Universal Analytics still processing data one month after ‘sunset’

Universal Analytics is still processing data one month after Google advised it would sunset.

The search engine had warned that everyone would be forced to migrate over to Google Analytics 4 by 30 June 2023 or else they would lose the ability to track the performance of their websites and campaigns.

However, a month later, it looks like many marketers can still use their UA accounts as usual.

Why we care. The majority of marketers did not embrace the enforced migration to GA4 and many have found the new system difficult to use with complaints raised around its user interface, a lag in data and data discrepancies. Being able to still monitor campaign and website performance in UA will come as a huge relief to those that have been struggling with GA4. However, as tempting as it may be, it would be unwise for marketers to rely on UA for analytics purposes as it could stop processing data at any minute.

What’s the latest? Shopify’s official support channel was asked by a marketer to comment on when UA data would stop processing data on its merchant platform on Friday. A spokesperson said on X:

  • “While the Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data on July 1st, merchants will still be able to see UA reports and historical data for the time being.”
  • “We don’t have a set date on when the feature will be completely removed from the admin. – Dirk.”

Word of warning. Although it does appear to be business as usual for many using UA, a warning that started appearing on the tool at the start of the month is still there, warning users to migrate to GA4. It reads:

  • “This property is scheduled to stop processing data very soon.”
  • “Any conversions and audiences you use with Google Ad campaigns will stop working.”
  • “To avoid serious disruption to your ads, book a free support session to to complete your move to Google Analytics 4 today.”

UA sunsets for some. While many marketers can still access their data on UA, others have confirmed to Search Engine Land that their accounts have stopped processing data. James Brockbank, managing director of Digitaloft, told us:

  • “I can still see realtime for this UA property but it’s no longer tracking data as of today.
  • “This has been showing as 0 (same across a few different sites’ properties) since midnight in the properties’ time zone. Was all showing up to today.”

For marketers still using UA as opposed to GA4, it looks as though their accounts may very well be on borrowed time.

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What has Google said? Google has confirmed that the sunset of UA has already begun but that properties are being removed in stages. All access to UA will be completely be gone by 1 July 2024. The search engine confirmed on the Analytics Help Center:

  • “Universal Analytics properties will stop processing hits, including standard properties in accounts that also contain 360 properties starting 1 July 2023.”
  • “Some properties will continue to process data for a short period after this as we stage the shutdown of Universal Analytics.”
  • “You’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property until July 1, 2024.”
  • “Starting on 1 July 2024, all users, including those accessing 360 properties, will lose access to the Universal Analytics user interface and API.”
  • “We know your data is important to you, and we recommend that you export your historical reports before this date.”

Deep dive: For more information on how to migrate to GA4, read Google’s ‘Learn how to make the switch‘ guide.

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