Google Universal Analytics to be shut down in 2023
Russell Ketchum, director of product management for Google Analytics, announced in a blog post he wrote on the 16th of March that they will be gradually shutting down Universal Analytics. According to the company’s statement, Universal Analytics will cease operation on July 1, 2023. Universal Analytics 360 will be terminated on October 1, 2023.
The data processed in Universal Analytics will be available until six months after it has been shut down. Russel Ketchum, in his statement, stated that Universal Analytics belonged to the period when the online measurement was predominantly connected to the desktop web and viewed with cookies. He noted that this measurement methodology is rapidly becoming obsolete.
With this decision, they aim to increase the popularity of Google Analytics 4. One of the main things you should know about the new Google Analytics 4 is that it measures with an event-based data model without the need for cookies. Moreover, Google Analytics 4, which does not hide IP addresses, enables companies to fulfill their legal obligations such as GDPR and KVKK, avoiding any legal issues caused by storing personal data.
But if you say that I am currently using Universal Analytics and you do not feel ready to migrate to Google Analytics 4, there is an alternative option. If you want, you can keep your Universal Analytics account, even if you switch to Google Analytics 4 or you can revert to the Universal version or even have 2 accounts at the same time. Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 will continue to process your data both simultaneously and separately.
The Data Protection Issue
Shutting down Universal Analytics and migrating to Google Analytics 4 version can also help the company solve the legal problems it has in European Union countries. Last February, France’s data protection agency CNIL announced that a company using Analytics has violated the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as the transfer of EU citizens’ data to the USA created a legal gap. However, this does not mean that the problem will be resolved for certain with the closure of Universal Analytics.
It is crucial to migrate and get used to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible, to properly understand the new platform and prepare a new work plan about the measurements.