Why You Need to Save Your Universal Analytics Data Now

May 9, 2024
Save your Universal Analytics before July 1, 2024

In 2023 the transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) brought many reporting and measurement challenges for businesses. For most businesses, leveraging detailed analytics data is crucial to understanding customer behavior, optimizing online presence, and ultimately driving growth in online leads.

On July 1, 2024, Google Analytics users will no longer have access to Universal Analytics data and reports. If you will need to report on website performance data before 2023, you will need to take active steps to protect your Universal Analytics data now.

Will Universal Analytics data be deleted?

Yes. As of July 1, 2024, all historical Universal Analytics data will become inaccessible to users. Universal Analytics has been the gold standard for tracking and analyzing website traffic for more than a decade, offering insights that businesses have relied on to shape their digital marketing strategies. The loss of this data may present a substantial challenge for companies that depend on historical data to inform their marketing strategies, understand seasonal trends, and benchmark performance over time.

How can we save historic Universal Analytics data?

Fortunately, there are several strategies businesses can adopt to mitigate the impact of this transition:

Saving the Data Manually in Universal Analytics

This DIY approach involves manually exporting your Universal Analytics data and saving it in a secure, accessible format. While cost-effective, it requires a significant time investment and technical know-how to ensure comprehensive data extraction. Data exports will need to be blended and merged to be useful for future reporting exercises.

Paying for a 3rd Party Tool

Numerous tools and services have emerged to help businesses archive their Universal Analytics data. These tools automate the data extraction process, offering a hassle-free solution, albeit at a cost.

Here are some suggested tools:

Ask Us for Help!

For businesses seeking expertise and peace of mind, partnering with a digital marketing agency like Ontario SEO provides a seamless solution. With our deep understanding of analytics and data preservation, we can ensure that your Universal Analytics data is meticulously archived, maintaining your access to valuable insights long after the platform itself has sunsetted.

If you are an existing client, data-preservation measures are already underway for your Universal Analytics data. Speak to us if you have specific concerns about what data needs to be stored.

What Do Businesses Need to Do Before July 1?

To navigate this transition smoothly, businesses must take proactive steps well in advance of the July 1 deadline.

Assess Your Future Data Reporting Needs

Determine how many years of Universal Analytics data are critical for understanding your business trends. Reflect on how historical data has informed past marketing decisions and what you might need moving forward.

Identify Key Metrics to Save:

Saving EVERYTHING will be time consuming and difficult to manage. Before starting data preservation, review your most frequently requested reports and dashboards from your internal teams and stakeholders. Evaluate which metrics you most frequently report on and use to measure success and make a good list. Next identify the ways you are most likely to segment data. Will you need to look at data by specific dates, or are details by month/quarter/year sufficient for your business? Identifying the metrics and segmentation you are most likely to need will ensure you focus your data preservation efforts where they matter most.

Extract the Data:

Before the end of June, make it a priority to extract your data from Universal Analytics. Whether you choose to do it yourself, invest in a third-party tool, or seek assistance from Ontario SEO, the key is to act now to secure your data. There are many options for storing your analytics data, including Excel, Google Sheets and Google Big Query. The correct solution for your business will depend on the size and breadth of your datasets.

For many businesses, the discontinuation of Universal Analytics poses a challenge but also an opportunity to re-evaluate and refine their data management practices. If you’re seeking expertise and support in this transition, Ontario SEO is here to help.