By Jenn Miller, SVP, Director of Analytics

As I log into Google Analytics (GA) each day and get blasted by their countdown clock, I can only think "wow, what an end of an era." Coincidentally, I’m about to also find myself at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in a few days, so I thought "why not celebrate with a quick timeline of GA in the form of Taylor lyrics?!" Enjoy!

As of June 15 at 9:03 a.m.

Pre-2020:  “You are the best thing that’s ever been mine!”  ~ The rest of the GA community and me

  • This is how I felt about Google Analytics back in the day.  
  • Free, simple, effective tracking? How did we all get so lucky? 🙂

October 2020: “All I can say is, I was enchanted to meet you.”  ~ me

  • GA4 was officially released to the web analytics community. Intriguing and something to consider, but it just came out of beta so we gradually started to add tracking and testing this new tool. Honestly, we didn’t rely on it for a while. 😊

March 2022:  “I promise that you'll never find another like ME!”  ~ Universal Analytics (UA)

  • Google announces that UA will sunset. Honestly, I kind of mourned the future loss of my favorite tool. I also started to take the transition more seriously. 🥺

2023:  “’Cause baby, now we got bad blood. You know it used to be mad love.”  ~ me

  • Our goal was to have GA4 up and functional by the beginning of 2023, but so much work and debugging accompanied this process that at times we were less than excited about this transition. Additionally, Google continued to roll out changes that altered our transition plans over time (e.g. the inclusion of bounce rate). Part of me was somewhat jaded. 😡

June 2023:  "I knew you were trouble when you walked in."  ~ me

  • One month until the official UA sunset date, and we are still double checking the important questions: 

          - Did you reconnect all of your data flows?  

           - Did you re-establish all Google Ads imported conversions and audiences?  

           - Did you update all dashboards that use this source?  

           - Did you educate all dashboard users on the new definitions?  

  • I’d be lying if I said we weren’t still doing some of it. Double check it all folks!  😒

On the Horizon: "I dreamt of you all summer long."  ~ me

  • Hopefully by now, you have data collecting in GA4. My philosophy is if you have data collection, you can always figure out how to use it later. 
  • Some of your next steps should be: 

          - Make sure that report readers know the difference in definitions 

           - Set up helpful Explore views as standard reports are more limited (or see your analytics friends to help you get to what you need!)

           - Leverage Google’s Analytics Insights which uses machine learning to help you catch unusual changes or emerging trends

           - Figure out a plan for your historical UA data as that will no longer be available after July 1, 2024

And now, we all wait for the big day… Feeling unprepared? Contact us and we can help you with set up, UA differences, reporting or dashboarding. 

“Are you…Ready For It?”