Google Analytics – Website Tracking and Reporting
Google Analytics 4 Transition
As of June 2022, UCR is in the process of transitioning the campus from using Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and preparing for the sunsetting of UA in July 2023.
This guide was created to serve as a resource for campus partners during this transition.
The campus-wide transition will be handled by University Relations and ITS, with the option for campus partners to create and implement their own Google Analytics/Google Tag Manager if additional customization is desired for their specific program area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics (GA) is a web analytics service used to track user behavior on websites with the GA tracking code configured. GA includes features that can help identify trends and patterns in how visitors engage with our websites.
What is Google Analytics 4?
GA4 is not an "upgrade" to UA. It is a completely new version of GA that processes data based on a different model. GA4 is centered around an event-based model, whereas UA stands on a session-based data model.
Why are we transitioning to Google Analytics 4?
UA is going to stop processing data in July 2023, and historical data in UA will be available for up to 6 months after July 2023 (so, up until January 2024).
One of the reasons that Google is discontinuing UA is to address data privacy concerns. Per Google, “UA was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies.” By not relying exclusively on cookies and using an event-based data model, GA4 can operate across multiple platforms (e.g., web, iOS apps, Android apps). This makes GA4 a more future-proof solution.
What will the campus-wide transition to Google Analytics 4 look like?
With the transition to GA4, we are using this as an opportunity to restructure our campus GA account(s) to be more cohesive and to track user engagement across the entire ucr.edu domain (all sites hosted on Drupal), while still having the ability to drill down into specific segments as needed.
Trainings and Resources
Process Documentation/Job Aids
Campus Partner Essentials
Google Analytics 4 Guide – Basics - Comprehensive overview of Google Analytics 4, including a detailed breakdown of the transition, basic Google Analytics 4 concepts and features, and an optional section for advanced Google Analytics.
Google Analytics 4 Guide – Campus Partner Essentials - High-level summary of all campus partners need to know about GA4 reporting, simplified and easy to learn for all users.
Web Analytics for Campus Partners (GA4) Dashboard – Interactive dashboard to easily access and view key GA4 metrics for websites and pages, crafted with the campus partner perspective in mind; email firstname.lastname@example.org for access.
(Links last updated: Tuesday, 5/23/23)
Advanced Google Analytics
Google Analytics 4 Guide – Creating and Using A Comparison or Segment for Reporting - Process documentation on how to view site analytics/reporting for your program area using comparisons/segments within the native Google Analytics platform.
Google Analytics 4 Guide – Confirming Your Tracking Codes Work - Process documentation on how to use Google tools to ensure your Google Analytics tracking codes are processing traffic/views correctly on your site(s).
Google Analytics Guide – Tracking Campaign Traffic with UTM Links - Process documentation on how to track campaign performance using UTM parameters, which are little snippets added to the end of a URL to see details such as campaign name, medium, source, and more.
|GA4 Basics (hosted in October 2022)|
|GA4 Official Reporting Rollout
Campus Partner Essentials (hosted in May 2023)
|Zoom Recording (5/24/23)
I have questions about Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and/or the transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. What are my next steps?
Please reach out to the Marketing Data Manager in University Relations, Stephanie Nguyen (email@example.com), or submit a request through Workfront.