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July 1st, 2024: Universal Analytics will be history

On July 1st, 2024, a huge shift will occur in data analytics. Universal Analytics (UA) will be no more, and all historical data will be erased.  It won’t just be inaccessible; it’ll be gone for good. This isn’t a sudden change – Google turned off data tracking in UA in June 2023 and advised businesses to migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Yet, despite this forewarning, many businesses remain unprepared for the impact on their data storage, analysis, and reporting.

Here are some hard, key facts you need to know before 1st July (not to panic you, but this is in 2 weeks’ time!) If you’d like any support from our team of digital experts, please get in touch at

Deadline Looming: The Phasing Out of Universal Analytics

Since June 2023, Google has been systematically phasing out Universal Analytics, pushing users to transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This isn’t just a gentle nudge; it’s a clear and urgent call to action. The clock is ticking, and the deadline is fast approaching.

Progressive Disabling: Over the past year, Google has gradually limited the functionality of Universal Analytics. Data collection was the first to go, ceasing entirely in June 2023. This progressive disabling has been a clear signal that Universal Analytics is on its way out.
Communication from Google: Google has been vocal about this transition, sending out numerous notifications and reminders. They’ve provided resources and guides to help businesses migrate to GA4, but the onus is on the organizations to make the switch.
Business Response: Despite these efforts, many businesses have been slow to react. Some have delayed the transition due to the perceived complexity, while others may not fully understand the implications. The reality is that hesitation or inaction will soon result in significant data loss.

No Going Back: 1st July, 2024

On July 1st, 2024, the transition will reach its conclusion. There will be no more grace periods and no more extensions. Universal Analytics will be officially decommissioned.

Access Termination: After this date, your Universal Analytics account will be completely inaccessible. Attempting to log in will result in a dead end. This is not a temporary outage—it’s the permanent end of Universal Analytics.
Data Deletion: All historical data stored within Universal Analytics will be permanently deleted. This includes years of valuable information on user behavior, website traffic, and other key metrics. Once deleted, this data cannot be recovered.
Strategic Implications: For businesses, this means losing the ability to reference historical performance data. This loss can hinder your ability to make informed decisions, analyse long-term trends, and strategise effectively.

Urgent Call to Action

Immediate Steps: Businesses need to act now. Begin by exporting all historical data from Universal Analytics. Consider using tools like Google’s BigQuery for data storage, or other third-party data warehousing solutions.
Transition to GA4: Familiarise yourself with GA4 and its features. Start setting up GA4 to ensure there’s no gap in your data collection and analysis capabilities.
Plan for the Future: This transition isn’t just about preserving the past; it’s about preparing for the future. GA4 offers new opportunities for more advanced and privacy-centric analytics. Embrace these changes to stay ahead in the evolving digital landscape.

In summary, the phase-out of Universal Analytics is a critical deadline that demands immediate attention and action. The end of Universal Analytics on July 1st, 2024, is final and irreversible. Businesses must prioritise the transition to GA4 to safeguard their data and continue leveraging analytics for strategic advantage.

The Consequences for Businesses

Businesses will face severe challenges due to this transition:

  • Loss of Long-Term Data: Historical data beyond 14 months will be inaccessible unless exported.
  • Growth Analysis: Inability to show growth over multiple years.
  • Sales Comparison: Difficulty comparing sales periods across several years.
  • Forecasting: Historical data crucial for forecasting will be lost.
  • Media Mix Modeling (MMM): Reduced insights into the impact of sales channels and strategies.

GA4’s data retention policy eliminates long-term comparison, with only top-level aggregated data available in Reports Snapshot. Businesses will lose granular insights into trends, crucial for strategic planning.

Google’s Motive Behind the Shift

Businesses must act quickly to export their historical data before July 1st. Cloud providers offer the most viable solution for large-scale data storage. Google’s push for GA4 aligns with its broader strategy to promote its Cloud Services, particularly BigQuery. BigQuery is integrated into GA4’s Admin panel, making it a convenient choice for data storage beyond the 14-month retention limit.

Exporting to BigQuery: A Strategic Move

  • Fairly economical: Exporting data to BigQuery is economical, costing just a few dollars a month.
  • Revenue Stream: This shift creates a lucrative revenue stream for Google through its extensive customer base.
  • Expertise Required: Utilising BigQuery may necessitate hiring a data analyst, adding to operational costs.

Exploring Third-Party Solutions

With Google tightening its grip on data storage, businesses might need to explore third-party reporting tools. These tools can capture and store data from various marketing platforms like Meta and TikTok, offering a holistic view of marketing efforts.  Our proprietary software ASK BOSCO® AI Marketing platform will enable you to do this, if you are interested in this, please let us know.

Are you ready for 1st July?

Google’s sunsetting of Universal Analytics forces businesses to rely more heavily on its cloud services, generating new revenue for the tech giant. The urgency to export and secure historical data cannot be overstated. It’s time for businesses to strategise, whether through BigQuery or other data warehousing solutions, to safeguard their valuable data.


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