We are pleased to introduce Airlock, a JavaScript utility to translate classic Google Analytics tagging to the new Universal Analytics syntax.

Last month, Google announced the ability to upgrade classic Google Analytics profiles to Universal Analytics. Upgrading is a great idea because the new features and functionality of Universal Analytics are a must have for any data informed organization. Eventually all classic GA profiles that haven’t upgraded to the new Universal Analytics platform will be auto-transferred.

Commence Primary Ignition!

To assist with this transition, Google has developed a tool to help upgrade your profile. Once you have upgraded your profile in Google Analytics, you will need to upgrade your site tagging to the new Universal Analytics tagging. This is the part of the process where Airlock can provide a huge sigh of relief.

The tagging between classic GA (ga.js) and Universal (analytics.js) are not compatible with each other. You can continue to use the classic tagging for now, but to take advantage of the benefits of Universal Analytics you need to replace the ga.js tagging with the analytics.js tagging. For any sites with customized event tracking, ecommerce, or custom variables this could mean a significant effort to modify all the tracking code on the site.

Undertaking this re-tagging effort could be an investment that many organizations are not prepared to make. This is where Airlock comes in. By simply following the implementation guide, organizations can use Airlock to translate all of their current classic Google Analytics tagging into the new Universal Analytics syntax. Giving the full ability to enjoy the upgrade to Universal Analytics while putting any future tagging efforts on the appropriate timeline.

A Breath of Fresh Air

And to top it all off, our news today only gets better. To help as many companies as possible start to realize the benefits of Universal Analytics, Search Discovery is giving Airlock away for free. Naturally, if you have questions about upgrading or need a partner to assist you in the process our amazing analytics consulting team is ready to help.

Download Airlock or get implementation instructions.

Contact Search Discovery’s analytics consulting team.

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Michael Helbling

Michael is an experienced leader of analysts, an impassioned deliverer of insights and business results, and an all around nice guy. He is responsible for digital analytics strategy and delivery at Search Discovery.

2 Responses

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  1. André Mafei says:

    Like the hack, but I does not look worthwhile to me. Let’me explain:
    #1) Old code will continue to work, so people are not obligated to change it.
    #2) If you want to use the new features you will need to learn how to use the new code.
    #3) Having pieces of old scripts together with new ones does not look like a good idea to me.

    But indeed like the hack idea : )

  2. André,

    Thank you for your comment. There are many different kinds of hacks, and this one is particularly elegant in our opinion.
    To address your points:
    1. Yes that is correct. There is no need to change your ga.js code today. You will need to eventually, but it is not required to upgrade your profile today.
    2. Not quite true. If you want to use the new features you will eventually need to learn how to use the new code. The key word is eventually. And it gives organizations of all sizes the opportunity to move at their own speed to upgrade, all while taking advantage of the enhanced features of Universal Analytics.
    3. Site tagging always comes back to governance and process around measurement. As long as you are smart about how you implement you will be just fine. In addition, we are big believers in using tag management platforms to do these tasks, and Airlock has been tested with Google Tag Manager and Adobe Dynamic Tag Management.

    Worthwhile is all about risk and opportunity. For many organization, upgrading to UA and analytics.js is a great opportunity, but on Google’s timeline the risks associated with re-tagging are very high. Airlock is a way to capture the opportunity while mitigating the risk. Any time I can do that, I am putting dollars in the bank.

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