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  • Writer's pictureJanice Clines

Capture your Google universal analytics data before it disappears!

The deadline is looming! Google Universal Analytics (UA) will come to an end July 1. After that, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will be the only web analytics tool offered by Google that will allow users to track their website data. Anybody who uses Google Analytics will have to make the switch to GA4. What’s more, once you are set up for GA4, UA will stop tracking data—and your historical data is not transferred over to GA4.

Here’s the good news: You will have until Oct. 1 to capture your historical data until UA is completely nonexistent. We’ve found an easy way to download your data using Google Sheets, and this blog will show you how.

What is Google Analytics 4?

GA4 offers a new approach to data measurement and analysis, with a focus on privacy, machine learning and cross-device tracking. With GA4, organizations can gather more accurate insights about their website and app performance, understand audience behavior across multiple touchpoints and make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing and user-experience strategies.

Transferring your Universal Analytics data

Now is the time to start transferring your historical UA data so you can look back on it if needed. There are a few different ways to go about this process, and one quick and fairly simple approach is to use Google Sheets. Transferring your data from UA to Google Sheets can provide several benefits, such as increased accessibility, easier data manipulation and the ability to create custom reports and visualizations.

Here are the steps to link Google Analytics to Google Sheets:

  1. Sign into the same Google/Gmail account you use for Google Analytics.

  2. Go to Google Sheets and open a blank (new) or existing Google Sheet.

  3. Click on Extensions in the tool bar at the top of the document.

  4. Hover over “Google Analytics” from the drop-down menu to see and select options.

    1. If you do not see Google Analytics in the Extensions drop-down menu, hover over "Add-ons" in that drop-down and click "Get add-ons.” From there, you can scroll through the available apps or type Google Analytics in the search bar to find the app and install it. Installation is quick and easy.

    2. During installation, click "Authenticate with Google Analytics" and follow the prompts to sign in.

    3. Select the account you want to link and click "Allow."

  5. When hovering over Google Analytics in the drop-down, select “Create new report.”

  6. Choose the view and metrics you want to import. Ensure you name the report to match the Google Sheets tab to which you want your data imported.

  7. Click "Create Report."

  8. Go to column “B” to set the start date, end date and datapoint limit (up to 100,000). Rename the tab at the bottom of the Google Sheet to match your report name.

  9. To run the report, click on Extensions in the tool bar, hover over Google Analytics and click “Run reports.”

  10. Wait for the data to be imported and enjoy your new Google Analytics report in your Google Sheet!

A few important notes:

  • To download more data into the same Google Sheet, go back to step 3! (Be sure to create a new tab to collect that data and name the report to match.)

  • To download GA4 data, follow the above steps to find, install and use the Google Analytics 4 app.

  • Most important, you will need to have Administrator permission to access the Google Analytics account and download the data.

If Google Sheets isn’t for you, there are other ways to transfer your UA data. Whichever tool you use, we recommend downloading your historical data before it is lost for good. For more tips and best practices, visit AOE’s Digital University page.


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