23 June 2022
GA4 Timeline: Why you need to get GA4 set up now
We have been helping our clients to prepare to transition from Google’s Universal Analytics to their newer platform Google Analytics 4 for the past couple of years. And, as we move through summer 2022, the need to make the switch to GA4 is becoming increasingly time critical.
Why do I need to switch to Google Analytics 4?
Google’s friendly and familiar web stats platform Universal Analytics is going to be switched off in just over a year. If you’re a digital marketeer who uses Google Analytics to track website performance, you will need to make the switch to GA4 sooner rather than later.
We recommend turning on Google Analytics 4 asap so that when Universal Analytics becomes redundant in July 2023, you will already have collected a year’s worth of data in GA4. That’s why now is the time to make the move!
What is the timeline for moving to Google Analytics 4?
We’ve put together an overview of the key dates you need to be aware of, to help you plan the transition. Not sure how to get up and running on GA4? Take a look at our guide to setting up Google Analytics 4 to get you started.
2020: Google Analytics 4 was launched.
The new analytics reporting platform was announced two years ago, shortly followed by the news that Google would eventually turn off Universal Analytics completely. At this point, the team here at Varn set ourselves the challenge to learn all we could about Google Analytics 4 in preparation.
July 2022: Our recommended deadline for setting up GA4.
We think switching on GA4 in summer 2022 is the most logical timeframe for all businesses who rely on monitoring website traffic, conversions and user behaviour. This will mean that you will have year-on-year data available when Universal Analytics gets switched off the following summer.
Setting up Google Analytics 4 in July 2022 will mean that you can run both UA and GA4 in parallel for a year while you get trained up on how to use the new platform and move your regular reporting to GA4.
1st July 2023: UA properties will stop receiving data.
At this point, you will still be able to access historic data in your old Universal Analytics account. However, no new data will be received. So it will be essential to have GA4 fully configured, with all your necessary reporting set up by this point.
1st January 2024: UA properties will be deleted.
From the start of 2024, you will no longer be able to access Universal Analytics, and all historic data will be deleted. We would recommend you export all historic data from your account before this date. Not sure how to do that? With a little bit of Varn magic and technical know-how, we can help you to pull your historic web data into a useful Google Data Studio report.
It’s time to start getting to grips with GA4. The new interface can be intimidating, as there are less out-of-the-box reporting options available and more custom configuration is required. However, Google Analytics 4 is the future of website analytics, so it is important not to be caught by surprise or left behind!
Feel free to contact the Varn team for help and support setting up your account, learning how to use GA4, and creating any custom reporting solutions you need.