- What is GA4 (Google Analytics 4)?
- When will GA4 replace Universal Analytics?
- Why should you migrate to GA4 now?
- What is Sproutward’s process and timeline for migrating to GA4?
- Explore Our Google Analytics 4 Packages
- GA4 Migration: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is GA4 (Google Analytics 4)?
Google Analytics is a leading analytics platform that enables the collection and measurement of traffic acquisition, engagement, retention, and conversion across websites and mobile apps.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest evolution of Google Analytics, becoming the default property type over Universal Analytics (UA). If you’ve worked with the former “App + Web” (Firebase) property, GA4 may feel slightly familiar. However, if most of your time has been spent in a UA property, GA4 may feel like a new product. The foundation of GA4 relies on an event-driven data model and user-centric measurement.
When will GA4 replace Universal Analytics?
As of July 1, 2023, UA will stop processing hits. If you are a GA360 customer, this deadline is extended to October 1, 2023. This means that UA will no longer receive data from your website or mobile app, and GA4 will be the only option for reporting and analysis.
Google has also stated that the UA interface will be inaccessible at least six months after your deprecation date, thus making all historical data unavailable unless it is exported.
Why should you migrate to GA4 now?
- You need historical data for YoY analysis
- You need to familiarize yourself with the event-driven data model
- You need to understand the new features that will enhance your reporting, advertising, and engineering capabilities
- You need to comply with privacy laws and cookie restrictions
- You need adequate training before cutover
Your Universal Analytics data will be gone at least six months after your deprecation date.
For brands that will continue to use Google Analytics, there is value in expediting the migration from UA to GA4 to accumulate historical data for year-over-year analysis. Because GA4 uses an entirely different data model than UA, it is also essential to dual tag so stakeholders are trained appropriately before the official cutover.
GA4 offers some great new benefits.
GA4 takes a user-centric approach to analysis while simultaneously meeting the increasing demands of user privacy and cookie restrictions. GA4 has an event-driven data model, machine learning capabilities, enhanced privacy controls, and numerous features that were previously only available to GA360 (premium) users. With GA4, you will find that analysis of your digital properties has become more flexible and streamlined.
What is Sproutward’s process and timeline for migrating to GA4?
Step One: Discovery
We begin the migration process with a comprehensive audit of your existing UA and data layer implementation. This exercise will identify any data quality issues before starting the migration process. The last thing we want is for your GA4 property to begin with incomplete data. If you come to us with an existing GA4 implementation, we will happily include this in our audit.
This phase also consists of requirements gathering. We will work with you to identify the details of the following items that should migrate to GA4:
- Account hierarchy
- Custom events, dimensions, and metrics
- Channel groupings
- Privacy controls
- Traffic filters
- …and more!
Lastly, we believe this isn’t just a “lift and shift” effort. We want to use this as an opportunity for optimization. During this phase, we will also help to identify data that is no longer relevant and work to fill in gaps. In addition to the audit, you will receive a measurement plan and a migration document that can also serve as your solution design reference (SDR).
Step 2: Migration
Once the requirements for migration are finalized, we are ready to lead your migration. Using the migration document and measurement plan, our experts will migrate your relevant UA architecture while also implementing any new configurations that have been determined.
Step 3: Data Validation
Once GA4 is collecting data and you are successfully dual-tagged, we will begin the data validation process by comparing key metrics between UA and GA4. We will address any metrics that fall outside of the acceptable variance.
Step 4: Training & Cutover
Before go-live, we will conduct live virtual training sessions with your team to cover the fundamentals of GA4 and field any questions specific to your implementation.
The timing of a GA4 migration depends on various factors, including your business, site, and the data involved. In ideal circumstances, a full GA4 migration can be completed in 6-9 weeks; however, in cases where our GA audits uncover significant opportunities for cleanup, additional time may be required.
Explore Our GA4 Migration Packages
|Item||Description||GA4 Migration Plan||GA4 Migration (Standard)||GA4 Migration (Advanced)|
|Delivery Time||3-5 Weeks||6-8 Weeks||9-11 Weeks|
|Audit Assessment Report||Comprehensive audit of existing Universal Analytics and data layer implementation. If applicable, this also includes your existing GA4 implementation.||X||X||X|
|Measurement Plan||Identify key objectives of your website and the data points necessary to measure success.||X||X||X|
|Migration Plan & SDR||Comprehensive document that maps your UA architecture and configuration to GA4.|
Upon migration, this can be reworked as your solution design reference (SDR).
|GA4 Property Configuration|
|Configure property settings against best practices and link your property with relevant Google products.||X||X|
|Google-recommended and custom events (Up to 25 events)||Implementation of base events from the migration plan, including applicable parameters.||X||X|
|Conversions (Goals) Setup||Identifying conversions to aid in reporting and Google Ads optmization.||X||X|
|Data Validation||Streamline the data validation process to ensure UA and GA4 fall within an acceptable variance.||X||X|
|Data Studio Dashboard (1 Dashboard)||Overview of site performance based on your industry and key objectives.||X||X|
|Virtual GA4 Training (Up to 6 hours)||Live training to cover the fundamentals of GA4 and field questions.||X||X|
|Additional custom events (Up to 25 events)||Implementation of additional events from the migration plan, including applicable parameters.||X|
|Custom Reporting (Up to 10 reports)||Develop custom reports directly in the interface.||X|
|Audience Creation (Up to 25 audiences)||Build remarketing or predictive audiences for advertising.||X|
|Data Import (Up to 3 data sources)||Import cost, product, CRM, or offline data to widen your reporting capabilities.||X|
|Export Historical UA Data||Custom||Custom|
Let us do the heavy lifting.
Sproutward has a team of GA4 and analytics experts to help you migrate quickly and easily.
GA4 Migration: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
No, please contact us for additional analytics services.
One, please contact us if you have multiple sites/domains or are interested in bulk pricing.
Your data will hang around until ~6 months post-deprection date. We can also help you export and store your Universal Analytics (UA) data if needed.
No. You are welcome to start from scratch. This is a great option if you believe your current UA implementation is inaccurate and you’d like to start with a clean slate.
Contact us directly and we can tweak the plan based on your needs.
This will depend on tech stack. Typically only needed for data layer enhancements. If your site is on WordPress, Shopify, or other common platforms there are great OOTB data layer solutions we can recommend and can help implement.