Google made an announcement in March that there will be a transition from Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July of 2023. While this change is beneficial for the long-term collection of data, Google Analytics is not simply an upgrade of Universal Analytics and GA4 will not be compatible with Universal Analytics. This program will be a completely new system and will provide marketers with advanced ways to collect data through user and event-based tracking. The new system is designed to be fundamentally different from Universal Analytics in terms of collecting both website and app data to better understand the journey of the user. Rather than collecting session-based data, UA4 will measure events, which is intended to provide a more accurate understanding of the user journey.
For the companies that track and rely on the collection of yearly data, the immediate shift to GA4 is necessary as the Universal Analytics platform will no longer be accessible starting in July of next year. Your company will have access to your UA reports for a short period of time after July 1, 2023, but the new data collection will only function with GA4 properties moving forward.
So what does this shift mean for your company? If your business relies on Universal Analytics to track website traffic, user behavior, and digital performance data, USABAL Solutions suggests your company begins the process of shifting to GA4 immediately. This early adoption of GA4 will provide your business with another full year of data, which is important to having a long-term understanding of how users are operating and interacting with your website. In addition, it will give your staff time to adapt to the new system while having access to the old Universal Analytics program.
CEO of USABAL Solutions, Bob Zhang, stated that “while GA4 is a new and more powerful analytics tool, it’s also a major undertaking for businesses to transition to it.” He offered two suggestions for companies trying to navigate the changes:
- Your business should upgrade your analytics sooner rather than later! With GA4, you will have to learn and understand the new interface as well as how to integrate it into your analytics process.
- Your business should make plans to backup your old analytics data. As Google announced, you will only be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for six months.
From USABAL Solutions, we encourage you to take the time to update your company’s system to Google Analytics 4. For our clients, USABAL Solutions has a plan of action in place and is ready to install GA4 for your company!
For more information on Google Analytics 4, check out these other resources: