Jan 25, 2024

It’s Official: Google Switches to GA4 and Phases Out Universal Analytics

It’s Official: Google Switches to GA4 and Phases Out Universal Analytics

As technology advances and the digital world changes, Google's adoption of GA4 is timely. Universal Analytics, the industry standard for over a decade, is no longer enough for today's data-driven world. 

Let’s dive into what’s coming next with GA4!

What Is GA4 and Why Do We Need It?

GA4, short for Google Analytics 4, is the latest version of the popular web analytics platform developed by Google. It represents a significant shift from its predecessor, Universal Analytics, and offers a more advanced and comprehensive approach to tracking and analyzing user behavior on websites and apps. 

The ability of GA4 to close the gap between web and app analytics is one of its key benefits. Given the growing usage of mobile devices, businesses need a comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior.

GA4 provides seamless web and app data integration, enabling marketers to gain insights into the customer journey, from the initial website visit to in-app interactions.

Utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence is one of GA4's most intriguing features. With advanced algorithms, GA4 can automatically analyze vast amounts of data, detect patterns, and provide valuable insights into user behavior and intentions. This intelligence allows businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize their marketing strategies more effectively.

Furthermore, GA4 introduces an event-driven data model that replaces the traditional pageview-centric approach of Universal Analytics. This new approach allows businesses to track user interactions like button clicks, video plays, and file downloads. 

This level of tracking enables marketers to measure and optimize conversions based on specific actions, leading to more targeted and effective campaigns.

When Will Universal Analytics Shut Down?

Users may still access their already processed data until July 1, 2024, but Universal Analytics properties stopped processing new data as of July 1, 2023. With a one-time processing extension that expires on July 1, 2024, the only distinction is that UA 360 attributes have a slightly longer timetable. 

Only 360 properties with an active order - GA4 or Universal Analytics - are covered by this extension.

The Universal Analytics user interface and API will be completely shut down on July 1, 2024, for all users, including those accessing 360 properties. Google advises users to export their history reports before this date to prevent losing vital information.

Parting Thoughts 

In the ever-evolving digital marketing field, data analytics is essential to succeed. Google's move to GA4 and its decision to retire Universal Analytics demonstrates its commitment to innovation and helping businesses thrive in the digital age. GA4 is expected to bring new opportunities and pave the way for a more data-driven future. 

Prepare for an exciting journey into the world of data analytics with GA4. As the landscape changes, those who embrace this transformation will be at the forefront of driving impactful results in digital marketing. 

Remember to export your historical reports before July 1, 2024, to ensure a smooth transition and preserve your valuable data.