Google Analytics 4 is the next generation of the free web analytics platform offered by Google. As the most widely used web analytics service on the web, Google Analytics has undergone many updates and makeovers since its inception in 2005. While some updates have been relatively minor when it comes to changes in the user interface or data collection, Google Analytics 4 will be a more significant update with a very different user interface and significant differences in how data is collected. It will completely replace the current Universal Analytics in 2023. Full Media suggests you take action now to prevent gaps in your website tracking data.
Over the past several years, both consumers and governments have become more concerned about online privacy and the responsibility of large technology companies to ensure that users have control over how their online data is collected and used. Google Analytics 4 is built with increased privacy controls for both consumers and businesses, and it’s also a transition away from cookie-based user tracking.
This transition isn’t optional – it’s required. All data collection in old Google Analytics properties will stop on July 1, 2023.
A lot! The interface and reporting tools in GA4 look and function differently than your current Google Analytics account.
Some key changes:
Yes. Reports available in Google will change and the data that you see may change too. For that reason we recommend a transition period between July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023 where you run both sets of GA in tandem to help you better understand how each interprets your website data.
Google reports that after July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access historic data in your old Google Analytics accounts for up to 6 months. At some point, however, your historical data will no longer be accessible.
Here are some ways you can preserve your historic data: