If your charity uses Google Analytics (and it almost certainly does), Google has released some big news – you have to move from the current Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 by 1 July 2023.
Here’s Google’s official blog post announcing the news.
This is pretty stonking.
Why this is big news
Right now, you probably use Universal Analytics. And you still can till 1 July 2023.
But if you use Google Analytics to compare things like donations, email sign ups or other conversions (or anything really) year on year, that’s going to get tricky if you don’t crack on with changing over now.
If you don’t use Google Analytics (or the Google Data Studio dashboards that get data from GA), it’s maybe less urgent. But still important.
It’s also going to be a bunch of work for developers and anyone who likes interpreting their data
Google Analytics 4 is better
Google is pretty adamant that you’ll enjoy GA4 better than UA.
They said that “Google Analytics 4 has the flexibility to measure many different kinds of data, delivering a strong analytics experience that’s designed for the future. It allows businesses to see unified user journeys across their websites and apps, use Google’s machine learning technology to surface and predict new insights, and most importantly, it’s built to keep up with a changing ecosystem.”
Whether you agree or disagree with that, you’ll have to move by July 2023 anyway.
When should you move to GA4?
The best time to start moving is now – you’ll lose the ability to compare 2023 data with this year or earlier if you wait too long.
The next best time to move is between July 2022 and July 2023, but there’s not much to gain and a fair bit of data to lose.
Google said “So now is the time to make Google Analytics 4 your cross-platform Analytics solution. We will begin sunsetting Universal Analytics — the previous generation of Analytics — next year. All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. Given the new Analytics 360 experience was recently introduced, Universal Analytics 360 properties will receive an additional three months of new hit processing, ending on October 1, 2023.”
Your last option is to wait till July 2023 or beyond, but then you’ll lose data. Google won’t track it through any Analytics other than GA4 by that point.
Is there an alternative?
If you want to use Google Analytics, GA4 will be the only show in town from July 2023.
Other analytics solutions are available. But GA is the foundation for Data Studio. You’ve got Ad Grants as well. It’s a very powerful ecosystem. You can go outside that but it’s probably harder than just making the change to GA4.
What should I do now?
You’ve got three options:
- Move to GA4 yourself – Google’s tells you how in ‘Make the switch to Google Analytics 4’ with effort ratings for each of the stages involved. Tricky but not impossible if you have the right skill.s
- Ask your web agency – or whoever’s responsible for your website what their timeline to move to GA4 is.
- Ask Platypus to help – we can help you with this. Just drop us an email and we’ll get to work.