How long does Google Analytics keep data?

3 min read

This article provides an introductory guide to the data retention policies of Google Analytics, particularly focusing on the latest iteration, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and how Somar Digital can help your business leverage this tool for superior analytics management.

How long does Google Analytics 4 hold onto your data?

Google Analytics 4(external link) offers a new approach to data storage and retention compared to its predecessor, Universal Analytics. The default data retention period in GA4 is set at 2 months, but it can be extended to 14 months. This flexibility allows businesses to choose a retention period that best suits their needs while ensuring that their data management practices comply with privacy regulations.

How long should I retain GA4 data?

The optimal data retention period varies depending on your business objectives and legal requirements. Retaining data for the maximum 14 months may be beneficial for those looking to analyse long-term trends and patterns. However, shorter periods might be appropriate for businesses with more immediate analytical needs or those concerned with minimising data storage for privacy reasons.

How to adjust GA4 data retention

Adjusting the data retention settings in GA4 is straightforward. Within the GA4 interface, navigate to the "Admin" menu (in the bottom left corner), then to "Data Retention" (under "Data collection and modification") where you can select your preferred retention period. This ensures that your data management practices align with your business strategy and compliance requirements.

Why you should be making the most from GA4

GA4 is not just about data retention; it's a powerful tool for understanding customer behaviour and improving your digital presence. Its focus on event-based data collection provides richer insights into user interactions, enabling businesses to tailor their digital strategies more effectively. Embracing GA4's capabilities can lead to enhanced customer experiences and ultimately, better business outcomes.

Universal Analytics vs GA4

What is the difference between Universal Analytics and GA4?

The transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 represents a significant shift in how data is collected, processed, and stored. Unlike Universal Analytics, which relies on session-based data collection, GA4 adopts an event-based model, offering more granular insights into user behaviour. This fundamental difference enhances the ability of businesses to track and analyse digital interactions more comprehensively.

Can I still access my Universal Analytics data?

As Google phases out Universal Analytics, the accessibility of historical data becomes a concern for many. While Universal Analytics will no longer collect new data after July 1, 2023, users can still access their historical data for a limited period. Google is notifying customers that UA data will be permanently deleted on July 1st, 2024(external link). Google advises exporting any necessary data before it becomes inaccessible, emphasising the importance of transitioning to GA4 for ongoing analytics needs.


How Somar Digital can help you with managing your Google Analytics

Somar Digital, with its expertise in digital strategy and analytics, can assist your business with setting up GA4 so that works best for you, including setting up and adjusting data retention periods to interpreting the insights it provides. Our team can help you make the most of GA4's capabilities, ensuring your data management practices are not only compliant but also strategically aligned with your business objectives.

Conclusion - contact the Analytics experts at Somar Digital

Making the most of GA4's capabilities can be daunting. However, with the right guidance and expertise, businesses can leverage these tools to gain valuable insights and drive strategic decisions. Somar Digital is here to support your journey, helping you harness the power of GA4 to achieve your digital marketing objectives. Contact the analytics experts at Somar Digital to unlock the full potential of your data.

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Frequently asked questions

How far back can you go in Google Analytics?

What happens to GA4 data after 14 months?

How long does Google keep your data for?

Where is my Google Analytics data stored?

Do you lose data when switching to GA4?

What does Google Analytics do with my data?

by Somar Digital