Whether you’re a digital marketer, a website owner, or a data analyst, Google Analytics provides invaluable insights into your website’s performance and visitor behavior. As Google transitions from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it’s particularly crucial to download and back up your data.
Here are some reasons why:
- You want to keep your old data safe: As we move to GA4, it’s important to save your old Universal Analytics data. This data can give you context for your new GA4 data and help you understand trends over time.
- You’d like to dive deep into your data: Downloading your data lets you play around with it more than the online interface might allow. You can mix it with other data sets, carry out detailed analysis, or use specific data visualization tools.
- You need offline access or want to create custom reports: By saving a record of your website’s performance, you can look at it anytime, even offline. You can also make custom reports and share them with your team or stakeholders who don’t have access to your Google Analytics account.
- You want to use your data with other tools: If you use Business Intelligence tools like Tableau or Power BI, you can import your downloaded data into these systems for more detailed analysis and visuals.
As you transition to GA4, saving your old Universal Analytics data can ensure you keep track of your historical insights and offer a smooth transition as you get used to the new system. Remember, the true power of Google Analytics data lies not just in collecting it, but in understanding and using it to make informed decisions that boost your website’s growth and improvement.
How to download data from Universal Analytics (GA3)
- Sign In to Google Analytics: Open your web browser and navigate to Google Analytics. Click on the “Sign in” button on the top right of the screen and sign in using your Google account credentials.
- Select Your Account and UA Property: Once signed in, you’ll see a list of your Google Analytics accounts and properties on the left side of your screen. Click on the account and then the property that you want to download data from.
- Navigate to Reports: From the left-hand navigation pane, choose “Reports”. This section contains all the collected data related to your website’s performance.
- Choose the Desired Report: Under the Reports section, choose the specific report you want to download. For example, you might choose “Audience” for demographic information, or “Acquisition” to understand where your traffic is coming from.
- Adjust Date Range: At the top of the report, set the date range for the data you want to download. Click the date box, select your desired start and end dates, then click “Apply”.
- Export the Report: Look for the “Export” button, usually located at the top of the report. Click on it, and you will see a dropdown menu.
- Choose Your Format: You’ll be given several format options to download your Google Analytics data, including CSV, TSV, TSV for Excel, Excel (XLSX), Google Sheets, and PDF. Choose the format that best suits your needs. If you plan to manipulate the data further, a CSV or Excel file may be most useful.
- Download and Save: Once you have selected the format, the file will begin to download automatically. Once the download is complete, navigate to your downloads folder, locate the file, and move or save it as desired.
- Review Your Data: Open the downloaded file with the appropriate application (like Excel for .xlsx files) and begin your analysis. Remember that understanding and interpreting this data is crucial for improving your website’s performance and enhancing user experience.
How to download data from Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Sign In to Google Analytics: Visit the Google Analytics website. Click on “Sign in” at the top right corner of the page and enter your Google account details.
- Select Your Account and Property: After logging in, choose the account and property (GA4 property) from which you want to download data.
- Navigate to the Reports: From the left-side navigation pane, choose “Reports.”
- Choose the Desired Report: Select the report you want to download from the listed options. For instance, “User Demographics” under “Engagement” provides details about your audience, whereas “Traffic Acquisition” under “Acquisition” provides insight about your traffic sources.
- Adjust Date Range: You can specify the date range for the report at the top of the page. Select your preferred start and end dates, then hit “Apply”.
- Export the Report: Once you have the report ready, you can find the “Export” option in the upper right corner of the report. Click on it, and a dropdown menu will appear.
- Choose Your Format: Google Analytics 4 allows you to download the data in CSV format. Click “Export to CSV” to proceed.
- Download and Save: After choosing the format, the file will download automatically. Once the download is complete, find the file in your downloads folder and save or move it to your desired location.
- Review Your Data: Open the downloaded file using an application that supports CSV format (like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets) to analyze the data.
What to do with your old Universal Analytics data?
While you’re getting to grips with Google Analytics 4, your old Universal Analytics data is still super useful. It’s like a treasure trove of insights that you can tap into at any time.
For starters, make sure to download and back up your UA data regularly. You never know when you might want to take a trip down memory lane! By comparing this old data with your new GA4 data, you can get a good sense of how your website performance is changing over time.
But don’t stop there. Try bringing your UA data into other tools like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Tableau, or Power BI. These platforms let you dive even deeper into your data, so you can see your website from new angles.
Meanwhile, keep generating reports from your UA data. This can be especially handy in the early days of using GA4, when you’re still building up a new data history. And last but not least, use your UA data to guide you on your GA4 journey. Seeing what worked (or didn’t) in the past can help you decide where to focus your efforts next.
Can I somehow upload or migrate the data into GA4?
Unfortunately, no. You can only keep the data separate and use them as a reference point when comparing with your new GA4 data.
A multi-cultural nerd, digital marketer and SEO/content enthusiast. Likes good beer, dry wine, loves to cook and sing (sometimes all at once).