Deadline for Universal Analytics (UA3) Pushed Back

Deadline for Universal Google Analytics Data Export Extended
Randy Holland Webfor Senior SEO Specialist

You still have some time … so plan and prepare. Here’s how!

The deadline of July 1, 2023, referred to by Google as a “platform turndown” for Universal Analytics data (commonly known as GA3), has been hanging over the heads of digital marketing agencies, businesses, and data analysts like the Sword of Damocles.

A gif sword of Damocles meme

However, Google recently announced that we have been given an extension.

We can now export historical data from GA3 until July 1, 2024.

This has brought a collective sigh of relief for those of us who have been rushing to export and archive GA3 data for our business and/or clients.

GA3 will be permanently replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

For context, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will replace GA3 on July 1, 2023.

GA4 is a new approach to tracking and introducing AI-based predictive data. It was built with privacy as a top priority. GA4 utilizes Google’s advanced machine learning models to provide detailed insights into user engagement, behavior, and conversion rates.

For all the details about GA4 read Webfor’s Google Analytics 4 Guide to Almost Everything.

Stop Procrastinating. Archive the Data!

Why do you need to archive your business or client’s GA3 data? 

It is important to archive GA3 data because it contains valuable historical information about website and app traffic, user behavior, conversions, and other metrics that can be used for analysis and decision-making purposes. 

Keeping this data archived allows businesses and organizations to access and refer to it at a later time, even after the GA3 platform has been turned down by Google.

This can be particularly useful for:

  • Benchmarking 
  • Trend analysis
  • Long-term planning 

In addition, having a backup of the data can help in case of data loss or corruption, and it may be required for legal or regulatory compliance purposes.

Adam Sandler meme Just Do It!

What options are available to archive GA3 data?

There are several options for archiving GA3 data, including

  • Exporting data using Google Analytics data export tools.
  • Using a data backup and archiving service that specializes in archiving Google Analytics data.
  • Saving data locally by downloading reports and data from the Google Analytics user interface.
Office Space meme

Exporting data using Google Analytics data export tools

There are specific tools available within the Google ecosystem for exporting GA3 data, such as Google Analytics reporting APIs, BigQuery, and Looker Studio. These tools enable businesses to extract their data and store it in their own data warehouse or a third-party storage solution.

If your business has multiple GA3 properties and receives thousands (or tens of thousands to millions) of visits and transactions daily, using GA data export tools is the best option. This also applies to digital marketing agencies with a sizable client base. GA data export tools offer the necessary “data warehouse” to dynamically pull historical data.

By storing your GA3 data in a data warehouse, you can generate reports using a range of tools, such as CSV files and Looker Studio. This offers flexibility in creating marketing dashboards and sharing data across different platforms.

Regardless of the scenario you find yourself in, it’s essential to rely on a data warehouse specialist to correctly set up these tools. For instance, setting up BigQuery requires an individual with SQL experience, data modeling experience, and knowledge of data warehousing.

Diagram of warehousing Google Analytics data

Using a data backup and archiving service that specializes in archiving Google Analytics data

Your data warehousing projects may require specialized skills, expertise, and resources that your business or digital marketing agency may not possess. However, there are reliable companies that can assist you in transferring your GA3 data to a data warehouse. These companies can provide the necessary infrastructure and expertise that most businesses and digital marketing agencies require. It’s perfectly acceptable to seek assistance when needed.

Here are a few company recommendations. 


Supermetrics is a business intelligence tool that helps users automate data extraction and reporting from various sources, including social media, web analytics, and marketing platforms. It allows users to gather data from multiple sources and consolidate them into a single dashboard for analysis, reporting, and sharing.

More specifically, Supermetrics has the infrastructure and technology so you can move your GA3 data to BigQuery. From BigQuery you can export your GA3 data to Looker Studio, CSV files, and more. They offer a free trial and excellent customer service. And they’ve been in data warehousing since 2009!

Calibrate Analytics 

Calibrate Analytics is a data analytics company that provides businesses with solutions to transform their customer data into actionable insights. The company offers a full-service platform called Launchpad, as well as a range of custom services to help clients track, visualize, and act on their data. Calibrate Analytics aims to empower businesses to take control of their data and increase efficiency and revenue through data-driven insights.

Calibrate Analytics offers a more consultative approach. If you’re looking to partner with a company, Calibrate is a good long-term solution — if you have the budget. They offer all the tools a company like Supermetrics provides but also consultation. This means you could have a data analytics partner to help you warehouse your data and improve your team’s analytics and data-driven decisions. 

Saving data locally by downloading reports and data from the Google Analytics user interface 

Ahh … the good ol’ DIY approach.

Everyone calm down I got this meme

This option is ideal for businesses with smaller datasets that don’t require long-term data archiving.

However, even this approach requires some advanced knowledge of GA3. Familiarity with the Google Analytics user interface and the ability to navigate through various reports and data options is necessary. Basic data analysis skills, such as filtering and sorting data, may also be helpful in organizing and analyzing the downloaded data.

Additionally, your business or digital marketing agency needs to plan and prepare the reports and data you want to archive. The process of exporting data from GA3 is done one spreadsheet at a time using the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on, which requires knowledge of how to use it.

PRO TIP: How to prevent overloading the system when using GA Spreadsheet Add-on

When the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on receives too many requests, it may experience slow response times or timeouts. This can happen when there is a high volume of data being processed or when there are too many users accessing the add-on simultaneously. In some cases, the add-on may stop working altogether.

To avoid this issue, it’s recommended to limit the number of requests being made and to ensure that the add-on is used efficiently. Additionally, it’s important to monitor the performance of the add-on and adjust usage as necessary to prevent overloading the system.

Useful Resources for DIY GA3 Data Exporting

There appear to be endless useful resources online for DIY enthusiasts who want to export GA3 data on their own. If you throw the topic to the Google search engine or ChatGPT, you’ll most likely find the answer you’re looking for.

However, if you’re seeking an experienced professional with longevity in Google’s vast ecosystem, Benjamin Mangold is considered one of the best. Loves Data, Benjamin Mangold’s award-winning online courses will teach you everything you need to know to master Google’s marketing platforms, including exporting GA3 data and preparing it correctly for Looker Studio. Benjamin’s self-paced courses are highly recommended.

Why is this GA3 Data so important?

Webfor provides tremendous value for our clients. And much of that value is archived in GA3 data. Archiving GA3 data is crucial as it holds essential historical information about website traffic, user behavior, conversions, and other metrics that can aid in analysis and decision-making. 

Storing this data enables us to access it later, even after the GA3 platform is discontinued by Google, for benchmarking, trend analysis, and long-term planning. Archiving the data is also necessary for legal and regulatory compliance and can act as a backup in case of data loss or corruption.

Breath in … Breath out … 

Our Webfor team has been working diligently to find a solution to the GA3 data issue. We’ve developed a hybrid solution that includes all the options mentioned above.

We’re pleased to report that we can now breathe a collective sigh of relief, and ensure that we don’t miss or lose any of our clients’ GA3 data.

We remain fully transparent about our approach and are grateful for the opportunity to serve our clients with the highest level of professionalism and care.

Napoleon Dynamite meme Breathe in Breath out