Google is getting ready to say goodbye to Universal Analytics for good, replacing it with the more recent, updated, and effective Google Analytics 4.
Why is Google making this change?
Universal Analytics, which was released for businesses in 2012 and later to the public in 2013, was built for online measurement in a world where the internet was still centred around desktop web browsing, cookies, and independent browsing sessions. However, with the furthering popularity of social media apps and mobile devices, this form of analytics is now outdated.
What is Google Analytics 4? How is it different?
Google Analytics 4 is superior to Universal analytics, as it can deliver cross-platform insights. It is designed to meet numerous business objectives, including generating leads, increasing customer engagement and driving sales.
Google Analytics 4:
- Doesn’t rely solely on cookies, which means it can operate across platforms.
- Uses machine learning, to generate predictive insights by observing user behaviour across platforms and devices.
- Is privacy-focused, which is increasingly important in today’s digital age.
- Is designed to meet key business objectives such as generating leads, increasing sales, and driving customer engagement.
- Is customisable, as it allows you to customise the structure of your analytics properties to meet your individual needs.
- Doesn’t fragment analytics into independent sessions or platforms. Instead, it provides you with a complete and streamlined view of customer behaviour and lifestyle.
- Is easier to use to optimise ad campaigns, as expanded integrations allow it to work with other Google products, such as Google Ads.
When is this happening?
Users will be able to use and collect their data from Google’s Universal Analytics properties up until July 1, 2023. Users of Universal Analytics 360, the premium version of Universal Analytics, will have an extra 3 months, with data processing available until October 1, 2023.
After this, Universal Analytics will stop processing new data. However, users will still be able to download their previously processed data. Nobody is sure how long, but it is estimated they will be able to do this for around six months. After this, users will no longer be able to view or explore any Universal Analytics data.