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Matthew Small
by Matthew Small
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Universal Analytics: Demographics Not Included

11/12/2013
Universal Analytics: Demographics Not Included

Google updates their products continuously to improve performance, user experience, and aesthetics. It is extremely important to keep current with Google’s interface as updates can sometimes be significant making it challenging to find where features may have been moved.

Earlier this year Google released a new code for Google Analytics (GA) that will become the standard for all GA accounts, referred to as Universal Analytics. The new platform introduced a set of features that change the way data is collected and displayed in Google Analytics accounts. Since the launch of Universal Analytics, Google has been urging users to transition to the new tracking code. This was something we had been implementing with our new clients over the past few months. For our legacy clients, we are holding on the implementation because our solution is a workaround (read more below).image of bar chart depicting age range

image of pie detailing percentages of female and maleThe GA feature collects and analyzes data relevant to age, gender, and interests via a third-party cookie. If a cookie is not associated with a user, no data can be collected related to user behavior activities. Anyone reviewing the data should assume that the data is only a representation of a site’s users and their behaviors (see in the charts where it says 46.53% of total visits for gender). Google reserves the right to limit data if minimum thresholds aren’t met to prevent the inference of users’ identities.

However, since the launch of Universal Analytics, Google has not provided the ability to collect reports with the new platform. Representatives of Google say that the feature will come at some point; we don't know anything more specific at this time. Moreover, once you have upgraded to Universal Analytics, there is no way to revert back to Classic Analytics.

So what did we do? We created a second property under the clients’ GA account and created a second code that reports the demographics. We run both codes simultaneously.

Once Google includes demographics inside of Universal Analytics we will be able to remove the workaround.

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