4 Free ways to get your historic Universal Analytics data

Google will stop processing hits on July 1st 2023.  They keep the data for at least 6 months but no new hits will process.  360 customers get an extra year. 

If you want to get your data out, you have several options.

Data Export Options I know of that are free. 

Data Studio report – probably the easiest way, just create all your reports and save them.  I combined all 3 of the reports in the template gallery into one. https://lookerstudio.google.com/reporting/c390d4b3-9b61-4b0e-ab1b-b71254c8f6b6/page/tWDGB.

If you add /preview to the end, you change the data source. ie https://lookerstudio.google.com/reporting/c390d4b3-9b61-4b0e-ab1b-b71254c8f6b6/page/tWDGB/preview and then print off any reports you want.

You can also create your own tables of your KPIs and save those. Perhaps a simple table might be better.

Google Sheets Export – There is a Google Sheets connector to UA. It's clunky to use but if you want, it can fetch data straight into a spreadsheet. I think doing it via Data Studio is better though and downloading a CSV from there.

Export to Matomo – This has a UA importer.  I’ve not got it to work but you can install a plugin which uses the API to import into your Matomo instance.  You can read about it here

The Google Analytics importer allows you to easily import all your historical web analytics reports from GA into Matomo.


Export to Big Query – You can use a data connector to use the API to send to Big Query.  Fivetran will do this for free.  Once in Big Query, you can use Looker Studio to query it. 

Google Analytics only allows us to connect to the reporting layer of their API, so we can't access all the raw data like we can for many of our other connectors. Instead, Google requires that it must be queried via a pre-defined report. Each time you go through the setup form, you'll be creating at least one new report.

You can visit the Fivetran page here. It can also bring all your data into one place so you can use your favourite BI tool on it.

Why do you need historic data?

You probably don't. With the increased use of adblockers and consent plugins, your stats are likely to look worse even if you stay the same. Doing a comparison from even 12 months ago is futile.

Your CRM or e-commerce platform should be the place where you query your historic data. That will have 100% accurate information on conversions or sales. Google Analytics may only report 30% of the actual sales due to blocking and declining cookies. Also with hiding referrers (I will explain that if there is demand), its almost impossible to make any meaningful year-on-year comparisons. If you go back further, the data will be even less useful.

Imagine going back 10 years. We can all agree 10 years ago, the web was totally different, comparing it with today, would be futile. Like, paid social would be tiny, with organic search maybe top with paid search second. What about 9 years ago? Probably pointless too. Keep going and you get to the point where no comparison is useful.

What you should be doing

What you should be doing is looking at your spending and your KPIs going forward. Maybe compare with the last few quarters but at the end of the day, its mainly about generating more revenue than you are spending.

Do you really care if your organic traffic was 50% last year but only 35% this year? Or about your funnel reports from 12 months ago? Surely its about how much you have spent and how much you have back. Its a waste of time backing up data that you'll probably never read and is useless anyway.


Back up your UA data if you want but I am guessing most people will never look at it again and if they do, they'll learn nothing apart from maybe SEO was easier in the past and clicks were cheaper.

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