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Why Export Universal Analytics (GA3) Data to Google Sheets Now? + [Guide]

By Team Swydo
28 March 2024

If you are still migrating from Universal Analytics to GA4, it’s important to know that data collection has ceased, and all existing data will be deleted by June 30, 2024. This means that your valuable analytics history will not automatically transfer to the new Google Analytics 4 and is subject to ongoing deletion policies.

To ensure you preserve your business’s analytics history for comparison and analysis, it is crucial to download your historical data promptly. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of downloading your data and explain why it’s essential to act swiftly, as high demand near the deadline may hinder successful downloads due to API limits. Don’t let your hard-earned insights slip away.

Let’s keep it simple:

  • Deadline: After June 30, 2024, your GA3 data will disappear forever.
  • No Auto Transfer: Your GA3 data won’t automatically move to Google Analytics 4.
  • Google’s Cleaning Up: Google’s already deleting bits of your data every month.
  • Peak Download Rush: It might get tricky when everyone tries to download their data last minute.
  • Keep Your History: Downloading your GA3 data now is the only way to hold onto your business’s past and compare it with future data.

Step-by-Step Guide to Export Google Analytics 3 Data to Google Sheets

Step 1: Identify the Data You Need

  • Determine which metrics and dimensions are crucial for your reporting. This could include user behavior, acquisition sources, conversion rates, etc.

Step 2: Manual Export (Direct from Google Analytics)

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account and navigate to the report you wish to export.
  2. Customize the report to display the data you need. You can adjust the date range, apply segments, add secondary dimensions, or use filters. Tip: Mark June 30 as your end date since that’s when Universal Analytics hit the pause button on processing data.
  3. Click the ‘Export’ button and select Google Sheets as your destination.
  4. Open Google Sheets to locate your report or access your Google Drive, where the report is stored.
GA3 data to Google Sheets

Google Analytics also organizes data into distinct reports. Here’s a brief overview of the critical reports and data you may want to export:

  • Traffic Acquisition Report: Offers a detailed view of where your traffic comes from (organic, direct, referral, and social). Pinpoint your primary traffic sources to refine your marketing strategies.
  • Audience Overview Report: Provides insights into user engagement metrics such as session duration, bounce rate, and pages per session. It also sheds light on your audience’s primary languages, operating systems, and screen setups.
  • Pages Report: Delivers content performance insights, showcasing your most visited pages. Dive into metrics like average time on page, unique pageviews, and exit rate for each page.
  • Goals Overview Report: Focuses on tracking conversions from set goals, which could include actions like page visits, purchases, donations, creating accounts, and more.

Locate these reports and export these individual data sheets into Google Sheets.

Sounds straightforward. It is, but it may require some data analysis skills, a good understanding of GA3, and lots of patience. If you intend to download a substantial amount of Google Analytics data, be prepared for a rather lengthy process. Imagine managing numerous individual reports, each with its distinct data range, segments, and metrics. It is all worth the time and effort.

Once your reports are ready, exporting the raw data is the next step. It can be quite time-consuming, with even experienced digital marketers taking a couple of days to complete this task. While it’s not completely ruled out as an option, it may not be the most efficient way to save a significant amount of GA3 data.

This is where Add-ons come in and work their magic. Google Sheets has a thriving community of developers and marketers using it, resulting in a wide range of integrations. To access these integrations, go to Extensions, Add Extension, and search for the specific data connection you require. The chances of not finding what you need are pretty slim, thanks to the extensive options available.

Step 3: Using Google Analytics Add-on for Google Sheets

  1. Create a new Google Sheet and go to ‘Extensions’> ‘Add-ons’> ‘Get add-ons.’
  2. Search for the Google Analytics add-on and install it.
  3. Configure the add-on by accessing it from the ‘Add-ons’ menu, selecting ‘Create new report,’ and specifying your data requirements.
  4. Run the report to pull data directly into your Google Sheet.
GA3 To Google Sheets Data Export

The Google Spreadsheets add-on simplifies the process significantly compared to exporting reports one by one. Yet, it still demands understanding the specific dimensions and metrics you wish to preserve, along with crafting these reports to secure your GA data effectively. As mentioned earlier, this approach can be pretty labor-intensive. A solid grasp of Google Analytics and web analytics is required to determine the most valuable data to keep.

Once you’ve downloaded and exported your data, it’s time to preserve and analyze it. Employ a tool that offers pre-built reports tailored to various marketing and business scenarios, which automates your GA3 reporting process. Manually importing downloaded data means you can’t set up automatic report scheduling or compare your GA3 data with GA4 side by side. Each time you want updated data, you must create and import new reports into Google Sheets.

Swydo’s integration with Google Sheets simplifies tracking your historical GA3 data, guaranteeing your analytics journey continues smoothly. Here’s how:

Integrating Google Sheets with Swydo

Step 1: Prepare Your Spreadsheet

Make sure that your Google Sheets data is well-organized and properly formatted. Swydo needs clear and structured data to generate meaningful reports. This entails neatly arranging your metrics, dimensions, and other relevant data into columns and labeling them appropriately, like below.

Swydo's Google Sheet Integration Allows you to track your historical GA3 DATA
Example Spreadsheet

Follow this step-by-step guide to prepare your spreadsheet for Swydo’s Google Sheets Integration.

Step 2: Connect Google Sheets to Swydo

  1. Log into your Swydo account and create a new report or widget.
  2. Choose Google Sheets’ as your data source. You’ll be prompted to connect to your Google account if you haven’t already done so.
  3. Select the specific spreadsheet containing your data. Swydo will then access the sheet, allowing you to use this data in your reports.

Step 3: Customize Your Report

  • With your data imported, you can now customize your report in Swydo. This includes selecting specific metrics to display, customizing the layout, and applying filters to highlight the most relevant data.

Step 4: Refreshing Data

  • Swydo allows for automatic data refreshes, ensuring your reports always reflect the most current data.

Step 5: Share Your Insights

  • Once your report is polished and ready, share it with your clients or team. Swydo offers sharing options, including direct email, downloadable PDFs, and live online reports.

Automate Your GA3 Reporting with Swydo

In conclusion, if you’re still using Universal Analytics and haven’t migrated to GA4, acting quickly is crucial. Data collection has stopped, and all existing data will be deleted by June 30, 2024. To preserve your valuable analytics history, you must download your data promptly.

Not exporting your GA3 data means you will lose historical data, face limitations in analysis and reporting, and miss out on valuable opportunities for optimization and strategic insights.

To export your Google Analytics 3 data to Google Sheets, follow our step-by-step guide. Identify the data you need, manually export it from Google Analytics, or use the Google Analytics Add-on for Google Sheets. Alternatively, consider using Swydo’s integration with Google Sheets for a more streamlined and automated reporting process.

Google Sheets + Swydo = Successful GA3 Reporting

By integrating Google Sheets with Swydo, you can ensure that your analytics journey continues smoothly. Prepare your spreadsheet correctly, connect it to Swydo, customize your report, set up automatic data refreshes, and share your insights with clients or team members.

With Swydo’s automation capabilities and flexibility in importing and reporting on data from various sources in Google Sheets, you’ll save time while gaining deeper insights into your marketing performance.

Don’t let your hard-earned insights slip away; take action to preserve your GA3 data before it’s too late.