Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics!

Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics as well as all previous versions of Google Analytics! 1st July 2023 is the date it’ll stop working, so make sure you have everything set up in Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible.

Google have announced that they will be sunsetting all versions of Google Analytics except for Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in 2023.

This is big news, and a big deal!

I can’t say I’m suppressed though. I think that the way that Google has positioned GA4 was always as a tool to replace their legacy and ‘insecure’ measurement solutions. Even from when they announced it they said:

“It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data.”

Do you know what’s not ready for the changing landscape? Universal Analytics…

Wait, what?

Google is pushing GA4 hard. If you don’t already have your websites dual tracking with Universal and GA4, you should as soon as possible. If you are tracking iOS and Android apps via the Firebase SDK, then you are already on GA4, congratulations.

Google will phase the sunsetting of Universal Analytics into two parts:

  1. Stop processing hew data (i.e. new hits)
  2. Delete all historical data

The gap between these two steps is your time to export and store all your historical data if you would like it that is.

How long have we got?

Google will stop processing new data (i.e. new hits) on 1st July 2023. You will then have access to all your historical data for 6 months, until 1st January 2024. If you are have a GA360 license, then that is slightly different – you get an extra 3 months.

The reason for announcing it now, and for these dates specifically, are so that you have plenty of time to get GA4 implemented and have over a year of data to do year-on-year reporting and analysis.

Google Analytics timeline from April 2022 to January 2024

What now?

The most important thing to do right now is get GA4 implemented alongside Universal Analytics if you haven’t already.

We have until 1st July 2022 (3.5 months from the time of announcement) to ensure that all data in GA4 is set up correctly and accurately. If we do not have it done by then, you will not have year-on-year reporting come 1st July 2023 when Universal Analytics has been sunsetted.

These are the things to look at having in place before the 1st July 2022:

After that, these are the things to have done before 1st July 2023:

  • Rebuild all Google Data Studio (GDS) dashboards using the GA4 API
  • Migrate audiences and conversion measurement for the connected GMP ad platforms
  • Connect Google Optimize (GO) and use for all new experiments measurement
  • Migrate any data warehouse, ETL/ELT, reverse ETL to the BigQuery export dataset, or using the data API
  • Train, educate and up-skill everyone on the new world order!

And after that, these are the thing to have done before 1st January 2024:

  • Export all historical data of relevance out of Universal Analytics
  • Remove all (new redundant) Universal Analytics tracking from your websites – native tracking as well as from Google Tag Manager (GTM)
  • Continue the education and training as the product develops and evolves


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