With the sunset of Universal Analytics, GA4 is now the only option to collect data with Google Analytics.
But what about your historical data stored in Universal Analytics?
As you might already know, direct data migration to GA4 is not possible.
So, it’s only a matter of time before you lose access to your historical UA data.
What Will Happen to Your UA Data Then?
Google announced that starting July 01, 2024, all users will lose access to their UA user interface and API. This includes users with Google Analytics 360 as well.
After this deadline, any UA data that has not been backed up will be permanently lost.
This can have significant implications for businesses and website owners who rely on past data for their planning and decision-making.
Without access to historical data, they will face considerable challenges in tracking trends, understanding user behavior, and measuring the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
Why Do You Need at Least 12 Months of Historical Data?
A 12-month historical data is important for several reasons. Firstly, it serves as a foundation for your business’s year-over-year performance analysis. The 12-month data set is large enough to conduct a reliable statistical evaluation and identify any outliers.
Additionally, this historical data can be used for forecasting and predictive analysis for the upcoming year. It can aid in making business decisions, anticipating fluctuations, and developing useful marketing strategies.
Importance of Restoring Google Analytics Historical Data
There are various benefits of UA historical data preservation for businesses. These include:
1. Understand Website Performance
By analyzing key metrics such as traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate, UA historical data provides insights into your website performance. It helps you understand how well your website works on different parameters and identify any areas of improvement.
2. Track Marketing Campaigns
Historical data allows you to measure the success of your marketing campaigns. By comparing the performance of past campaigns, you can identify strategies that work well and replicate them in future campaigns. Similarly, you can fine-tune low-performing strategies to achieve maximum results.
3. Identify Seasonal Patterns
Understanding seasonal patterns is crucial for businesses operating in industries with fluctuating demands. Historical data allows you to identify recurring trends to capitalize on peak seasons and adjust tactics during slower periods. It also helps you optimize inventory levels and tailor marketing strategies to prepare for seasonal shifts.
4. Monitor Website Changes
Historical data plays a key role in evaluating the impact of website changes. By comparing pre- and post-change data, you can assess the effectiveness of your modifications, spot areas that require further refinement, and ensure the website evolves in the right direction.
5. Benchmark Performance
By utilizing UA historical data, you can establish a benchmark to evaluate your website’s current performance. Measuring current metrics against past data helps track the progress over time and set realistic goals to achieve at optimal levels.
6. Support Decision-Making
Data-driven decision-making is the cornerstone of successful businesses. UA historical data provides you with a comprehensive understanding of your website’s strengths and weaknesses. This helps you make informed decisions that align with your business objectives.
7. Understand User Behaviour
Analyzing UA historical data helps you gain deeper insights into user behavior. By understanding how users navigate through your website, which pages they visit most frequently, and where they drop off, you can optimize your website’s structure, content, and user flow.
This enables you to create a more engaging and tailored user experience, ultimately increasing conversions and overall user satisfaction.
8. Troubleshoot Problems
UA data can be a valuable resource for identifying and troubleshooting issues on your website. Using this data, you can pinpoint any sudden drops or spikes and identify user behavior patterns that might be linked to the problem. This enables you to take corrective actions and make necessary improvements to ensure a seamless performance.
9. Plan for Future Growth
Historical data serves as a roadmap for future growth. By analyzing development patterns, you can identify opportunities to expand your audience, target new markets, and scale your business. With this foresight, you can develop strategies that ensure long-term success.
10. Measure ROI
Historical data in Google Analytics helps measure the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts. With past data analysis, you can attribute conversions and sales to specific campaigns, channels, or initiatives. This allows you to optimize your marketing budget and allocate resources effectively to maximize returns.
The Right Time to Export UA Data is Now!
Losing your historical UA data can have detrimental effects on your business. With the upcoming deadline of July 01, 2024, for data restoration, acting promptly is crucial.
Exporting at least 12 months of data reports ensures a seamless transition to GA4 and preserves valuable insights for data consistency.
So, take action now and secure your UA data for continued business success.
FAQ on UA Historical Data Backup
Question: Why should I transfer data from UA to GA4 manually?
Answer: On July 01, 2023, Google automatically updated all UA users to GA4 who didn’t set up a GA4 property or didn’t opt out of auto-migration. However, as GA4 has distinct data modeling, not all UA configurations can be copied to GA4. Hence, it is recommended to manually migrate/configure your UA settings to GA4 to customize your data collection as per your business needs.
Question: Will Google delete my UA data?
Answer: Google will retain your UA data until July 01, 2024. Post this, all users, including those with Google Analytics 360 properties, will lose access to their historical data permanently.
Question: How do I export historical data from UA?
Answer: There are various ways to export your Universal Analytics data ranging from manual export to Google Analytics Reporting API, BigQuery Export, Google Analytics Dev tools, and Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On. You can choose any of these depending on your data size and business needs.
Question: Will Universal Analytics no longer process new data?
Answer: Starting July 01, 2023, Universal Analytics has stopped processing hits. UA has been replaced by GA4 as the primary option for collecting data with Google Analytics. This means any new data generated after the cutoff date will not be captured by Universal Analytics.
Question: Should I remove the Universal Analytics tracking code from my website?
Answer: Yes, if you have successfully transitioned to GA4 and exported your historical data, it is recommended to remove the Universal Analytics tracking code from your website. This can help you avoid any potential conflicts or duplication of data between UA and GA4.
Moreover, UA operates on a cookie-based platform. Keeping its code on your website after the deadline means you will continue collecting cookies, potentially from users who haven’t consented. This can lead to privacy violations that can result in legal consequences.
Next Step: Store and Export Your Historical Data From Universal Analytics
Now that you know why exporting your UA historical data is imperative, it’s time to learn how to do it. We’ve covered the various methods to store and export your historical UA data with step-by-step tutorials in this blog post. Check it out to ensure effective data preservation for your business.
Need Help in Restoring Your Historical Universal Analytics Data? Talk to Us.
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