: Google Analytics Universal analytics

Rise Company
06-03-2019, 15:17
Google Analytics universal analytics
difference between google analytics and universal analytics

Universal Analytics is a new and better version of Google Analytics.
The difference between Classic Google Analytics and Universal Analytics can be explained by following factors:

Data Collection and integration
Data Processing
Custom Dimensions and metrics
Custom variables
User Interface
Javascript library
Tracking Code
Technical Knowledge
Referrals Processing
Privacy and data usage

#1 Data Collection and Integration

# Universal Analytics (UA) provides more ways to collect and integrate different types of data than Google Analytics (GA).# Through UA you can integrate data across multiple devices and platforms. This is something which is not possible with GA.# Consequently UA provides better understanding of relationship between online and offline marketing channels that drive sales and conversions than GA

.#2 Data processing

# The date processing in UA is visitor based instead of visit (or session) based. This is not the case with Google Analytics.# Consequently UA is more visitor centric than visit centric.

#3 Custom Dimensions and Metrics

# In UA you can create and use your own dimensions and metrics to collect the type of data, GA does not automatically collect (like phone call data, CRM data etc).# These user defined dimensions and metrics are known as custom dimensions and custom metrics.# Through custom dimensions you can import additional data into your analytics account.# GA does not allow you to define your own dimensions and metrics.

#4 Custom Variables

# UA uses custom dimensions instead of custom variables# GA uses custom variables instead of custom dimensions.# Though custom dimensions are not available in GA, custom variables are still available in UA.

#5 User Interface

# Interface wise, both UA and GA reports look the same. The difference is in how each collect, integrate and process the data.# However once you start using custom dimensions and custom metrics, your UA reports may look very different from your GA reports.

#6 JavaScript Library

# UA uses analytics.js JavaScript library whereas GA uses ga.js JavaScript library.# The analytic.js library is similar to ga.js library but provides new set of features for collecting and integrating data.

#7 Tracking Code

# UA uses different tracking code than GA:



#8 Technical Knowledge

# To use all the features of UA you need good technical knowledge of your development environment/ platform or you should know someone who has such knowledge.# Otherwise you may have a hard time using custom dimensions, custom metrics and integrating data across multiple devices/ platforms through measurement protocol and cross device tracking.# In UA almost everything from cross domain tracking, event tracking to e-commerce tracking is implemented differently.

#9 Referrals Processing

In Universal Analytics, referrals are processed differently.By default all referrals trigger a new web session in UA.This can affect the total number of web sessions in your analytics reports.For example, let us suppose a visitor arrived on the website www.abc.com (http://www.abc.com) from www.xyz.com (http://www.xyz.com) then returned back to www.xyz.com (http://www.xyz.com).When the visitor arrived on the website www.abc.com (http://www.abc.com) from www.xyz.com (http://www.xyz.com), it will trigger a new web session for abc.com website.When the visitor returned back to www.xyz.com (http://www.xyz.com) from www.abc.com (http://www.abc.com), it will trigger another new web session for xyz.com:


If you do not want the new web session to be triggered when the visitor returned to www.xyz.com (http://www.xyz.com) from www.abc.com (http://www.abc.com) then you need to exclude referrals from www.abc.com (http://www.abc.com).

#10 Cookies

# Cookie is a text file which is used to store information about a visitor, his preferences, location, browsing behaviour and other details.# While GA can use up to 7 cookies (_utma,_utmb,_utmc,_utmt,_utmz,_utmx and _utmv) to collect visitors usage data, UA uses only 2 cookies (_ga and _gat).Related article: Google Analytics & Universal Analytics Cookies Complete Guide#

11 Privacy and Data Usage

# The ability to collect more data about your users in UA come with a price and that price is privacy. You need to be more privacy concern if you are using UA.# Google warns against collecting any personally identifiable data in your UA account through user ID, custom dimensions, custom metrics and custom data import. Google can terminate your analytics account if you breach this policy.# You need to give your end users proper notice and get consent about what data you will collect via UA. You also need to give your end users the opportunity to opt out from being tracked.# That means you need to make changes in your privacy and data usage policies. Google recommends using Google Analytics opt out browser add on if you want to block Google Analytics.Note: You can learn more about the UA usage guidelines from here and about the privacy from here.#12 Server Side Configuration Settings

UA lets you change following server side configuration settings via the account admin:

Change session timeout
Change campaign timeout
Add/delete search engines
Exclude referral traffic sources
Exclude search terms


In case of GA you need to add special tracking codes to all the web page on your website to change each of the aforesaid server side configurations.UA has simplified changing these server configurations by providing easy to use controls in the account admin panel which do not require editing the existing tracking code, on every web page of your website.#13 Ecommerce Tracking

Universal Analytics provides advanced ecommerce tracking called Enhanced Ecommerce.This tracking is not available in Google Analytics.Enhanced e-commerce tracking provides many more ways to collect and analyse e-commerce data than traditional ecommerce tracking.Thus enhanced ecommerce provides deeper insight into e-commerce engagement of your users.Enhanced ecommerce provides twice as many reports on users ecommerce activities than traditional :


To learn more about upgrading to Universal Analytics, check out this article: Universal Analytics Upgrade Guide
Other Posts you may find useful: Common Google Analytics Mistakes that kill your Analysis, Reporting and Conversions