The most recent data collection tool for web-based analytics is called Universal Analytics. It makes use of the Measurement Protocol for various digital devices, an SDK for mobile apps, and the analytics.js tracking code for web pages. The recent publish by Google mentioned Universal Analytics will not be live from July 1, 2023. We have obtained the data using Universal Analytics of the respective application. Let us try to understand how to use GA4 instead of UA and what will happen to the existing precious data.

As the measuring content continues to increase, the medium to measure will also upgrade. And that’s where we are. It’s Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

What is the difference? 

Universal Analytics (UA) collects the data in sessions. The term ‘sessions’ refers to the interactions we will conduct on our website within a period of time.

Now what’s inside the session?

The session contains many hits. These hits contain the interactions such as pageviews, events, etc.

Event tracking isn’t enable by default, you have to manually activate it. OOPS, that’s a headache.

For the mobile app, users should use the Google Firebase SDK and set up the platform needed for tracking. And more Universal Analytics uses first and third-party cookies.

In GA4, do we have sessions? Yes, we do.

The difference is that the interactions are stored as events in GA4 and it tells us what is happening in the website or app. These events contain pageviews, events, etc. These events have collections of information that specify more on the action performed (specifically the value of purchase, the title of the page visited, etc.) which are sent in pieces.

GA4 has greatly reduced shoulder drift. There is no difference between devices that come from the same user. It doesn’t discriminate by the device. And also it doesn’t involve any third-party cookies.

Let’s get deep into what GA4 does!

  • Collects information from apps and websites to better understand the client experience.
  • It uses events instead of session-based data.
  • Includes privacy protections including cookie-less measurement, behavioral modeling, and conversion optimization.
  • Without using complicated models, predictive capabilities provide directions.
  • Direct media platform connections encourage users to take action on the respective medium.

                                                      Whatever you see in GA4 are Events

Why migrate to GA4:

Universal Analytics will stop tracking the data from July 1, 2023. Therefore, migration of Universal Analytics to GA4 will be done to track the upcoming data smoothly.

GA4 will start tracking the new data on July 1, 2023, instead of universal Analytics.

Conversion of Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4

Step 1: 

  • Log in to the Google Analytics account.
  • Move to the Admin portal located in the bottom left corner.
  • As it is UA, you will be seeing 3 sections. Click on GA4 set up assistant under the Property section.

Step 2: 

To get start, click the Get Start button.
  • The data in current Universal Analytics will automatically migrated to GA4.
  • There will also be a copy of GA3’s basic settings in GA4.
  • Advanced enhanced measurement will automatically be turned on for you

Step 3:

  • What the checkbox does is, if your GA3 property is set up via gtag.js, you will need this checkbox checked. But if you have GA3 integrated and installed via Google Tag Manager, it will not be necessary. 
  • By having this box checked, your gtag.js events will be automatically converted and updated for GA4, so you don’t need to update the code.
  • Click on“Create Property”

Step 4:

Click “See your GA4 Property”.

Step 5:

Installing a tag on your new GA4 Property is the most crucial thing you need to do. Right away, the data will be receives by ga4

The site feed is now referred to as a Stream in GA4. When you establish a new property using the assistant, the feed will automatically generated for you.

Immediately you will notice, the measurement id is a brand new id compares to ga3, which starts with ua-1234567


When you use the setup assistant, you’ll automatically see enhanced measurement turned on for events on your website, such as:

  • Page views
  • Scrolls
  • Outbound Clicks
  • Site Search
  • Video Engagement
  • Downloads

These are the following steps to be done on the website.

Now, what’s in React? Are there any configurational changes?

  • ‘react-ga’ will be no longer supported by GA4. So if we use the ‘react-ga’ we should change the package to ‘react-ga4’.
  • react-ga4 doesn’t directly support the pageView like react-ga.





ReactGA.send({ hitType: “pageview”, page: page })

And the remaining events logging will work as it is before. That’s super cool!

How does the report in GA4 looks? 

Under the Acquisition bucket, there are three reports available. The source/medium report is missing in GA4 (which helps to produce a way to measure and analyze traffic performance).

How does the report in Universal Analytics work?

You might have found difficulty in chasing around the reports here. That’s because there are more standard reports available. If you unwrap all the reports there will be around 30 reports. Yes, that’s a headache.

But what happens to the existing data?

  • You can keep using and gathering new data in your Universal Analytics properties until July 1, 2023.
  • You will have access to the previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months following July 1, 2023. Google highly advises us to export your previous reports at this time because they are aware of the value of our data.
  • In the coming months, they will provide a future date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available. After this future date, we can no longer be able to see our Universal Analytics reports in the Analytics interface or access the Universal Analytics data via the API.


Google Documentation

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