Google Analytics UA is sunsetting sooner than you think

Universal Analytics, the legacy (but most commonly used) version of Google Analytics, will no longer be available from mid-2023. You'll need to upgrade to GA4 in the next 12 months in order to keep collecting data.

Analytics UA is getting the chop on July 1, 2023 to be exact. This is the date Universal Analytics will end processing new data. If you want to ensure the validity of your data, you’ll want to move asap so you can monitor the two sets of data over the next year.

Why are Google ending support for Analytics UA?

Google is shifting from Universal Analytics because of its inability to supply multi-device insights – the primary benefit of GA4.

Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.

Google

By now no longer depending completely on cookies, and the usage of an event-driven version, Google Analytics 4 can collect data across platforms in a future-proof way. And of course, a lesser dependancy on cookies increases its focus on privacy – something that is increasingly more important to users.

It helps businesses meet evolving needs and user expectations, with more comprehensive and granular controls for data collection and usage. Importantly, Google Analytics 4 will also no longer store IP addresses. These solutions and controls are especially necessary in today’s international data privacy landscape, where users are increasingly expecting more privacy protections and control over their data.

Google
A person using the Analytics UA interface on a laptop, whilst perched on a white desk.

GA4 is the new default, and the switch feels really scary. The reports are different, the user interface is new. If Universal Analytics was thrown onto your plate and you furiously crawled the web for how-to guides… it’s happening again.

There are some real benefits though. There are greater integrations with Google products. Adwords and YouTube are standouts, with less custom coding to make deeper insights happen. The ‘event-driven’ schtick sounds like a headache, but once you do wrap your noggin around it, it’s pretty useful. But you do have to change your perspective on analytics as you know it.

How can SMILE help?

We help our clients to integrate with many different tools, and Google Analytics is a fairly standard request at this point. We’re here to help you to understand and execute the update to your Google Analytics tracking code. If you’re utilising Google Tag Manager (GTM), then the technical switch is pretty straightforward. If you’re not, then this is also a prime opportunity to move to GTM too. Contact us if you need some support.

Source: Google

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Nathan Monk

I'm proud to work for some of the world’s most influential brands that shape cities and define lives: Universities and colleges.

I provide advice to forward-thinking senior leaders on how to exceed their organisational targets by creating user-focused, digital-first strategies.

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