On July 1, 2023, Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, will stop processing data.
Google Analytics is a web analytics platform that collects data from websites and apps to create reports that provide insights into businesses.
Google Analytics has been the chosen web analytics provider for the central University web estate for many years. A single Google Analytics property has been created for use across the central web estate and made available for use with other University of Edinburgh services.
Google Analytics – Universal Analytics
The current version of Google Analytics, University Analytics, will stop processing data on July 1, 2023, across its properties. This is a decision made by Google as they bring the Universal Analytics product to a close and cease ongoing support and development.
After July 1, 2023, users will be able to access previously processed data in Universal Analytics property for at least six months. Google encourage users to export your historical reports during this time. We recommend that you are selective with any data you wish to export and only export data which is required.
Details from Google: Universal Analytics is going away – Last updated: February 24, 2023
Replacement Analytics – Google Analytics 4
Google has developed and released their new analytics platform, Google Analytics 4.
Google Analytics 4 is a new product and not an update of Universal Analytics and so users should be aware there are some core differences to how data is tacked within the new Google Analytics 4 platform. There is no connection between the historical data held in Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, the data available within Google Analytics 4 will start at the date the new tracking code is installed on the website or application.
Details from Google: Introduction to Google Analytics 4
Analytics for the University’s central Web Publishing Platform
The Website and Communications (WAC) team highly recommend the use of a Web Analytics tool to provide insights into your business, help understand your user journeys and evolve and improve your online presence and offerings. As such WAC shall ensure that the Google Analytics 4 product is configured for the Central Web Publishing Platforms (EdWeb and the new WPP) to provide core data as is currently available through Universal Analytics, before the current product’s decommission.
The tracking code for Google Analytics 4 has been installed on EdWeb (https://www.eda.c.uk), the new WPP (varying domains), and the University Search Service (https://search.ed.ac.uk/), however, further configuration is required to ensure a functional level of data will be available to Google Analytics 4 users as is currently provided through Universal Analytics for the Central Web Publishing Platforms.
Next steps for University websites
WAC have limited knowledge and expertise in the Google Analytics 4 platform and so have reached out to an external agency to consult on the optimum configuration and setup of the new Google Analytics 4 property. This consultation will provide a blueprint which other University services will be able to use to configure Google Analytics 4 for the wider web estate where required.
Further details on this project shall be shared as work progresses.
Site owners for all sites out with the Central Web Publishing Platform using the current Google Analytics Universal Analytics property will need to arrange for the web analytics tracking code to be updated within their website.
Further details on the shared use of the Central Web Publishing Platforms Google Analytics 4 property will be made available when core configuration decisions have been made within the implementation project mentioned above.
Training and Support
The changes to the method in which the new Google Analytics 4 product tracks data (event-based instead of session-based) means it is likely that all users shall have to partake in some platform training to understand how to access the data they require.
WAC are unable to provide platform training directly for this product currently, however there are a variety of training videos available within LinkedIn Learning covering different user needs.
Linked in Learning:
- Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Essential Training
- Compare Google Universal Analytics to GA4
- Advanced Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Funnel analysis with Google Analytics 4
- Google Analytics (GA4): Audience-Building and Segmentation
During the implementation project for Google Analytics 4 WAC shall also review the feasibility of providing in-house support and/or training materials for this product.
Still have questions?
We shall send out more details around the move to Google Analytics 4 as the implementation project develops in the coming months.
If you have any questions in the mean time regarding Universal Analytics End of Life or the move to Google Analytics 4 please contact email@example.com