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Upgrading from Universal Google Analytics to GA4 Properties

In this article, we will discuss how to do an upgrade from the Universal Google Analytics to Google Analytics 4 Properties (GA4 Properties). 

Around October of 2020, Google released the updated version of the tool, the Google Analytics 4 Properties or GA4 Property. You could say that Google is certainly not stopping in the area of improving the tool and it’s features. But even then, the Universal Google Analytics still exists until today. So those users with existing Universal Analytics are able to access and go back to the history of their site or apps data.

For new users however, upon signing up will get the GA4 Property automatically. 

The following details below are the step by step process to upgrade to the new GA4 Property. Just a reminder though, when you upgrade, only new data will be shown on your GA4 and as mentioned above, go back to Universal Analytics for the past data gathered from your website or apps. 

Step 1. From your dashboard, click ADMIN

Step 2. Navigate to the account and property that is collecting your site’s data. 

Step 3. Under the Property column, click the GA4 Setup Assistant.

Step 4. Click GET STARTED under I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 Property,

Step 5. The wizard window will display. Depending on the existing tag, there is an option to enable data collection using your existing tag. Then, click Create Property.

The wizard will copy existing property details and create connections between the Universal Analytics and GA 4 Property. When enabling the data collection using the existing tag, your GA 4 Property will start collecting data from your site.

 

Important reminder:

  • The data may appear on your dashboard within 30 minutes.
  • If no data was collected or your existing tag did not connect to your GA4 Property, you may need to manually connect and configure it to be connected. You will see the adding tag instruction under Data stream. You may also check out the information from our previous blog Getting Started With Google Analytics.

Some of what you could immediately notice that are different from the Universal GA:

Interface. Your dashboard/home is the first thing that you will see upon logging in to the tool and right away, you will notice that the interface has changed. 

Enhanced Measurements. One of the highlighted upgrades of GA4 Property is the enhanced measurements. This option can be manually triggered and is recommended to enable this feature. The enhanced measurements will automatically collect data of events from your site which allows you to see how site visitors interact with your website. This event consists of different actions/triggers which was originally categorized separately on the Universal Google Analytics. You can individually enable the events that you wish to measure. 

Views. Views is where you can set up how you want the collected data to reflect in your reporting. Previously, you can create views depending on the kind of devices used, location of users and others. However, the Views column is not available in GA4 Property anymore. 

Data Stream. Is the flow of data collected from customers interaction on your website or apps. You will find Data Stream under Property and add data streams from Web, Android App and IOS App for up to 50 data streams in one property. The data collected from the streams becomes the basis of your reporting.

Event. In GA4 Property, the principle of data collection is event based, so any hit or interaction is captured as events. While previously, they are categorized by hits (e.g. Page View, transactions, Labels, etc).   

Reporting. With GA4 Property, you get to see full cross platform reports from data collected from different data sources/streams from your property. 

 

It was said that some users of the Universal Google Analytics still prefer to use it than the upgraded GA4. Both have their own characteristics and although GA4 may have more updated features than the UA, it all boils down to the users preferences and what information they wish to track and collect. Nonetheless, it’s a good thing that both can still be accessed at the same time and Google hasn’t stopped with their improvement of the tool and we can only anticipate that more upgrades will eventually happen sooner or later.

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