Transitioning from Google Analytics (GA) to Google Universal Analytics (GUA)
Google is replacing Google Analytics (GA) with Google Universal Analytics (GUA), which has new features focused on:
- Connecting multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data with the User ID
- Configuration options have been simplified and can now be accessed via GUA’s UI, rather than having to change your tracking code
- Customization (e.g. more custom dimensions and metrics, both free and premium)
- Easier cross-domain tracking
As new features become available, we will be updating our tag template to make access to them as easy as possible.
If you do not already have GA running on your site but would like to start using a Google tag to collect analytics data, we recommend starting with GUA. If your site is already collecting data with GA but you’d like to transition to GUA, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.
- When you upgrade or “Transfer” your existing properties from GA to GUA, make sure to wait at least 48 hours before you turn off GA and turn on GUA in Tealium IQ. This helps with data continuity. This should not be confused with running GA and GUA side-by-side.
- Although Google states that changing your tagging from GA to GUA is optional, we strongly encourage retagging as newer features are only available in GUA.
- If you use custom variables in GA, you’ll find they have changed with GUA. With GUA you must configure custom dimensions and custom metrics in your GUA property settings first before you can send data to them.
- Remove any hard-coded calls to GA.
- Remove Google Content Experiments if possible, as this will bring in the GA library and cause issues if you have hard-coded calls left.
- GA settings that were previous set in code, such as referral exclusions, have now been migrated to the GUA admin panel. These settings need to be migrated to retain consistent reporting.
- If you do not manually upgrade, Google will ‘auto transfer’ your GA properties for you over time. This is not optional.
You can find more information in [Google’s Upgrade Guide](https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/upgrade/guide). It is recommended you read it thoroughly to understand the steps before you migrate.
Implementing GUA through Tealium iQ
To learn how to implement Google Universal Analytics through Tealium iQ, check out our Google Universal Analytics series.
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This page was last updated: April 30, 2018