Universal Analytics historical data backup

How to save your Universal Analytics data?

Published: Jan 12th 2024 | 3 min read

The realm of web measurement is gradually shifting away from supporting the old Universal Analytics (UA). Knowing this change is imminent, it's crucial to prepare; otherwise, the data collected over the years could be at risk of being lost. Starting July 2024, Google Analytics will no longer support old properties. The upcoming removal of UA properties may disrupt processes and decision-making relying on data-driven insights.

How to save your data?

Bulk data downloading through the API might seem like a simple solution, but it's not feasible. The challenge lies in the inability to easily download all data, requiring a comprehensive backup strategy. In this article, we'll outline our approach, crafted by the Cross Masters data team.

Identifying Key Datasets

To address the complexity of data downloading, we begin by identifying the most utilized reports and datasets. These include tables related to traffic acquisition, sales performance, user behavior, and other critical sets. This prioritization ensures the preservation of the most valuable information. Depending on your team's needs, you can expand the set of valuable data by including other datasets used in the past.

The most used Universal Analytics datasets among most clients

Data Downloading via Data API

Once key datasets are identified, we use the Data API for systematic data downloading. The data is stored in Google Cloud Storage, facilitating easy manipulation and transformation in BigQuery. This step considers UA's sampling and deduplication rules to preserve data accurately. This is particularly challenging because Universal Analytics' Data API has its limitations and specific behavior.

Comprehensive Reporting with Looker Studio or Power BI

Our data backup strategy concludes with comprehensive reporting using Looker Studio or Power BI. These tools ensure that your downloaded and relocated data is easily accessible, interpreted, and ready for strategic decision-making. These reports offer a familiar view of the data you are accustomed to seeing in Universal Analytics.

Example of the custom report built on top of Universal Analytics data


Given the scheduled deletion of Universal Analytics properties in 2024, developing a data backup strategy is not only smart but necessary. Our meticulous approach, encompassing the identification of important datasets, downloading through the Data API, and utilizing reporting tools, ensures that CrossMasters will safeguard your valuable data. This guarantees uninterrupted access to business intelligence for strategic decision-making and future growth goals.

Do you want to save your UA data from being irreversibly deleted?
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