The final sunset of Universal Analytics (UA) is upon us. On July 1st 2024 Google will complete the last step in its transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and will sunset UA for Google Analytics 360 (GA360) properties.

Although GA360 customers have had more time to get ready (UA sunset the standard version of Google Analytics last year), the clock is quickly running out. 

If you haven’t started to prepare, here are a few things you should prioritize in these last few days to avoid headaches and challenges down the road…

What’s Happening? 

On July 1st, UA will be fully sunset for GA360 properties. UA will no longer be accessible, and with that, historical UA data (for both standard and GA360 properties) will be gone.

This means it is crucial that you take steps to preserve your historical data. Otherwise, you could be left without critical information needed for performance comparisons and overall understanding of your marketing performance.    

How Do I Preserve My Historical UA Data? 

You have a few options for preserving your historical data, but regardless of which option you choose, speed is paramount. July 1st is only a few days away, and though data may not completely disappear when the clock strikes midnight, marketers should act as such. 

BigQuery Export: The most comprehensive access to UA data is available to GA360 customers who export to Google Cloud’s BigQuery. However, be aware that there may be costs associated with processing queries and cloud storage. The export process can also take several days, meaning you need to start immediately. 

Google Analytics Reporting API: The Google Analytics Reporting API allows for most UA reports to be exported and retrieved. It also enables you to pull data into your own data visualization tools. However, there may be data limits for API requests.

Download Reports: As a last resort and bare minimum, you can download individual reports directly from GA360. The reports can be downloaded into Google Sheets and other file formats (csv, tsv, xlsx, pdf). This is a straightforward approach, but it comes at a cost. For example, it’s a manual process, the data will be in a less helpful format, and there are limits on data volume and granularity. This method will be most useful as a historical reference rather than a fully preserved and actionable dataset.

What Else Should I Do to Prepare? 

In addition to preserving data, there are a few other important things that GA360 customers should do to prepare for the change.

Switch to GA4: If you haven't migrated to Google Analytics 4 yet, it's important to start ASAP. Begin the implementation process so that you can collect and grow your data in the new platform.

Update UA Connection Points & Integrations: Update any other platform or solution that relies on UA data, audiences, or links directly to UA.

Within the Google stack this includes products and platforms like SA360, DV360, Google Ads, Ads Manager, AdSense, BigQuery, Floodlight, Merchant Center, Google Play, and Search Console. Within SA360, DV360, and Google Ads specifically, make sure to switch to GA4 audiences instead of UA audiences or UA goals.

Also, be aware of your third-party solutions or tools that may integrate with UA and contact those partners to understand if any action is necessary to prepare for the change. CRMs, marketing automation platforms, commerce solutions, as well as business intelligence and reporting tools are good to proactively check.   

How Can I Maximize Success in the Future? 

The above steps are critical steps for data preservation and successful adoption of GA4. Unfortunately, there isn’t much time left until July 1st and marketers who’ve not started to prepare for the UA sunset will need to prioritize and act quickly to prevent data loss and other problems. 

However, once the basics are covered, there are many opportunities to position your organization for success in the next general of analytics. 

Explore our additional resources for other ways your business can unlock from GA4 and GMP:

Guides & Checklists:


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