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Are You Ready for GA4?

July 1st is quickly approaching: Are you ready?

Effective July 1st, Universal Analytics (UA) will be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Below are some FAQs concerning the change, along with details on what you need to do to protect your past and future data.

What does this mean?

Starting July 1st, all new data will only flow into your GA4 properties. Until that date, you can continue to use and collect new data in your UA properties. Although there will be some familiar reports and features in GA4, you will need to convert your campaign performance tracking from UA goals to GA4 events. This change will ensure that metrics are more consistent with what you’re seeing in your Google Ads reports. Beginning on January 1, 2024, Google will be deleting all historical UA data.

Why is this a good thing?

  • GA4 provides more advanced cross-device tracking capabilities (website and app), allowing you to better understand the customer journey across multiple devices and touchpoints
  • GA4 offers more data protection and privacy controls
  • GA4 includes built in machine learning algorithms that automatically identify trends, generate insights and provide recommendations

What do I need to do, so I don’t lose my old data?

You can do one of the following to ensure that your historical data is accessible:

  • Export individual reports
  • Use the Google Analytics Reporting API to export data
  • Export to BigQuery (Google Analytics 360 users)

How do I know if I currently have UA or GA4 set up?

  • If your property IDs start with a UA and end with a number (UA-XXXXXXXX-1), you are using UA
  • If your property IDs have only numbers (XXXXXXXX), you are using GA4

Helpful reminders about Google Analytics:

  • Keep UA and GA4 running at the same time. It will not impact your metrics to have both collecting data from the site in the interim period, and this will help provide you access to some historical data when UA is no longer available.
  • Once you have UA and GA4 running on your website, remember that there are differences in how the data is being collected and reported in each, so the metrics are not an apples-to-apples comparison. Run parallel testing now to review any differences if possible.
  • Adjust your data retention setting to ensure that you can save your data as long as possible by going to Property Settings > Tracking Info > Data Retention. Next to User and event data retention, there is a drop-down menu where you can select a retention period of your choice (select 14 months, the maximum window available).

The deadline is July 1, 2023! Don’t forget to convert your account! And please free to reach out with any questions.