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Data retention in the new Google Analytics 4

I’m learning about the new Google Analytics 4 at a steady rate, and it’s quite possible that if you’re a serious analyst of your website’s visitor data, you may already have got some training and be at least as advanced as me. However, I will bring you any essential tips as I come across them.

Of course, as I’ve written before, if you’re a user of the traditional ‘Universal’ Google Analytics, you need to set up the new Google Analytics 4 immediately. This can run alongside your existing Google Analytics, but note that the existing system will stop recording data in just over a year’s time. If you like to compare your data with a year ago, that means you’ll have needed to set up the new system a year before you’re reliant on it …in other words, 1 July this year. So don’t put off the task any longer.

The latest tip I’ve seen is that in the new Google Analytics 4, the standard reports will keep data for (I think) an unlimited period, but certain custom reporting will only keep data for 2 months by default. That’s not much. So we need to change the setting to a longer period, and Google appears to give us one option for this: 14 months. So in the new GA4 setup, go to Admin (bottom left) > Data Settings > Data Retention and select ’14 months’.