Prepare for a future without access to historical data…
Google originally introduced Google Analytics 4 around 2 and half years ago with the objective to help businesses succeed by enabling them to view and analyse user journeys and behaviour across multiple platforms with a focus on event tracking. In March 2022, Google announced that they are going to sunset Universal Analytics in the summer of 2023. Furthermore, Google are planning to archive UA data 6 months after this sunset takes place, meaning that all historic data will be inaccessible.
The announcement has caused quite the controversy, seeing the marketing community come alive with theories as to why Google has made such a decision.
So, what does this mean for businesses operating on Universal Analytics?
Google states that Universal Analytics was designed and implemented for the age when there was only one way to interact with a brand online – directly on their website and relies heavily upon cookies. In the new age of digital consumerism, users are likely to interact with your business and your brand via multiple avenues; directly on your website, via your app or through various social media channels.
Google acknowledged that user behaviour has changed and that without a modern measurement solution with the ability to adapt, valuable data was being lost. Universal Analytics is simply unable to deliver cross-platform insights.
Enter Google Analytics 4 (GA4), allowing businesses to understand the multi-platform journeys of their consumers, use machine learning to predict new insights, generate new leads and drive sales. All whilst maintaining user privacy.
What we know so far:
All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on 1st July, 2023.
360 Universal Analytics users will be granted an additional 3 months, and hits will no longer be processed from 1st October 2023.
From that point, users will be able to access previously processed data for 6 months. But after that, it will be inaccessible.
I’m sorry, what?
We know, right?!
It seems to be a step in the wrong direction to lose valuable historic data. Why can’t the UA data be merged with or imported into GA4? Years and in some cases, decades of data is going to be lost.
Is it because the data models are completely different, or is due to privacy issues forcing them to abandon the SMB market?
Universal Analytics is going to be around for a little while longer, allowing plenty of time to transition and get used to an entirely new interface. But is 1 year enough time to transition and replace the data that’s about to be lost?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter… Let us know in the comments section below.
If you have any questions or concerns about moving to GA4, the PushON team is on-hand to help. Please feel free to reach out and speak to a member of our team today.