Although you will be able to access your previously processed data in Universal Analytics property for six months, on July 1, 2023 Google Analytics standard Universal Analytics (UA) properties will no longer process data. UA will be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a more advanced and comprehensive analytics platform with new features, insights, and AI tools to measure customer behavior.  

Below is a high-level list of snippets of the many differences you can expect when your UA to GA4 migration is complete.

1) Reporting

  • UA uses two User metrics: Total Users, and New Users. GA4 uses three User metrics: Total UsersActive Users, and New Users
  • UA measures screen views in separate mobile-specific properties and GA4 combines both web and app data in the same property.
  • UA supports five goal types: destination, duration, pages/session, smart goals, and event goals. GA4 only supports conversion events.
  • GA4, Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions. UA, Bounce rate is the percentage of all sessions on your site that users viewed only one page and triggered only one request to the Analytics server.

2) Tracking code 

  • The Tracking code of UA starts with UA- while in GA4 it starts with G-

3) Goals

  • Universal Analytics uses goals, GA4 uses events.

4) Goals > Event Migration

  • To migrate existing goals you need to use the “google goals migration tool”
  • Eligible goals for migration using “Google goal migration tool” are Destination Goals & Event Goals
  • All custom trackings such as custom revenue tracking from a booking engine can be created in GA4 Manually.

5) E-commerce Tracking

  • Both UA and GA4 support ecommerce tracking but configuration and implementation conditions are different.

6) Data Comparison

  • GA4 is event-based, with the principle that any interaction can be captured as an event. Universal Analytics property hit types (i.e. pageview, event, social, transaction/e-commerce) translate to events in a Google Analytics 4 property- Full comparison

7) Cross Platform

  • GA4 offers full cross-device and cross-platform reporting, while UA offers limited cross-device and cross-platform reporting

8) Machine Learning & AI

  • GA4 incorporates machine learning and AI features to provide more advanced insights and predictive analytics. UA does not have these features.

9) Data Retention

  • UA has a 26-month data retention period while GA4 has a 14-month data retention period. 

10) Funnel Visualization

  • UA offers funnel visualization that backfills any skipped steps between the step at which the user entered the funnel and the step at which the user exited the funnel and GA4 provides a path analysis report that allows you to analyze, segment, and break down user journeys.

Note: 360 Universal Analytics properties will receive a one-time processing extension ending on July 1, 2024. 


Universal Analytics is going away.

[GA4] Make the switch to Google Analytics 4

This was originally published by Cogwheel Marketing, a TCRM partner, on May 1, 2023