Do you have all your website’s data saved in Universal Analytics? This can be problematic because after July 1, 2024, you won’t be able to access any past data anymore, and within a weeks time, all data will be deleted. This comes after Google decided to sunset Universal Analytics last year.
Let’s take a look at why archiving your UA data is important and how you can do it.
Different Methods to Save Your Data (Both Free and Paid)
So how can you save your past data from UA? Since you can’t transfer data from UA directly to GA4, there are various methods to save it, and you can see which method works best for you.
Manually Export It (Free)
You can manually export your UA data to Excel, or CSV. This is the simplest option, but it can be time-consuming, especially for large datasets. It also is cost-effective, but it can be time-consuming depending on how far back your data goes. Manually exporting your data is ideal for people who don’t have as large amounts of data stored in UA because it has a limitation of 5000 rows. Megalytic created a great guide with steps on how to do this.
Save It to Google Sheets (Free)
Google Analytics has an add-on that allows you to save your data straight to Google Sheets. This process is similar to manually exporting it, but an advantage is that it can easily be shared with the rest of your team. It’s less time-consuming than a manual export, but it still requires some setup and configuration.
Use Google Analytics Reporting API V4 (Free)
This method is beneficial for people who have large amounts of data. It provides programmatic methods to access report data in Google Analytics and allows you to integrate it into your business applications. When trying this method, it’s important to note that you may need basic coding skills. You can learn more about Google’s API V4 from their documentation.
Hire an Agency (Paid)
If you don’t have the time to export all your data, it could be a good idea to hire an agency to do it who knows how to handle the different software applications. An agency will also be able to organize your data exactly how you need it and can handle large amounts of data. Every agency has different pricing models, so you will need to consult with them on how much this will cost.
Export Data to BigQuery (Paid)
BigQuery is a cloud data warehouse that allows you to store and analyze large datasets. It’s a powerful option for businesses that need to do an in-depth analysis of their Universal Analytics data. However, it can get very pricey!
BigQuery offers two types of pricing models, on-demand and capacity-based pricing, and these keep your data in active storage for $0.02 per GB per month. So if you keep a 200 GB table for one month, you’ll pay just $4. Optimize Smart has a great blog post on the ins and outs of this process if you choose to look into it.
Use Third-Party Tools (Paid)
There are a number of third-party tools, such as Analytics Canvas which is $99 per UA View, that can help you export your Universal Analytics data. These tools will cost you unlike the free options, but they offer more features and flexibility.
Why Its Important to Save Your Old UA Data
Saving your past data from UA is highly important for various reasons. Keeping your past data can help you understand your customer’s past decisions and behaviors on your website. It can also be helpful for future planning when rebuilding your website. You’ll also be able to keep track of trends and evaluate your performance.
Losing your past data could be detrimental because you won’t have an idea of how certain web pages have performed in the past and will lead to more questions on your next approach. This can hurt your future business decisions, so it’s vital to keep your past data.
An important factor to keep in mind is that UA data and GA4 data will be collected and labeled differently. This means that when comparing both kinds of data, they should not be compared directly. It’s better to understand the overall meaning of your past data such as trends, outliers, and conclusions, and apply those findings to your GA4 data.
Saving your UA data will be beneficial for you and help your company make data-driven decisions.