How to Migrate Reports from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

Published: 16 February 2023

Updated: 12 March 2024

How to Migrate Reports from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

Are you considering migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4? This can be a great way to take advantage of the new features offered by the latest version of Google Analytics and ensure that your data is up-to-date. But migrating from one platform to another is never easy, so how do you go about it? Let’s look at the transition process and cover how to migrate reports from one platform to another.

Table of Contents:

  1. Steps for Migrating Reports from UA to GA4
  2. How to Migrate Looker (Data) Studio Reporting?
  3. How to Migrate BigQuery and other BI Reporting (Tableau, Power BI, etc.)?
  4. How to Migrate Custom Reports from Universal Analytics?
  5. Final Thoughts

Steps for Migrating Reports from UA to GA4

The process of migrating your reports from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can be broken down into several steps:

  1. First, you’ll need to identify which reports are currently in UA and decide whether or not they need to be migrated; depending on the complexity of your setup, this step may require some manual work
  2. Once you’ve identified which reports to migrate, create similar reports in GA4 with the same name and structure as your UA reports
  3. Then map each report’s metrics, dimensions, and filters from UA over to GA4; this step requires a bit of technical knowledge — you’ll have to make sure that all of the data elements in both systems match up correctly before anything else can happen
  4. Once everything has been mapped correctly, you can begin testing your GA4 reports against their UA counterparts — this will help ensure that all of the data is being transferred accurately

Once all these steps have been completed successfully, you can safely migrate your UA reports to GA4. It’s important to remember that this process is not always simple or straightforward — it may require some trial and error before everything works correctly. If things seem too complicated or overwhelming at any point during the process, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Now, let’s delve into details and clarify how to migrate Looker (Data) Studio, BigQuery, and custom reports.


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How to Migrate Looker (Data) Studio Reporting?

Fortunately, you can replicate most of the Looker (Data) Studio reporting built in Universal Analytics. There’re a few limitations in the various metrics or dimensions you can select, but Google is working hard to ensure the same functionality in GA4 as in UA. The best practice is rebuilding reports where possible, going through data validation rounds, and distributing the dashboards to your clients if needed.

How to Migrate BigQuery and Other BI Reporting (Tableau, Power BI, etc.)?

If you use BigQuery as your main data source, integrate GA4 into BigQuery first and create reports based on its new data schema. Currently, the integration is available to all GA4 customers, so even if you use a standard tool version, you’ll be able to link to the Google Cloud Platform.

If you use a different BI tool like Tableau or Power BI, you have to wait until the GA4 connector appears. Meanwhile, you can use this time to plan what can be visualized.

How to Migrate Custom Reports from Universal Analytics?

Any custom reports created in Universal Analytics should be reproduced as Explorations in GA4. Unfortunately, there’s no one-to-one correspondence between UA and GA4 metrics or dimensions, so you need to be patient and wait until Google proposes a replacement. The good news is that you can still transform most of your custom reports to Explorations using the Free Form or Funnel report types. Another way is to build reports in Looker (Data) Studio, which gives more flexibility and quick access to graphs shown on the page. So if you’re not comfortable with Explorations, this could be a good option for migrating custom UA reports.

Further Reading: Why Migrate to Google Analytics 4 in 2023? UA vs. GA4 Metrics Comparison

Final Thoughts

Migrating your reports from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, by taking it slow and breaking it down into manageable steps — such as identifying which reports need migration, creating similar reports in GA4, mapping metrics, dimensions, and filters, and testing everything out before making any big changes — you should be able to complete the job without too much difficulty.

However, if you still feel confused about migrating reports from UA to GA4, get on a call with our analytics experts. We’ll be happy to provide you with all-around support and migrate your reports.

Contact Our Experts to Migrate Your Reports before the UA Sunset!

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