Zoom on Google, Universal Analytics replaced in 2023 by Google Analytics 4 | The Tech Review

The data model will be one of the main changes between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, of the ten big changes the data model will be one of the most important, but the new product will also prevent spam and false data.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in 2023

Zoom on Google, Universal Analytics replaced in 2023 by Google Analytics 4on March 16, 2022, Google announced that it would replace Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in 2023. This is an attempt by Google to evolve new measurement standards while prioritizing the user privacy.

The Universal Analytics tool will stop processing data on July 1, 2023 and Universal Analytics 360 on October 1, 2023. For those who can still use the Google audience measurement tool without fear of penalties, so now is the time to switch at AG 4.

Focus on Google, Universal Analytics replaced in 2023 by Google Analytics 4, How to migrate your Universal Analytics data to GA4? What are the main differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics? The answers right away, in this article!

What is Google Universal Analytics?

It was in October 2012 that Google announced Universal Analytics, as the next version of Google Analytics, which will replace Google Analytics 2. However, Universal Analytics is technically not a Google Analytics 2 upgrade. First, its completely revamped website tracking code works differently. Many improvements to more accurately measure user behavior have also been made. Additionally, users had to set up a new property and replace all of the Google Analytics code on their site.

However, it will be necessary to wait until April 2014 for Universal Analytics to be truly effective. The main changes brought by Google Universal Analytics are summarized in the following three promises:

  • Tracking people rather than visits, which also made multi-device, cross-platform tracking possible.
  • Offline tracking, which was impossible before.
  • The possibility of centralizing all business data by importing external data (coming from your CRM for example or your website) inside the tool, Universal Analytics in this case.

Google encourages users to switch to Google Analytics 4 now

GA 4 is announced by Google as its next generation measurement solution, much more efficient than Universal Analytics. The problem with the latter is that its operation was mainly based on cookies and the collection of IP addresses. However, Google, for its part, must face increasing and permanent pressure from both users and data protection legislators.

Mainly for this reason, Universal Analytics is now considered obsolete by Google. And for observers, its final abandonment had been foreseeable for a few years.

Importantly, however, with the disappearance of Universal Analytics, 10 or 15 years of invaluable historical data will disappear for some websites. But if they cannot migrate their Universal Analytics data to GA4, users can save it.

Google then invites users to save their Universal Analytics data now and import it to Google Analytics 4. In July 2023, Universal Analytics data will be deleted and can never be retrieved again. Google Analytics 360 properties, meanwhile, will cease in October 2023.

Other Items:

Google Analytics 4, the most recent version and available since 2020

Available since October 2020, Google Analytics 4 is simply the most recent version of Google Analytics. Sold by Google as high-performance, GA 4 notably has the advantage of being cross-platform (a product that can operate on several types of platforms or operating environments) and cross-device.

That is to say, it can track Internet users who move from one device to another, regardless of the nature of their activity on the Internet. The tool is also based on machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The goal with the exploitation of these technologies is to avoid the loss or duplication of users from which the old versions suffered.

GA4 brings many changes. But if we had to name just one, it would definitely be the fact that it was designed to unify both app and web analytics.

Explanation ! Before, website owners still rely on Google Analytics to measure their website performance and Google Analytics for Firebase for app engagement. While both platforms do their job well and give businesses powerful insights, it’s rather difficult to get a complete picture of how the data compares due to the fact that Google Analytics Google Analytics for Firebase are two distinct tools. But good news! GA4 is able to do both!

Other new features in Google Analytics 4:

  • Exploitation of data based on the events carried out, whereas GA 3 is based on sessions and on users.
  • An interactive interface better suited to user needs, for an optimal experience.
  • New privacy settings that strengthen data protection.

The most important differences between the two products:

GDPR

GA4, will be more respectful of GDPR standardization, because it will automatically anonymize IP addresses from the start, while on the old version it was an option, not applied by default, it’s not perfect, but it’s is much better than before.

Layout

It is obvious, from the start, GA4 will work with windows by insight, whereas before, we had tables by insigth column, this is done to improve the rendering more complete and much more visual.

Reporting

In GA4, filters are no longer allowed, so it will be impossible for you to manage a filtered view for subsequent reports, each time you will have to start from the global version (vision) and go into details.

Functioning

Another big change is that GA4 will be user and event based, while UA (Universal Analytics) was more page and session based.

Why plan a migration to Google Analytics 4?

We must start now, because it is important that the new properties of GA4 are implemented sufficiently in advance of this deadline (July 1, 2023). The reason for this?

You must understand that web analysis is only of interest if it is done over time. More clearly, you must have data over a sufficiently long period to allow comparative examinations with a previous period. The ideal being to have at least a history covering a full year, although it is already late today since GA3 will disappear in less than a year.

Right now, you should therefore already implement Google Analytics 4 and start letting it collect data in its corner. During this time, you will continue to use GA 3 until it is discontinued on the date indicated. This will also give you time to familiarize yourself with the new GA 4 interface, so as to ensure continuity of operations after the discontinuation of Universal Analytics.

Google knows how important your data previously processed in your Universal Analytics property is. That’s why he made sure they can be exported and sent to your Google Analytics 4. Here’s how:

  • Export reports directly from Google Analytics

This is not the ideal option recommended by professionals, but be aware that you have the possibility of exporting reports directly from Google Analytics. To do this, go to the “report” section of GA which is on the left side of the interface. By clicking on it, you can export, in CSV, Excel (XLSX), or PDF formats the data you need.

  • Export reports from Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet included in the free Google Docs Editors web suite offered by Google. Be aware that since 2016, there is a Google Analytics add-on on this spreadsheet. The module in question will allow you to extract data from Google Analytics and display it in a spreadsheet in Sheets. Once the data download is complete, all you have to do is import the Sheets file to your G4.

The problem with the two solutions mentioned above is that they only show frozen data for a given period. For a complete export of raw data, experts recommend the BigQuery option instead, a RESTful web service integrated with Google Cloud that allows data analysis in collaboration with the Google storage space.

Note though that while BigQuery is free for GA 360 users, you need to get your hands on the wallet if you have the standard version of GA3.

Conclusion

Google is obliged to take into account the new regulations (RGPD), because the European Union, as for the other GAFAs, keeps an eye on it, it is therefore obliged to make changes in strategy, even if at the start it was very reluctant.

Author Antonio Rodriguez Mota, Editor and Director of Clever Technologies

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Zoom on Google, Universal Analytics replaced in 2023 by Google Analytics 4 | The Tech Review


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