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Google Analytics 4 replacing Universal Analytics

Google Analytics 4 replacing Universal Analytics

7 mins read

Fri, Jun 23, '23  

As a Google Analytics user, you’re probably more than aware of Google’s plan to replace Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4. Your organization has either already made the change for your own website or it’s about to happen.

We want to share the process for updating Google Analytics with Happeo as it needs action that may require help from additional resources on your end before July 1st 2023. Good news, it’s a straightforward process that takes approximately 5 minutes.

But it does require a Google Analytics Admin to make these changes. Depending on your organization, this admin could be in IT, Marketing, or both. We’ve provided background on what is happening and a step by step guide to make sure this is as easy as possible to ensure data continuity. 

What do you need to know in short?

  • Google Analytics is replacing Universal Analytics (UA) with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on July 1st 2023. 
  • The transition is necessary for GDPR compliance and privacy-related benefits.
  • After July 1st, no analytics events from UA will be collected, but data will still be accessible until the end of 2023. Universal Analytics 360 users will still have their data collected until July 1, 2024.*
  • Users need to take two steps to replace UA with GA4: (Detailed step by step instructions below) 
    1) Ensure Google Analytics admin access to obtain the GA4 tracking ID
    2) Add the ID to Happeo’s settings. 
  • Happeo data remains unchanged throughout this process, but dashboards that you were previously using may be impacted by the changes with GA4. 
  • We recommend that you follow Google’s own recommendation: export data from your Google Analytics reports so you still have access to them in 2024.

*If you’re not sure under which property your Happeo’s Google Analytics were set up, check your Google Analytics account – if it doesn’t state 360 next to property names in the reporting interface, it’s the standard version.

What is Google doing, exactly?

Google is deprecating Universal Analytics (UA), replacing it with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on July 1st. Google opted to do this as UA was only partially GDPR compliant – by contrast, GA4 no longer sends IP-address data to the United States, making it fully GDPR compliant. Click here for a full list of other privacy-related benefits.

What should you do?

To make sure you have no disruption to your data analytics past July 1st, there are three simple steps to take.

Steps to replace UA with GA4: 


  1. Ensure you are a Google Analytics admin, or you know who to contact and they are available to help.
    • If you have used Google Analytics with Happeo before: You should already have a GA4 property created by Google, and just need to access this tracking ID through your Google Analytics admin. See Google’s UA→GA4 migration guide. The automatically generated properties are appended with " - GA4" - the name of the property is otherwise the same.
    • If you have not used Google Analytics before: Your Google Analytics admin will need to set up a new GA4 property. Here's how to add a Google Analytics 4 property.
  2. Get the GA4 tracking ID: Find your Google tag ID
  3. Add the GA4 tracking ID to Happeo and click "Save": https://app.happeo.com/analytics/settings – replace app.happeo.com with your custom URL if you have one.
  4. Data collection will now start and will be visible after 2-3 minutes.


How do you compare old UA data to new GA4 data?

Google’s recommendation is to export your current historical reports. In our own Marketing team, we’ve done the same and we’re using a data export from these reports, fed into another sheet, which also has a data export of our current GA4 data. With the two together we can still compare year-over-year performance. However, this will vary on your own set-up, whether or not you’re using APIs to pull data and how your dashboards themselves are constructed.

We’re here to help

We understand this transition may seem daunting. However, the good news is that Happeo’s own Analytics, accessible in the Analytics panel, are not affected by this change.The other piece of good news is that ensuring data continuity in your Google Analytics dashboards is a relatively easy transition. We’ve tested this with customers, and it takes approximately five minutes. Though we don't expect any issues, our team is here to help you if you need it.