Universal Analytics: Out of beta, into primetime

Universal Analytics is the re-imagining of Google Analytics for today’s multi-screen, multi-device world and all the measurement challenges that come with it. Since we launched UA in beta, we’ve seen some exciting use cases. Today we’re happy to finally announce: Universal Analytics is out of beta and everyone can use it with the same robust set of features you’re used to with classic Analytics!

Feature parity with Classic Analytics, new reports, better user-centric analysis
When we first introduced Universal Analytics and ran the beta trial, the number one request from our testers was for full access to all Google Analytics features and tools. Bringing Universal Analytics out of beta means that all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics are now available in the product, including Remarketing and Audience reporting.

We’re also gradually rolling out the User ID feature to help you better understand your customers’ full journey. This feature shows anonymous engagement activity across different screens and visits to your site to provide a more user-centric view of your traffic, and help you build a more tailored experience for your customers as well. It will also enable new Cross Device reporting that shows how your users are interacting with your business across multiple devices. 

Additionally, Universal Analytics is also now covered by our Premium service-level agreement, which means that same level of service and additional product features Premium users have come to expect will stay the same when their accounts upgrade to Universal Analytics.

New Cross-Device Reports in GA let you see the full customer journey (click image for full-size).

Time Zone Based Processing: Fresher, more timely data
Today, all properties are processed in Pacific Standard Time. If you’re in a different time zone, this can create a lag in the data you see in your reports. With time zone based processing, you’ll see fresher data in your reports in a more timely manner.

Updates to the Measurement Protocol: User Agent / IP Override 
A top developer request, this feature allows developers to proxy data from devices and intranets, through internal servers, and finally onto Google Analytics. To support this, we added two fields to set the IP address and User Agent directly in the Measurement Protocol. With these features, we are also announcing the deprecation of the legacy mobile snippets. Users should update their code to use the Measurement Protocol

Our early Universal Analytics adopters have already seen some great results. This case study highlights some of the inspired ways our Certified Partner InfoTrust LLC has helped Beckfield College unlock the full capabilities of Universal Analytics including the use of Remarketing and Audience Reporting:

"Once we saw more than 25% of visits to Beckfield College's website were coming from a mobile device, we migrated them to Universal Analytics with plans on leveraging its cross-device tracking capabilities, and better understanding the full visitor journey across devices." -- James Love, InfoTrust LLC

If you use Google Analytics today, get started with Universal Analytics by upgrading your account. Learn more about the process in the Universal Analytics Upgrade Center, including auto-upgrade process, and timeline. 

If you are new to Google Analytics, learn more about Universal Analytics in the Help Center. 

We’ll share more creative implementations, case studies, and Universal Analytics resources in the coming months that we hope will inspire you to continue to grow your business with the insights you gain using Google Analytics. 

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager, Google Analytics