Google publicly releases the migration to Universal Analytics

Blog | 03 Sep, 2014

Within the last 24 hours, Google have publicly announced the ‘Universal Analytics Upgrade Centre’, an easy two stage process which opens the migration from GA to UA to everyone who already has a Google Analytics account.

Reminder: Universal Analytics is the new and improved replacement for Google Analytics. The fundamental changes are based on the method of collecting the information (i.e. code) which Google has modified in order to create a more efficient version of the product.

Universal Analytics new features include:

Multi-device user ID
You’ll be able be to identify the same user across different devices. This will considerably improve visibility around user journeys, and will help to clarify user behaviour.

Import offline data
Utilising the new measurement protocol, Universal Analytics allows you to import offline information and combine it with online, so leads from both sources could be combined in the same report.

Custom dimensions and custom metrics
By having 20 of each in the free version (200 if you are a Premium client), you will be able to design and create any report that comes to mind (yes, any!) A good example would be cross-referencing information about the weather against visitor data. We’ve recently been testing this on our own Jellyfish account (as shown below)

jellyfish-agency-UAblog-1

Flexibility
You will have control across different functions, such as modifying the visit or campaign expiration.

Over coming weeks, all Google Analytics users will have the option to migrate their accounts, using  “a solution to help you upgrade your existing properties to the new infrastructure without losing any historical data”. The migration has been split into two parts:

  • A new option within the interface of Google Analytics will launch an assistant to transfer your account to Universal Analytics. No previous information will be lost, but be aware that this step can take up to 48 hours, as Google modifies internal account configurations.
     
  • Once your account has been transferred, you will need to modify the tracking code (because Universal Analytics uses different methods to send information to Google Analytics). If you need more information please visit the Universal Analytics page, or contact us for additional input.

Please note: step 2 would vary if you are currently utilising Google Tag Manager

Does this mean that I should migrate right now?

Although the migration has been announced publicly and will be available over the next few weeks, it’s still not the official version. There are some features that aren’t supported as yet, such as SLAs for Universal Analytics (Premium only) and remarketing. So, our suggestions are:

Migrate now if you  do not require the previous data and want to take advantage now of all the new features. If you require help doing this, please contact us for more information.

Wait if these features are important for your organisation and need to be retained. If you decide to wait, we recommend that you draft a migration plan, as you will be required to migrate once the new features are fully supported (potentially in a few weeks).

Finally, if you are using Infinity as your call tracking solution, we are pleased to announce that it can now be fully integrated with Universal Analytics.

For more information about the latest innovations of Google Analytics, listen to our recent Jellyfish audio blog.

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