Migrate to Google Analytics 4 can be a complicated task, especially when dealing with large datasets. If done incorrectly, it can even result in the loss of important data or corruption of information.
With the introduction of the new version of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), many companies must migrate their data from the previous version, Universal Analytics, if they do not want to lose all their information. In this article, we will discuss how to migrate to Google Analytics 4 without “breaking anything.”
Before migrating to Google Analytics 4, the first step is to back up the existing data. This is done to ensure that in case of any problem during the migration, the original data is available.
Here are the options for migrating your data:
Manually export data to a CSV or PDF file: With Analytics, you can export the report that is displayed on the screen at that time, so you must make sure that you have applied the desired configuration and period to the report. Click on Export (next to the report title) and select the export format you prefer: CSV or PDF.
Integration with BigQuery: You can export session and hit data from a Google Analytics account to BigQuery and then use a SQL-like syntax to query all your Analytics data. Here is the official Google documentation where you can access detailed information on how to do it.
Integration with Data Warehouse or Database: To migrate to Google Analytics 4 correctly, it is essential to understand your specific needs and requirements. Not all data is equally relevant to all companies. Once the parameters are defined, you must transfer your historical data from Google Universal to a database where you can store it safely.
Keep in mind that Google Analytics 4 does not allow direct interaction with your historical data, so you can access it through any Business Intelligence tool and relate it to your new GA4 measurements to get a complete view of your data.
Understand the differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 It is important to understand the differences between Universal Analytics and GA4. GA4 uses a completely new data structure that requires a different approach to data collection and analysis. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the data fits this new structure before migrating.
Let’s see the most important differences:
What is data verification? Another important step in data migration is verification. After migration, it is essential to verify that all data has been transferred correctly and can be effectively analyzed in GA4. If problems are identified during verification, they must be addressed immediately.
To validate that historical data has been migrated correctly, it is recommended to replicate a report using a Business Intelligence tool and compare the results with those obtained in the traditional GA3 report. On the other hand, to verify if the GA4 configuration is in order, you should try to replicate GA3 reports in GA4, emphasizing events, conversions, and in the case of an e-commerce, all sales and product metrics. With these measures, you can ensure a successful migration from GA3 to GA4 and continue to obtain valuable insights from your analytics data.
Finally, it is important to establish a follow-up strategy after migration. This includes monitoring reports and metrics to ensure that they are being collected and analyzed effectively. It is also important to perform regular tests to ensure that data configuration and tracking are accurate.
In summary, migrating data to GA4 can be a complicated task, but it is essential to take advantage of the new features and improvements in the latest version of Google Analytics. By following the steps mentioned above and taking additional precautions to ensure data quality, data migration to GA4 can be a smooth transition.