You have probably heard about the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) and the push towards Google Analytics 4 (GA4). At InfoTrust, we strongly encourage our clients to begin migrating if they have not already. But, what does that look like? What if your organization wants to wait? Below, we will outline scenarios and drawbacks in holding off on migrating your organization to GA4, and what that could mean for your data.
- Now – July 1, 2023: Can continue to use and collect new data in all Universal Analytics (UA) properties
- July 1, 2023: Standard UA Properties will no longer collect data. However, you will be able to access previously processed data for ~6 months. InfoTrust and Google strongly recommend exporting your historical data/reports before fully losing access (date TBA by Google)
- July 1, 2024: 360 Properties receive a one-time processing extension of 1-year, ending July 2024
What if my organization doesn’t migrate to GA4 and we remain using UA?
If you do not create a GA4 property before early 2023, the setup assistant will create one for you with basic features that correspond with your UA property (you can opt out in setup assistant or in the notification banner). However, historical data from UA properties will not be imported to the GA4 property created by the setup assistant. It cannot be migrated into GA4 since the data collecting process is not the same. Because this property will be automatically created, you could miss out on key opportunities for customization out of the gate. While some of these custom elements can be configured later, you will have gaps in data related to these things you would wait on.
What if my organization waits until UA is about to be deprecated to adopt GA4?
If you wait until the transition, you can miss out on opportunities to identify and fix possible bugs during the transition, putting you at risk for data loss/gaps in data. Historical data cannot be migrated from Universal to GA4. Per Google, “The earlier you migrate, the more historical data and insights you will have in Google Analytics 4.”
What if we wait until Q1 2023 (after the 2022 holidays) to adopt GA4?
You’ll lose the opportunity to compare historical, year-to-year holiday data in GA4 which is crucial to many of our clients. UA and GA4 data will not have 1:1 comparisons, so while we can make some comparisons for you, it would be less straightforward than comparing GA4 years of data to each other.
Not sure what is best for your business? The scenarios above outline potential obstacles in waiting to implement GA4—and our recommendation at InfoTrust is that you don’t. Our industry teams are here to provide valuable insight into next steps and ease the transition to GA4 and set you up for success whenever you’re ready to migrate.