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Google Announce Universal Analytics 360 Sunset Extension

In March we wrote about Google’s original announcement that they were going to sunset Universal Analytics (UA). Today, we’re posting a follow up after Google communicated a change to the sunset timeline, specifically for the 360 version of UA.

What is the announcement?

Google announced on 27th October 2022 that the deprecation/sunset date for UA 360 has been pushed back from 1st October 2023 to 1st July 2024.

What does this mean?

Essentially, businesses with an active 360 licence will now have an additional 9 months to complete their migrations to Google Analytics 4.

Why have Google done this?

Google have received a significant amount of feedback from customers and partners citing the need for additional time to facilitate successful migrations of complex setups to GA4. They have also acknowledged that some of the features needed for GA4 to fulfil the role of sole enterprise analytics platform are not yet available. Consequently, whilst GA4 remains the future for Google, they have made a concession for enterprise customers who they view as having the most complex paths to migration and who may need more time to fully define and implement their roadmaps.

Does this impact UA standard (non-360)?

No. The deprecation/sunset date for UA standard is not changing. This means that UA standard properties will still stop collecting data from 1st July 2023 (only data up to and including 30th June 2023 will be available for reporting).

Critically, this applies to all non-360 properties.  Consequently, standard properties that sit within an organisation or account linked to a 360 licence will still be sunset on 1st July 2023 unless they are upgraded to 360 ahead of that date.

To mitigate this risk, Google also announced that from early 2023 the GA4 setup assistant will begin to automatically create a new GA4 property for every standard UA property that doesn’t already have one. The automatically created GA4 properties will match the privacy and collection settings from the UA property and will enable the equivalent basic features such as goals and Google Ads links.  There will also be opt-out options should customers wish to begin the switch on their own. 

Our view on next steps for businesses with UA 360?

Whilst the extra 9 months afforded by Google to 360 licence holders gives businesses additional time to fully complete their migration projects, Google have been clear that although the sunset date for UA360 has been pushed back to 1st July 2024, maintenance for the product will begin to wind down from early 2024.

In combination with the new functionality already available within Google Analytics 4 (GA4) (privacy controls, intelligence-driven anomaly detection and predictive audiences, data governance features) and the promise of further additions and innovation, we believe businesses should continue to move forward as quickly as possible with their migration projects.

Doing so will ensure that businesses can benefit from the new functionality within GA4 as early as possible, whilst also giving them the greatest amount of time to complete complementary activities such as the migration or onboarding of data visualisation tools and training their teams in the new platforms.

How can we help?

Our original blog post on the sunset of UA includes details on how we can help support GA4 migration activities including implementation, data visualisation and training. If you would like to know more about how we can help, please reach out to [email protected].

For all blogs on GA4, please see below:

1. Google Announce the Sunset of Universal Analytics

2. We Need to Talk About Google Analytics Four

3. Intro to GA4: Universal Analytics Versus GA4

4. Intro to GA4: Cross Data Stream Reporting

5. Intro to GA4: Advanced Analysis with Explorations

6. Intro to GA4: Data Studio Integration

7. Intro to GA4: Ecommerce in GA4