How to prepare for the Google Analytics 4 update

by Paul Cote on Dec 19, 2022

We're less than six months away from the end of GA3 and the last session being logged in your Google Analytics Universal Analytics account. If you're using Google Analytics as the source of truth for your website measurement and you haven't installed Google Analytics 4 yet, then you should do this as soon as possible. GA4 is considerably different from the previous versions, and users need to take certain steps to ensure no interruptions to their analytics.

Once you've made the update, it's time to prioritize the following items:

  • Updating your existing reports
  • Training your team on GA4
  • Archiving your historic GA UA data
  • Using Google BigQuery

Updating your existing dashboards and reports

Most companies that rely on GA UA for website measurement have developed dashboards, reports, and other tools outside of the native GA user interface. The reports you're using that rely on GA UA data will need to be updated prior to the July 1st cutoff date. This includes data that is being manually extracted from Google, as well as dashboarding applications such as Google Data Studio or reports that are using the Google Analytics API.

Training your team on GA4

GA4 offers plenty of advantages over the predecessor, but ease of use is not currently one of them. There are a variety of different resources available for GA4 training. Below is a link to Google's Skillshop content, which is great for both beginners and intermediate-level GA users.

Archiving your historic GA UA data

GA UA will stop collecting new data on July 1st, 2023. If you wish to keep your historic data from GA UA, you will need to extract it and save it. Our zero-code data-transfer application, Launchpad, makes the process of archiving your historic GA UA data a breeze. Launchpad includes access to all of the GA UA API's dimensions and metrics, plus a variety of pre-configured settings to ensure your extracted data isn't sampled.

Using Google BigQuery

Google Analytics 4 includes the ability to stream your events directly to your Google BigQuery project. This feature enables users to own ALL of their data (up to 1 million events per day for the free version of GA4) and query it unsampled. The limited access to query all of your data in GA UA was the main flaw that prevented mid-sized businesses from adopting it, and it forced them into costly enterprise-level plans. If you were late to the game installing GA4 on your website (after July 1st 2022), consider transforming your GA UA data in Google BigQuery with GA4 data and building a visualization of the union to compare new vs. old data in the same charts.

How Calibrate can help

Navigating the transition to GA4 successfully is key to maintaining good analytics and can give your business an edge over the competition. The experts at Calibrate Analytics are here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you maintain a steady stream of quality data and are able to translate it into actionable insights that move the needle. Let us know where your current analytics stack falls short, and we'll develop a custom solution to fit your needs.

Contact Us.

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  • Paul Cote

    About the Author

    Paul is head of analytical products at Calibrate Analytics. He is responsible for creating digital analytical solutions that enable better business decisions. He has over 19 years of digital focused leadership, along with vast experience in analytics solutions aiming to deliver the right insights.