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A Comprehensive Guide to Saving Historical Universal Analytics Data

The curtain is closing on Universal Analytics (UA). As Google Analytics 4 (GA4) takes center stage, the July 1st, 2023 deadline for UA data processing looms large. But fear not, we all will lose access to the Universal Analytics interface and API starting on July 1, 2024. This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to preserve your precious UA insights before they become mere memories.

Step 1: Identify Your Needs

Before diving into specific methods, assess your data needs. Consider:

  • What data is most valuable to you? Are you concerned about specific reports, user behavior, or overall trends?
  • What level of technical expertise do you have? Are you comfortable with coding, spreadsheets, or third-party tools?
  • Where do you want to store your data? Do you prefer local files, cloud storage, or a data warehouse?

Step 2: Choose Your Weapon

Now, let’s explore the arsenal of data preservation options:

  • Manual Export: The simplest option, suitable for specific reports you need offline. Export to formats like CSV, TSV, or Excel. While convenient, it’s time-consuming for large datasets.

  • BigQuery Export: Google Analytics 360 users rejoice! You can directly export your historical data to BigQuery, granting you powerful analysis capabilities and future-proofing your data. However, it requires familiarity with BigQuery.

  • Reporting API to the Rescue: Unleash the programmer within! Use the Google Analytics Reporting API to pull data programmatically and transfer it to your data warehouse or BigQuery. Ideal for automation and flexibility, but coding skills are a must.

  • Spreadsheet Add-on for Analytics Savvy: Love spreadsheets? The Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on is your friend. Access and manipulate UA data directly in Google Sheets, create custom reports, and schedule automatic updates. Perfect for spreadsheet enthusiasts.

  • Third-Party Connectors: Not a coding guru? No worries! Supermetrics, OWOX BI, and other connectors seamlessly extract and transform UA data for easy analysis and future use. A great option for those who prefer user-friendly interfaces.

Step 3: Additional Tips and Considerations

  • Data limitations exist: Certain solutions have limitations. The Reporting API, for example, can’t capture user session information. Choose the method that best suits your data needs and technical expertise.
  • Break it down: Large datasets can overwhelm even the mightiest tools. Consider exporting data in smaller chunks, like by quarter or month, to avoid API limitations.
  • Document, document, document: Keep detailed records of your data extraction and storage methods. This will be crucial for accessing and analyzing your data in the future.
  • Plan your migration to GA4: While saving UA data is vital, remember to embrace GA4 for ongoing data collection. This ensures you stay future-proof with your analytics needs.

The Final Stand

Saving your UA data isn’t just about sentiment; it’s about preserving valuable insights and benchmarks for future comparisons with GA4. This guide is your roadmap to navigating the data preservation landscape confidently. So, arm yourself with the right tools, choose your method, and ensure your historical data doesn’t vanish with the UA sunset. Remember, your past performance illuminates your path to future success!

Let Us Assist You in Preserving Universal Analytics Data

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Your success is our priority