The New and Improved Universal Analytics | Varn


30 June 2014

The New and Improved Universal Analytics

If you haven’t yet heard about the update, do not fret. There are many benefits to upgrading to Universal Analytics – The new service introduces features that change the way you collect data in your Analytics account which will further improve your understanding of how visitors interact with your online content.

Here are just a few of the main benefits of the Universal upgrade:

  1. Universal Analytics has been created with improved tracking, meaning that your overall data accuracy should be greater.
  2. The User ID has been improved, allowing us to associate multiple sessions and activity with a unique ID. This in turn enables us to gain a more accurate user count, new Cross Device reporting functions and in-depth information surrounding the signed-in user experience.
  3. Universal Analytics introduces three new developer-friendly data collection methods, allowing you to tailor implementation of Analytics in order to suit your individual requirements. There are separate methods for desktop websites, mobile devices and other digital devices (e.g. game consoles, information kiosks etc).
  4. Simplified, accessible configuration options allow you to control organic search sources, session and campaign timeouts, referral exclusions, and search term exclusions without having to adjust your tracking code.
  5. New custom dimensions and metrics can be used to collect data which is unique to you and your business. You can create and define the dimensions yourself, enabling you to collect and segment data which isn’t currently automatically tracked within Google Analytics.
  6. Most importantly, the best way to gather the most in-depth, relevant and reliable information surrounding the behaviour of your website visitors is to keep up to date on all Analytics tools and functions. From now on, all new features and updates associated with Analytics will be integrated within Universal Analytics rather than the traditional Google Analytics. Classic properties which have not been updated to Universal, as well as those which are receiving data from a previous version of the GA tracking code, won’t be able to receive access to new features and product updates.

How to upgrade:

The new Universal Analytics software is being updated incrementally, over several phases:

  1. Phase one is based upon the option to upgrade to Universal Analytics being rolled out to all standard accounts. The majority of Analytics users should already have this option available within their account.
  2. Phase two surrounds an auto-transfer process. A number of properties will be automatically transferred to Universal Analytics – including Mobile App SDK implementations, properties with WAP / Server-side Snippets and all other non-ga.js web implementations.
  3. Phase three is the current phase (as of June 2014). Universal Analytics has been rolled out of the Beta stage and now supports all standard features. All new Analytics accounts created from this point onwards will be set up as Universal Analytics profiles. All users should complete their implementation of the Universal Analytics tracking code (analytics.js for websites, SDK v2.x or higher for Android and iOS for mobile apps, and the Measurement Protocol for all other digital devices).
  4. Phase four is the final phase of the upgrade to Universal Analytics – it will mean that Universal Analytics is the operating standard for Google Analytics. All properties will have been upgraded to UA, and the following features will be deprecated: Ga.js, urchin.js, WAP/Server-side Snippets, YT / MO, Custom variables and User defined variables. Data collected from these deprecated features will be processed for a minimum of two years.

We can help upgrade your account:

If you would like to start making use of the new Universal Analytics software and need help or advice in doing so, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the friendly Analytics experts at Varn. We are Google Partners and qualified within the use of Google Analytics. We can help upgrade your account manually, avoiding possibly errors associated with automatic updates. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Article by: Tom, Managing Director of Varn Digital Marketing More articles by Tom

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