Data Analytics

Google Analytics 4 is replacing Universal Analytics. How to prepare for this change?

  • Łukasz Białozor

  • Jan 05, 2023

  • Jan 05, 2023

Łukasz Białozor

  • Jan 05, 2023

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation of Google Analytics and is set to replace the current analytics tool, Universal Analytics (UA). Let’s dive into the differences between these tools and why you should consider switching to Google Analytics 4 now.

Universal Analytics will be gone on July 1, 2023

On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer be available. After this date, if your website or app uses Universal Analytics, you won’t be able to track user data or access analytics reports. However, you’ll still be able to access the already collected data for at least six months. Universal Analytics will be replaced by a new Google Analytics tool, Google Analytics 4.

Universal Analytics will be replaced by a new Google Analytics tool, Google Analytics 4.

Our thoughts? Don’t wait until the last minute to switch to Google Analytics 4. Take control of the transition, and don’t worry — Google wouldn’t leave you to fend for yourself. They prepared resources and tools to make the transition to Google Analytics 4 as smooth as possible, e.g. Data Migration Service.

How to get ready for Google Analytics change

Getting ready for Google Analytics change can be split into three steps: creating a new Google Analytics 4 digital property for your website or app, moving your data from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, and finally getting to know Google Analytics 4.

Create a new GA4 property

To create a new GA4 property, go to the Google Analytics website and search for the “Create Property” button. Click it and fill in the basic information about your website or app, such as name and URL. Now you’re on Google Analytics 4! Once that’s done, move your data from your Universal Analytics account to your GA4 account and install the tracking code on your website or app to collect data.

Move your data from UA to GA4

If you’re currently using Universal Analytics and want to move your data to your Google Analytics 4 account, you can use Google’s Data Migration service, which automates the process of moving your data from UA to GA4. It will transfer your data from your UA property to the GA4 property without losing any information during the transition.

Get to know GA4

If your Google Analytics 4 digital property is ready and you’ve moved your data from Universal Analytics, then take time to familiarise yourself with the new tool. Google Analytics 4 offers new features and insights, e.g. cross-device user journeys or AI predictions. Explore the possibilities of the new tools and get a more comprehensive look at your audience.

Why you should switch to Google Analytics 4 now

Why upgrade to Google Analytics 4 now? It provides more advanced features and insights that will help you understand your audience and user behaviour better. It also offers more integration options with other products from Google, e.g. Google Ads and Google BigQuery. With GA4, you’ll get a more comprehensive picture of your customers and marketing efforts, and you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your business thanks to their data analysis reports.

We also simply don’t recommend putting off changing from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 — if you manage to do it now, the transition won’t affect you negatively. Tracking user data and accessing analytics reports will go uninterrupted.

If you change from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 now, the transition won’t affect you negatively.

However, perhaps one of the most important reasons you should switch now is that GA4 is built on a machine-learning platform. This means it will automatically identify and track user behaviour patterns and metrics, and you’ll get more accurate and actionable insights about your customers without manually implementing and configuring tracking code. Waiting just isn’t worth it if you can take advantage of all this data now and the results in your conversion.

What is the difference between Universal Analytics (GA3) and Google Analytics 4

So, what are the actual differences between Universal Analytics (GA3) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4)? There are several; however, the most important one is that UA relies on manual tracking code implementation and configuration, while GA4, on the other hand, is built on a machine-learning platform. This difference will be visible right away as gaining more factual insights about your audience in GA4 won’t require as much manual work.

We’ve already said that GA4 offers integration capabilities with other Google products (for example, and most importantly, Google Ads). Still, it is also important to mention that it provides more data privacy options and a more intuitive interface.

Is GA4 missing any features?

Currently, it doesn’t seem like any features are missing from Google Analytics 4 compared to Universal Analytics, as Google is constantly working on making its new platform more powerful.

How to check which Google Analytics you use

If you don’t know which Google Analytics you’re currently using, you can easily check it by checking the tracking code on your website or app. It’s a snippet of JavaScript that you installed to enable tracking and collecting data.

You’ll find the tracking code in the source code of your website or app. It will most likely be in the header or footer of your website or app.

Once you have your tracking code, it’s a simple check. If your tracking code starts with “UA-” then you’re using Universal Analytics. If it starts with “G-”, you’re using Google Analytics 4.

How can I export data from my Universal Analytics?

Ready to switch? Start by exporting your data from Universal Analytics.

To export data from Universal Analytics, use the “Export” feature in the “Reporting” tab of the UA interface. You can select which data you want to export and specify the format you want it in, such as CSV or TSV. To import this data into GA4, use the “Import” feature in the “Admin” tab of GA4. Select the file you want to import and specify which GA4 property to import it into. And that’s it — all your data will now be available in Google Analytics 4.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing all this on your own, Google has created Data Migration Service. It will automate moving your data and quickly transfer it without missing a single piece of information. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  • Go to the Google Analytics website and sign in with your account.

  • In the “Admin” section, click on the “Data Import” option under the “Property” column.

  • Click on the “Migrate from Universal Analytics” button.

  • Follow the prompts to select the UA property you want to migrate data from and the GA4 property you want to migrate data to.

  • Select the data types for migration.

  • Review and confirm the migration settings, then click on the “Start Migration” button.

The Data Migration Service will then start the process of moving your data from your Universal Analytics account to Google Analytics 4. It might take some time, but you can check the migration status in the “Data Import” section of the GA4 property.

When will my Universal Analytics property go away?

Universal Analytics will become unavailable on July 1, 2023. From then on, it will no longer track audience data, nor will you be able to access the analysis reports. However, you will still be able to access the data you’ve already collected and transfer it to Google Analytics 4 for at least six months after Universal Analytics’ closing.

Łukasz Białozor

Senior Digital Analyst

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