Google Universal Analytics to Sunset in July

Laura Dean

Laura Dean

The rollout of Google Analytics 4 wasn’t without its hiccups, delays, and queries. However, the time has now come for Universal Analytics to sunset and Google has advised that this process will be swift, completely shutting down within a week. Starting the week of July 1st 2024, you will no longer be able to access any Universal Analytics properties or the API. You will not be able to view the data with read-only access either; it will be completely deleted.

Recent Google Changes

In the recent Core Update from Google, you will have seen that certain analytics features were deprecated to more appropriately meet current and future privacy standards with GA4. This included the removal of certain advertising features within the European Economic Area (EEA), which mostly refer to the remarketing, conversion export and bidding optimisation within the platform.

Some users of Google Analytics have seen significant changes to their data following this update. Notably, a reduction in visitor statistics due to the new requirement for users to provide explicit consent for their data to be used.

We’re aware that this has caused concern for some clients, and we’re working together to understand how best to collect future data without compromising on the user experience or right to privacy.

What does this mean for you?

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to export your previously processed data from Universal Analytics. If you’re unsure of how to do this, we’re able to help and guide you through this process so that you don’t lose out on vital information about your online performance.

Remember, many features have been removed from GA4, so you will see that you are no longer able to receive reports such as demographic and interest reports, lifetime value report, cohort analysis, conversion probability reports, etc. Now is the time to store this information to inform future analysis.

See the full timeline of UA to GA4 updates from Google.

How to export data from your Universal Analytics property

Google supports a number of export options to safely capture your data before it is deleted. You can export individual reports by applying your desired date range and report settings, clicking export, and selecting your chosen formats. This is available in CSV, TSV, TSV for Excel, Excel (XLSX), Google Sheets and PDF.

For many of our clients, this past data is essential for tracking the overall progress of your website, and so we highly recommend repeating this process for as many reports as possible. For ease of visibility, it is our recommendation that you export all reports in PDF format, as well as spreadsheet form so that you can easily filter and manipulate data as needed.

Read more about how to export and share reports from Google.

What date range should I export?

Bearing in mind that for the last year UA has not been tracking as data has been stored in GA4, any historical data is just that – historical. Therefore, as a business, you should decide how far back you’d like to be able to access data from. Maybe since you started eCommerce, or since your new website was put live 2 years ago. The key thing to remember is to be consistent; if you are exporting the Traffic Acquisition report for Jan 2020 – Dec 2021, it’s probably best to use the same dates for the Landing Pages report, or any others you choose to export.

A final point to keep in mind is that UA and GA4 reports are different and their data won’t be directly comparable, therefore any data you do decide to retrieve from UA should be looked at as a benchmark and any comparisons taken with a pinch of salt – if you’re unsure just get in touch and we’ll help you to understand it!

Do you need some help?
As always, we’re here to support you. If you need some help exporting your data and ensuring consistency of information across your property/properties, send us an email to [email protected].

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