The algorithmic machine of GA4 ensures that whichever route the big tech companies take, it will keep collecting the right sort of performance data which is to be expected and not see detrimental and severe drop-offs.

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