Google Plans to Remove Universal Analytics Data & Pattern’s Solution

Kate Ryan

April 22, 2024

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Google has reminded everyone the move to GA4 is permanent by reiterating the impending end to Universal Analytics (UA). On the 3rd of April 2024, Google sent an email reminding sites that not only do their UA profiles not track any data anymore but brands will see these profiles disappear altogether. There is only a short amount of time remaining for brands to archive and save the data that is most important to them and their business.

While many ecommerce managers were fluent in Universal Analytics, confident in the platform and knew where to go when they had a query, GA4 has been met with a wave of general confusion as Google has rolled out features over the last few months that should have been included in the July 2023 cutover. For Pattern’s tips on navigating GA4, you can check out this article.

The Universal Analytics Deadline

The transition to GA4 isn’t completely over yet. UA profiles and all their associated data will disappear on 1st July 2024. API’s, Looker Studio reports and Google Sheets connections relying on UA data will no longer work after this deadline. Google has emphasised that unlike last year when UA profiles gradually stopped collecting new data, the deletion will be much more swift.

Why Storing Universal Analytics Data is Important

The removal of access to UA properties highlights the importance of storing this data independently. Historical trends play a crucial role in analysing long-term performance, identifying patterns, and making informed business decisions. Without the ability to reference UA data, businesses risk losing valuable insights into their past performance, especially during the Covid period, and the opportunity to compare it with GA4 data.

Storing UA data allows businesses to track trends and measure the impact of changes, and is essential for benchmarking performance against historical data. It provides a comprehensive view of the customer journey, enabling businesses to identify successful strategies, optimise marketing efforts, and drive growth.

How Can You Store Universal Analytics Data

Storing UA data requires careful planning and consideration. Businesses need to assess their internal skillset, existing infrastructure, and data storage capabilities. If you already have a business intelligence (BI) team or a data warehousing solution in place, it’s essential to ensure they are storing all the necessary metrics and dimensions.

For businesses without a data storage process, an enterprise solution may be required. This could involve investing in tools specifically designed for data archiving and storage, like Google’s own BigQuery. Additionally, having internal data engineers and analysts manage these platforms is crucial for maintaining data integrity and accessibility.

Alternatively, exporting data into Google Sheets and connecting it to visualisation tools like Looker Studio is another option for storing UA data. Google has a basic archiving template that businesses can take advantage of. This approach allows businesses to leverage familiar tools while still preserving historical trends and insights, especially if you’re trying to keep costs low but it is fairly basic and doesn’t account for custom elements that have been set up.

How Can Pattern Help

At Pattern, we understand the challenges businesses face in adapting to the changing data landscape. Our team of experts can guide you through the process of storing UA data and ensure you have a reliable system in place to refer to historical trends. We will meet with your business and gather the key metrics and dimensions you need to save across a specific timeframe. There is often a knee-jerk reaction to save everything for every combination but this can quickly become an overly large amount of data that is overwhelming to work with. Pattern can guide and recommend the data you should have in place.

We offer industry-leading digital analytics solutions based on your specific needs, whether it’s setting up a data warehousing infrastructure, implementing enterprise tools, or integrating data into visualisation platforms. Our expertise in data engineering and analytics allows us to help you seamlessly transition from UA to GA4 while preserving the insights you need to drive business growth.

As the deadline for the removal of access to UA properties approaches, businesses must prioritise storing their UA data immediately. Historical trends provide valuable insights into past performance and are essential for benchmarking and making informed business decisions. By partnering with Pattern, ecommerce brands can ensure they have a robust data storage solution in place, enabling them to refer to historical trends and leverage the full potential of GA4.

If you don’t yet have a plan in place for your ecommerce business, contact our analytics experts today.

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