Google Universal Analytics is shutting down

On the 30th of June 2024, Google will completely shut down their legacy service: the Google Analytics Universal (GA3). If you don't act, your historical data will be deleted. Learn what you can do to avoid losing it.

László Lukács

Chief Executive Officer

If you interacted with me or anyone from our team, chances are high that you heard us recommending to save your campaign or analytics data periodically.

Whether you have your data with Google, Meta, Microsoft or Amazon, it’s healthy to offer your organization peace of mind for the 0.01% scenarios, like a power outage or a natural disaster affecting the data centres (No coincidence everyone if offering 99.99% availability and safety).

Additionally, while you have access to your data using the platforms offered by the companies above, technically, the data becomes your property only after downloading it.

Contrary to the past, the situation is completely different now. If you want to use your Universal Analytics (GA3) data in the future, it’s not a recommendation anymore, you must act. I have summed up what you need to know for an informed decision.

What is happening?

After migrating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) last year, Google decided to permanently shut down its Google Universal Analytics (GA3) service on the 30th of June 2024.  

Why is this happening?

Google says they want to focus on offering a better service through GA4. Translated, it means they don’t want to pay the bill anymore for storing historical data.  

Is my organization impacted?

If your team has ever collected data using Google Analytics in the past, the answer is yes. GA3 data will not be moved to GA4, backup is your only option to retain access.

What is the impact of this change?

After June 30th, 2024, all your Google Universal Analytics data will be irreversibly deleted by Google. Be it data from 2010 or last spring*, unless you backup, you can’t access it anymore. Important: data collected after Google Analytics 4 was launched is not impacted by this change, you can continue using it with GA4.

*Google is deleting everything that was collected through their GA3 service: this means for most companies data will be deleted starting from July 2023 backwards.

What are my options?

1. Do nothing and lose your data forever. No more historical trends, no more year-over-year comparison prior to 2023.

2. Use the Google 360 service. Smooth transition, keep using your data like nothing happened. If we consider the average annual subscription cost to be above $100.000 / year, no wonder it’s Google’s recommended way to go.

3. Do a manual backup. Very time consuming and requires specific knowledge, but it can work and still much better than option 1.

4. Write a script that collects your data automatically. Time consuming due to GA3’s dimensions and metrics, but if you have the capacity, it can do the job just well.

5. Use the automated solution, offered by us (or others) for a straightforward and hassle-free, automated download backup. The smart move to make unless you have budget for option 2, time and knowledge for options 3 or 4.

What is my recommendation?

First and foremost: Act. Unless you know it 100% that you won’t need your data*, better to download it and have it at your disposal. Even if you haven’t harnessed it until now, chances are high that your colleagues in marketing or product management will thank you for this move in the future.

*No need scenarios: you have less than 1 year of GA3 data or your GA3 data was collected in totally random fashion, just for the sake of doing it and no one from your team can explain it.

Second, don’t leave it last minute! Google API has its limits. As the deadline approaches, these limits will be tested by Litl’MJ [Leave it to last Minute Jack/Jane], leading to download failures. Despite best efforts, no automated script will overcome this. If you decided to act, don’t be Litl’MJ and avoid frustration.

How does the process look like?

1. We have a session to understand the complexity of your dataset and how far you want to go back in time with your Overview and Detailed reports.

2. My colleagues create a tailor-made estimation, specific to your use-case.

3. You grant us access to your Google Analytics account and we handle the rest.

Stress-free timeline:

05.06.204 – 10.06.2024: Express your interest

11.06.2024 – 14.06.2024: Agree on needs and grant access to Google Analytics account

17.06.2024 – 26.06.2024: We download and secure your data

27.06.2024 onwards: Business as usual, we can watch EURO 2024 football, while Google’s servers will fail under the heavy load and last minute requests.

What’s next?

If you’d like our assistance in downloading your GA3 data, reach out to me directly on Linkedin or via e-mail ( until 10.06.2024.

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