Automated migration by Google
Google offers you the opportunity to automatically create GA4-properties with basic features. We recommend doing a manual migration. Here's why.
As you probably all know, in July 2023, all standard Universal Analytics (UA) properties will stop processing data (July 1st, 2024, for 360 Universal Analytics properties). Migrating to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) or another analytics tool is crucial for the continuity and performance of your analytics setup.
However, migrating to GA4 can be a real hassle and might be a lot more work than just copying your UA-configuration. Getting to know the tool and its functionalities, dealing with its flaws and differences, and most important, rethinking the way you perform your analytics: it’s all part of a well-executed migration.
Automated migration by Google
To support you in the transition Google recently offered UA-users the opportunity to automatically create GA4-properties with basic features, based on their ‘old’ UA-configuration. While this may look tempting and convenient, we (and even Google) strongly recommend doing a manual migration, prior to the auto-migration to ensure the quality of your data.
Configuration and data quality
By opting in to the automated transition, you are forced to stick with what you have today (unless you change it later). However, this might be the right time to rethink your tracking plan and measure the things that really matter to you and your objectives, instead of just copy-pasting your current setup and sticking with the one-size-fits all solution. Understanding how data is tracked and reported in GA4 is key and it is crucial to take control over the whole process. Don’t let Google decide what is most important to your business.
Using auto-migration might even endanger your data quality. Audiences, filters, goals, and other functionalities might be customised especially for your business now, but we don’t expect Google’s script to seamlessly copy your current configuration while ensuring all data is still accurate and intact.
Another thing to consider is the event limit in GA4 (maximum 50 custom dimensions and 50 custom metrics). The automated migration may create tracking for less important or outdated events in GA4, while leaving out others that you do want to track accurately.
Goal types are also something you don’t want to leave to an automatic migration. While UA goals could use multiple goal types; like destinations, events, duration, etc., this is not the case anymore for GA4. There it relies solely on event tracking. Reviewing your current goal setup and translating it in a durable way for GA4 is definitely worth the time to do manually. Especially when business decisions are made based on these goals.
Integrations with other platforms may also be crucial in your way of working. Many marketers want to connect their Google Analytics data to visualisations tools, data warehouses and CRM systems. However, the automated migration won’t be sufficient, as it only includes a Google Ads integration. Manually connecting other tools to GA4 will be a no-brainer to activate your Analytics data.
Besides these points the automated migration still raises numerous questions. What about the activation of Google Signals and its legal implications or restrictions? Do you still have control of your user management?
Opting in for the automated migration might sound convenient and easy for businesses with the most basic Google Analytics setup. And to some extent it even is. Nevertheless, taking control of the way you want to measure interactions, create reports, and leverage this data is not something you want to take lightly. And that is where MultiMinds can help you. With our expertise we perform any GA4 migration in the most seamless way and aim for a future-proof and actionable Google Analytics setup.
Or maybe you are more interested in a migration to another tool, like Adobe Analytics? Or do you want to implement a data layer for your digital channels? Or even create custom dashboards in tools like Looker Studio, Power BI, or Table? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help.