What You Need To Know About Universal Analytics

What You Need To Know About Universal Analytics

Big Ideas

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August 15 2014
Big Ideas
Author: Stewart Moffatt
Over the past few months there has been a great deal of conversation regarding Google’s initiative to switch customers from Classic Analytics to Universal Analytics. Classic Analytics mainly focuses on tracking websites and webpages. In contrast, Google launched Universal Analytics to better track content consumption over mobile technologies and different distribution channels such as gaming consoles and kiosks. Universal Analytics has superior infrastructure, expanded libraries, enhanced reporting and new features all bundled into one update. 
Why to Upgrade:
Universal Analytics offers expanded data for more informed decisions. Furthermore, as Google develops new creative features and capabilities, only those who have done the update will have access to them.
Why NOT to Upgrade:
If you’re using Google’s “DoubleClick for Advertisers” or “Remarketing” feature, full support from Google is currently unavailable. These users are advised to avoid updating until Google has fully developed the update.
How to upgrade:
The upgrade can be done in 2 easy steps: 
Step 1: Transfer Property
- Go to the Google Analytics Admin page (Only users with Edit permissions may initiate the property transfer from the Google Analytics Admin page). If you have edit permissions there will be a button in clear sight notifying you to do the Universal Analytics update. 
- Once you have initiated the transfer, Google will migrate you to Universal Analytics (this may take 24 - 48 hours).
- When the transfer is completed, the property is ready to receive data from the Universal Analytics tracking code.
NOTE: To ensure there is no negative data quality issues make sure you complete Step 1 before moving onto Step 2. 
Here is an example of a Universal Analytics tracking code:  
Step 2: Update Tracking Code (optional)
- Replace existing tracking code with new Universal Analytics tracking code.
- A developer (or person with technical knowledge) should complete this step in your development environment (web pages, SDKs, etc.).
- When this step is completed, you will have access to the full benefits of Universal Analytics, including new reports and features.
After completing steps 1 and 2, your full upgrade to Universal Analytics is complete.
Will the data from my Classic Analytics account still show in my Universal Analytics account?
Yes. Universal Analytics will include all of your historical data.
What if I don’t upgrade?
If you don't complete Step 1 of the upgrade process, your property will be auto-transferred to Universal Analytics in the future. If you don't complete Step 2 of the upgrade process, you will continue to send data to Google Analytics from a non-Universal Analytics collection method. This data will continue to be processed for up to two years after Universal Analytics has become the new operating standard, at which time all non-Universal Analytics collection methods will be deprecated and no longer work.
I don’t see a button in the Admin section of my Google Analytics Page.
There are several reasons why this might happen:
1. You may have been automatically transferred to Universal Analytics.
2. If you have recently set up an Analytics account, Google may have automatically set the account to Universal Analytics. In these cases, step one has been completed for you. 
3. If you use some of Google Analytics’ advanced features (DoubleClick or Remarketing), Google may not give you the option to upgrade to avoid data quality problems.
- Stewart Moffatt 

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