Universal Analytics or Google Analytics 4?


Should I switch to Google Analytics 4? Google pushes a GA4 already almost. But is that really the right decision? Or should I stay with Universal Analytics (GA3)?

What to consider when changing?

  • The higher the degree of customization of the current Universal Analytics integration, the more complex the migration to Google Analytics 4 is.
  • There is no reason not to use both systems in parallel. Additional effort does not come off the initial integration, as both tools are free of charge.
  • The automatic migration of existing Universal Analytics accounts to GA4 offered by Google in the Analytics account often does not run smoothly and is associated with significant data loss.
  • Individual features that are standard in Universal Analytics are still missing. The seamless integration into many third-party systems is largely not (yet) available.
  • Currently is not expected that the support for Universal Analytics is adjusted in a timely manner. * Google has not published detailed information here.

Google Analytics 4 is just getting started. The system is still being developed and both users and providers of third-party systems (shop and CMS systems, booking engines, newsletter tools, etc.) will still need some time to adapt. Until then, Universal Analytics will continue to be the main web analytics tool. 

* Just as an example: Classic Analytics (“V2”) was published in 2008 and replaced around 2013 by Universal Analytics (“V3”). To date, the tracking system is functional and is still used by some websites without any problems.

 Our Recommendation

  • Keep using Universal Analytics as your leading web analytics system
  • Integrate Google Analytics 4 in parallel to collect data in the new property and experience
  • Do not just perform an automatic upgrade, but configure GA4 manually to avoid data loss
  • Don't ignore Analytics 4 - it will become the new standard over the next few years and there are many new possibilities right now


Mathias Bendl