Transition from Google’s Universal Analytics to GA4

April 29, 2022

Not long ago, Google officially announced they will retire the prior version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics or GA3) on 1 July 2023 and launch the new version. Therefore, it’s time for users to start making approaches to migrate over to the new platform (Google Analytics 4) before GA3 is officially eradicated.

Although the news has made many people surprised as Universal Analytics was known as the most accessible and the most advanced analytics tool out there, GA4 is believed to provide various excellent new features and functionalities. This transition will obviously require users to take some time to adjust and adapt to the new platform.

This article will provide you with further information about the transition from Universal Analytics that is also known as GA3 to Google Analytics 4.

Why did Google decide to switch Universal Analytics to GA4?

Since the first time it was released in 2012, Universal Analytics was and still is a fast-growing platform, and it’s popular among internet users as one of the most efficient web analytics platforms, and is completely free to use.

However, since a few years ago, it has become inherently clear that Universal Analytics needed to be updated as the system no longer fits with the new advancements of the digital world; it has become slow and outdated. On the other hand, users demand better privacy and more strict control over the handling of personal data.

What improvements are to be expected from GA4 compared to GA3?

With all of the new features in Google Analytics 4, users will be able to have a more comprehensive look at the full customer journey. Here is a list of benefits that you can expect from GA4:

  1. Deeper insights into the customer journey. GA4 is able to provide data across various types of devices, not only limited to websites like the previous version.
  2. Users are able to customise reports. GA4 allows users to create customizable, more relevant reports as you can come across the insights from your data with more ease.
  3. Access to raw data. GA4 allows users to connect with CRM data to dive deeper into full customer engagement.
  4. It provides more tracking features. Users are able to track clicks scrolling, file downloads, video views, etc., by using the GA4 tag there is no need to use any other tracking tags.
  5. It provides an anomaly detection feature. Users are able to quickly detect anomalies in the data, for instance, when the page views drop.

What do you need to do for a full migration to GA4?

You may be wondering on how to start the transition from Universal Analytics (GA3) to GA4. We have summed up important steps that you can follow to make the shift.

  1. Go back to your data and decide which data you would like to track, then create a strategy based on that decision.
  2. Begin to move data to GA4. This process may become more difficult if you use advanced e-commerce.
  3. Switch your dashboard tool that connects to your GA3 account to GA4.
  4. Establish your reporting interface on GA4 as it is very customizable.
  5. Connect to BigQuery to backup your data. This step is needed because it only keeps data for 14 months.
  6. Get some training to use the new platform better and keep yourself updated with all of its features.