Google Universal Analytics is ending, here is what you need to do

As Google Universal Analytics (UA) is being phased out and replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on July 1, 2024, here are some steps you should implement for a smooth transition.

Understand the Differences:
GA4 introduces a new approach to tracking user behavior, focusing more on events and user-centric analytics rather than sessions and page views like UA.

Set Up a GA4 Property:
Creating a GA4 Property on your account will allow you to start collecting data under the new framework. If you do not create a GA4 property by July 1, 2024, , Google will automatically create one for you. However, they cannot guarantee that all of your customizations will transfer properly, so they do recommend you manually create a new GA4 property in your Google Analytics account. Need help setting this up? Google provides a great tutorial walking you through the process.

Run Both UA and GA4 in Parallel:
To ensure continuity and compare data, run both Universal Analytics and GA4 in parallel for some time. This allows you to validate data consistency and get accustomed to GA4 reports while still relying on UA for your existing reporting needs.

Migrate Customizations and Configurations:
Transfer any custom dimensions, metrics, goals, segments, and filters from your Universal Analytics setup to GA4. While some configurations might not directly translate, GA4 provides new capabilities that might require adjustments in your tracking setup.

Update Tracking Codes:
Implement the new GA4 tracking code on your website or app. This involves updating your tracking scripts to use the GA4 measurement ID and events instead of traditional UA code.

Review and Update Data Governances:
Take this opportunity to review your data governance policies and ensure compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. GA4 has enhanced features for data controls and consent management that you may want to leverage.

Learn GA4 Reporting and Analysis:
Explore the new reporting interface and capabilities of GA4. Familiarize yourself with the user-centric approach, cross-platform tracking, and the enhanced focus on events and user engagement.

Inform and Train Your Team:
Provide an info session listing best practices for your team members on GA4. Ensure they understand the new metrics, reports, and analysis tools available in GA4 compared to Universal Analytics.

Monitor Data Quality:
Keep an eye on your data quality during the transition period. Check for discrepancies between UA and GA4 data to ensure accurate reporting, and adjust as needed.

Plan for Customizations and Integrations:
If you use integrations with other platforms (e.g., plugins, advertising platforms, CRM systems), check if they support GA4 natively or if you need to develop new integrations.

Stay Updated:
Keep track of updates from Google Analytics regarding GA4 features, best practices, and any further migration guidance as the platform evolves. Surely there will be more to come!

By following these steps, you can effectively transition from Google Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 while maintaining data continuity and leveraging the enhanced capabilities of GA4 for your analytics needs.