In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, data is king. And for marketers who have relied on Universal Analytics (UA) to gather valuable insights, Google’s decision to sunset UA in July 2023 presents a major challenge. With limited time to save historical data, businesses need to act quickly to avoid losing crucial information. In this article, we will explore the implications of the UA sunset, the importance of exporting data, and the various methods available for safeguarding your Google Analytics data.
Understanding the UA Sunset and GA4:
Universal Analytics has been a trusted tool for marketers, but with the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in 2020, the landscape changed. GA4 combined the functionalities of UA with Google’s mobile development platform, Firebase, and offered advanced features like cross-platform analytics and machine learning-based reporting. While both platforms coexisted for a while, Google decided to sunset UA to make GA4 the dominant version.
The Implications of Losing UA Data:
As UA stops processing data on July 1, 2023, businesses will have a limited window of 12 months to access their historical data. After that, the data will be lost forever. Losing access to UA data means missing out on valuable insights into past website performance, year-over-year trends, and critical performance information. Without this data, marketing initiatives may need to start from scratch, leading to less informed decision-making and reduced optimization opportunities.
The Importance of Exporting Google Analytics Data from UA:
To avoid the loss of valuable data, businesses must export their Google Analytics data from UA. This data serves as a crucial reference point for analyzing past performance and making informed marketing decisions. Whether you’ve already set up a GA4 property or not, exporting UA data is essential to retain a comprehensive historical view of your website’s performance.
Options for Exporting Google Analytics Data:
- Manually Exporting from the Dashboard: Google provides tools to manually export individual reports from your Universal Analytics property. While this method is feasible, it can be time-consuming and may result in an overwhelming number of spreadsheets to manage.
- Using the Google Analytics API: Businesses with programming expertise can use the Google Analytics Reporting API to extract data from their UA property. While this option offers flexibility, it requires technical knowledge and resources.
- Exporting via a Google 360 Account: Google 360 accounts allow for easy export of UA data and come with a one-time processing extension until July 1, 2024. However, the high cost of a Google 360 account might not be feasible for all businesses.
- Third-Party Analytics Tools: Tools like Supermetrics can export raw data from multiple platforms, including UA, into Google Sheets or data warehouses. However, using these tools may require expertise in data integration and dimension management.
- Partnering with an Expert: Working with a digital marketing agency like HawkSEM offers a seamless solution for exporting UA data. HawkSEM’s proprietary technology, ConversionIQ, provides a user-friendly UA export template and visualizations, allowing businesses to access their data conveniently.
Leveraging ConversionIQ for Comprehensive Data Management:
ConversionIQ by HawkSEM allows businesses to export their UA data conveniently and view it alongside GA4 data, other data sources, and channel groups. The platform offers visually appealing and robust visualizations to help marketers gain valuable insights from their data. By comparing historical UA data with GA4 data, businesses can make informed decisions and communicate trends effectively to stakeholders.
Google’s sunset of Universal Analytics is a reminder of the dynamic nature of digital marketing and data analytics. To protect historical data and continue making data-driven decisions, businesses must act swiftly to export their Google Analytics data from UA. Whether through manual exporting, APIs, third-party tools, or expert partnerships like TTMedia, securing your data is vital for achieving marketing goals and maintaining a competitive edge in the ever-changing digital landscape.