If you are in the marketing business and responsible for managing a website you have probably already heard that Google is moving to a new version of Google Analytics, GA4, on the 1st July 2023.
One thing you might not have heard is that sometime after December 2023 Google are going to be deleting all of your existing Universal Analytics data.
For many organisations this will mean the loss of many years of valuable user interaction data. The good thing is that there is still time to extract your data and load it into a safe data store that you own, to ensure your continued access.
There are a few different ways that this can be done:
Export individual reports as CSV, Excel or PDF files
Set up a Google BigQuery Export for Google Analytics 360
Use the Google Analytics Reporting API
The first option is going to be achievable for most users dumping years of data into CSVs or PDFs. However the usability of that data moving forward is going to be pretty poor. If you have been operating your website for many years, these files could be pretty large and trying to create charts and make sense of it all in Excel is going to be very fiddly and labour intensive.
The second option of pushing your data to Google BigQuery is available for Google Analytics 360 accounts (paid version of Google Analytics). The majority of websites are not using Google Analytics 360, taking this option off the table.
The third option of exporting your data with the Google Analytics Reporting API is actually simpler than it sounds. There are a number of Low Code - Point and Click tools that can be used to connect using the API to suck your data out of Google Analytics and push it into a database of your choice. The thing about this approach is that it gives you more control over how the data is structured than the CSV option.
For the first time you will have full control over your own data. With your data now sitting in your very own database, you are able to easily create reports to look back over your history. But even better, you will also be able to use the Google Analytics Reporting API to extract your new GA4 data as well. This means that you can join your old Universal Analytics data and your new GA4 data together and keep your seamless web analytics history.
The way we have done this for our customers is to use our Low Code Integration Hub to move their data into a dedicated SnowFlake data warehouse. We have then built out a set of dashboards and visualisations using ThoughtSpot that present their key metrics.
On top of your standard dashboards, our users are also able to use simple search to ask their own questions, like “how many users visited this page with a mobile last week, and what was the bounce rate?”
Google shutting down UA is happening and all of your historical data will go with it. Your data is a critical part of your success as a business and the worst thing you can do in this situation is nothing at all.
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