Time is running out to save your Google Analytics 3 data

The phaseout of Google Analytics 3 is coming to an end with all GA3 data set for permanent deletion on 1 July 2024. This means companies need to preserve their GA3 data soon or they’ll lose it forever. So, what options do you have for saving your GA3 data and why is it so important to keep historical insights?

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Your GA3 data is getting permanently deleted

Google announced in late 2023 that it will permanently delete all GA3 data on 1 July 2024. Now, if you log into Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics), you should see the following warning:

Google analytics 3 warning that it is no longer processing new data

“This property is no longer processing new data and will be permanently deleted on Jul 1, 2024. If you haven’t completed migration, go to the Setup Assistant to get started with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). To maintain access to data from this property, you should download your data now.”

The notice is telling you three things:

  1. Google Analytics 3 is no longer processing new data
  2. Your existing data will be permanently deleted on 1 July 2024
  3. Migrate to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) now, if you haven’t already

Google Analytics 3 has already stopped processing new data and you should have migrated to Google Analytics 4 by now. If you haven’t moved to GA4 yet, and you need help, you can speak to our analytics team.

You need to decide what you’re going to do with your old data and implement your plan as soon as possible. July isn’t far away and you don’t want to leave this to the last minute. Leave yourself enough time to deal with any technical issues before your data is permanently deleted.

How can marketers save their GA3 data?

Essentially, you need to export as much GA3 data as possible and import it to a new location. For example, a lot of companies are exporting their GA3 data to third-party analytics tools.

The problem with this approach is you’ll need another third-party tool that can import all of the data you want to preserve from GA3. You’ll also need a system that allows you to import the volume of your existing GA3 data. That leaves a lot of room for incompatibility and import issues. And, if you’re importing a lot of data, it might be difficult (or expensive) to find a third-party tool that supports large dataset imports and storage.

If you need to preserve several years of GA3 data or, we recommend exporting datasets to a location you have 100% access and control over. This way, you can store all of the data you need, access it and use it in any way you choose. You can still import this data into third-party tools but you’re not stuck with any limitations.

You can fully export your GA3 data before 1 July 2024, store it in a safe location and import it however you need, whenever you need.

Why is it important to retain GA3 data?

The transition to Google Analytics 4 hasn’t exactly made it easy to preserve historical data from GA3. If you’re questioning whether it’s worth preserving your GA3 data, here’s a quick recap of why it’s important to do so:

  • Data quality: Losing large volumes of historical data dramatically reduces the quality of your datasets.
  • Insight volatility: Quality historical data is the best solution for minimising volatility due to anomalies – eg: unusual seasonal trends.
  • Trend analysis: Shallow data makes it difficult to identify trends and even harder to separate trends from fads.
  • Comparisons: Likewise, you need historical data to make fair, reliable comparisons – eg: annual growth, revenue, etc.
  • Historical benchmarks: With less historical benchmark data, setting future targets is more difficult.
  • Unreliable predictions: Historical data is crucial for making accurate predictions, especially with technologies like predictive analytics.
  • Decision-making: Shallow data increases the risk of every data-driven decision you make – budgeting, opportunity analysis, goal setting, prioritisation, etc.

The more historical data you’re set to lose on 1 July, the more important it is to save it while you still can.

Need help saving your GA3 data?

If you need help preserving your GA3 data before it’s deleted on 1 July 2024, our Data & Analytics team can help. Call us on 023 9283 0281 or send us your details and we’ll get back to you.

Kerry Dye profile picture
Kerry Dye

Kerry has been working in digital marketing almost since the beginning of the World Wide Web, designing her first website in 1995 and moving fully into the industry in 1996 to work for one of the very first web design companies. After a successful four years, Kerry moved to an in-house position for a sailing company, running the digital presence of their yacht races including SEO, PPC and email marketing as the primary channels. A stint then followed at another in-house role as online marketing manager. Kerry moved to Vertical Leap in 2007, making her one of the company’s longest-serving employees. As a T-shaped marketer – able to advise on digital strategy outside her main specialism – she rose through the ranks and in 2012 became the head of the Small and Medium Business (SMB) SEO team. In 2022 she became Vertical Leap's Automation and Process Manager. Kerry lives in the historic town of Bishops Waltham with her husband and daughter. When she’s not at work she enjoys cooking proper food, curling up with a good book and being a leader for Brownie and Rainbow Guides.

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