Switching off Universal Analytics 2024: Save historical data now!

author: Francesca Schreiber

Since July 2023, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has completely replaced the old Universal Analytics (UA) version. While website operators currently still have access to their historical data in Universal Analytics, an important change by Google is on the horizon: From 1 July 2024, Universal Analytics data will be irretrievably deleted. This poses the question for many: How can this data be backed up?


Why it makes sense to back up Universal Analytics data

Historical data enables companies to analyse their performance over longer periods of time. This can be particularly important to understand seasonal trends, long-term growth patterns or the impact of strategic decisions. Universal Analytics data can also be used to create complete and accurate reports over longer periods of time. It therefore makes sense to store and process the data from Google Universal Analytics in order to be able to obtain it.


Our recommendation for data backup

As a web analytics & tracking agency, we export your data from UA to csv files via the Google Analytics API. To visualise your historical data, we then create a customised Google Looker Studio dashboard for you.


Export data in good time, transfer to Looker Studio, do not lose data


Firstly, data from Universal Analytics is exported to csv files via the API. The exported data is then displayed via Looker Studio and can be used there for further analyses.


By switching off Universal Analytics, important historical data from your own website is lost. This collected data should still be exported by every company in order to be able to access it for various analyses.

Thomas Czernik
Senior SEO & Web Analytics Manager

We are happy to take care of the export of Universal Analytics data to Looker Studio.

Advantages of dashboards in Google Looker Studio

As a web analytics & tracking agency, we create customised and interactive dashboards for our clients.


Advantages of Google Looker Studio dashboards


The advantages of using dashboards are manifold: easy integration of different data sources, free use of the tool, real-time data updates and easy cloud-based accessibility. Looker Studio dashboards therefore promote effective data analysis and data-based decisions.


Our analytics experts have answered the most frequently asked questions about GA4.

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    Is GA4 free?

    The standard version of GA4 is free of charge. The paid premium version Analytics 360 includes additional features such as sub-properties and lower limitations. However, the free version is completely sufficient for most of our customers.

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    How is GA4 implemented?

    The Google Analytics 4 tracking code can be entered directly onto the website or via a Tag Manager tool. The advantage of the Tag Manager is that the tool only has to be built into the website once and allows all subsequent codes to be integrated and managed.

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    Can data from UA be imported into GA4?

    There is no option to migrate data from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. In addition, the data in Universal Analytics will be irrevocably deleted on 1 July 2024. If you want to keep the historical data, we recommend exporting it and displaying it in a Google Looker Studio.

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    Is GA4 permissible according to GDPR?

    As with the older system, the user’s consent must also be obtained when processing data in Google Analytics 4. Prior to processing data, the user must actively consent (such as by opting in via the cookie banner on the homepage).

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    What are the alternatives to GA4?

    There are currently several alternatives to Google Analytics 4, which differ primarily in terms of functionality, usability and price. If we come to the conclusion together that Google Analytics 4 is not suitable for your website or app, we can offer you alternatives such as Matomo Analytics, Piwik Pro or Adobe Analytics.

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    Comparison of UA and GA4 data

    Data from UA and GA4 are not directly comparable as they are based on different models. A direct comparison leads to incorrect results and therefore to misinterpretations. Nevertheless, it is useful to keep historical data in order to be able to continue to use previous insights.