Could you imagine if you had to tell your senior leader that you had lost years of incredibly valuable, important insights and data because you did nothing? What do you think their reaction would be?

Imagine losing years of historical data from your church management system. It would impact your church on so many levels. In the same way, changes Google is making on 25 May is going be removing years of data from your Google Analytics. If you don’t act.

Some of you are like, ‘meh’ it’s just Google Analytics’. But for those of us who understand the power and useful insights Google Analytics brings it will be devastating (if you don’t act). There is no better insight into understanding who is visiting your church website than the insights that Google provides.

You can’t get such insightful, rich and deep information from your visitors from any other place. Google Analytics is an amazingly valuable source of information that help your church understand who you are reaching.

Got it? Okay, can we agree that data can be an incredibly powerful tool for church communications?

Why the change?

Because The European Union (EU) as enacted new privacy laws. It’s called The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU). 2016/679. In short, the EU just stepped up their privacy laws setting to ‘thermo-nuclear.

For some of you it’s still, yyyyyyyyawn right?

No. Listen up.

It is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. GDPR.

And it is already has huge implications for churches within the EU.

Before you say ‘That’s okay. I’m not in the EU, I live outside in the good ole USA.’

Google is applying it across all Google Analytic accounts worldwide.

If you don’t act you will lose all this valuable data. Even in the USA.

How To Stop Losing Your Valuable Data

1. Log into your church’s Google Analytics account.

2. You will see this pop up box.

Google Analytics GDPR churches

3. Select how much user and event data you want to retain. I’d recommend selecting “Do not automatically expire” and Save. You can see the long term trends that way.

4. Hit save.

And your safe. Phew.

That ends this public service announcement. You’re welcome.

Google related further reading: 4 Smart Tips That Will Help Your Church Get Found By More Visitors Online

Got questions about GDPR?

I know GDPR is a very complex issue. If you have questions about it leave a comment below.