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To give enterprises more time to transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as smoothly as possible, the decommission of Universal Analytics 360 (UA 360) is going to be pushed back from October 1, 2023 to July 1, 2024.
This is great news for UA 360 users — but for everyone using the free version of Universal Analytics, the platform’s sunset date is the same as it was first announced in March: July 1st, 2023.
New UA sunset dates
|July 1st, 2023
|Universal Analytics 360
|July 1st, 2024
If you’re a UA 360 user, congratulations! You’ll have 9 extra months before your UA property will stop processing hits, meaning you’ll have plenty of additional time to properly plan your migration.
However, keep in mind that Google will soon fully start focusing its efforts on developing and tweaking Google Analytics 4 as it is now their default analytics solution.
As a result of this, Universal Analytics 360 is likely to suffer — and its performance might decline. This means that, in order to preserve the quality of your analytics, the sooner you migrate to GA4, the better.
Here’s another reason not to hesitate. Since Google has not yet announced how long they’ll be preserving the data stored in UA past the 6-month mark, if you don’t migrate to GA4 before Universal Analytics’ sunset, it’s likely you’ll be putting your historical data at risk.
Losing the data points on how your business developed and grew over the past years will:
- Rob you of essential insights on previous successes that can inform your future decisions;
- Disable you from contrasting and comparing past with current performance for those crucial year-on-year reviews;
- Hinder your access to the many advantages of Google Analytics, such as its predictive modeling, for a period of time — until you build your new database.
For a robust foundation of data you can use to inform your business decisions going forward, implementing GA4 as early as possible is crucial.
Want to learn more about structuring your migration process? Check out our GA4 Migration Checklist.
What Google Analytics 4 is Bringing to the Table
As per Google’s latest update, GA4 is going to bring a number of new features that aren’t available in Universal Analytics.
With imminent third-party cookie deprecation and tightening privacy regulations, a feature that is likely to become especially useful is behavioral modeling for Consent Mode.
What is Behavioral Modeling for Consent Mode?
For companies whose customers are based in the European Union, consent mode is now required. All users who decline cookies will not be tracked, and therefore won’t ever register in your analytics.
GA4’s behavioral modeling for Consent Mode is designed to model the behavior of those users by studying the behavior of similar users who have accepted analytics cookies. This feature allows you to respect your users’ privacy, while still gaining important insights that can help you recalibrate business decisions or make new ones.
With behavioral modeling, you’ll get far more accurate information on your DAUs and MAUs, and be able to sketch a much clearer picture of your user journey. This feature also helps make user demographics and user device data more accurate.
Don’t Let the UA Sunset Date Change Lull You Into a False Sense of Security
Universal Analytics 360 going away in 2024 buys you important time.
However, there was a reason why the solution’s sunset was pushed back in the first place.
Migrating to Google Analytics 4, especially for enterprises, is a challenging and time-consuming task.
While Google suggests using a Setup Assistant if you want to automate your migration, we strongly advise avoiding that. As an enterprise, your analytics setup is likely to be incredibly layered and granulated.
Migrating to GA4 therefore takes careful auditing, creating detailed documentation, and following through with an equally painstaking implementation process. Copying over the wrong naming convention, or missing even one tag, will result in incomplete reports and fragmented data.
For a quality implementation of Google Analytics 4, it’s best to turn to experts’ guidance.
e-CENS’s team of data analysts have over 15 years of experience managing enterprises’ web analytics solutions through working with global brands in finance, travel and hospitality, publishing and e-commerce.
Interested in learning how we can help you plan for your migration and fully equip your GA4 property? Contact us today.
UA vs. GA4: The Definitive eBook
Get the most out of GA4 – and then some.
Are you dreading the imminent discontinuation of Universal Analytics? Want to learn the benefits of Google Analytics 4?
Our comprehensive “Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4” eBook will help you weigh the pros and cons of each software and provide you with a clear road map to transition to GA4 with ease.
Learn more about Universal Analytics vs. GA4
- Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4 | eBook
- How is GA4 different from Universal Analytics?
- Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics – the Big Switch
- Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4: User Metrics
- Universal Analytics vs Google Analytics 4: Account Structure
- UA vs. GA4: What GA4’s Engagement Rate is Telling You
- UA vs. GA4: Campaign Tracking
- UA vs. GA4: Report Landscape
- Migrating to GA4: UA to GA