Google Analytics 4 – Are you ready?
We’re in the final countdown to Google Analytics 4, (GA4), Googles much trailed replacement for Googles Universal Analytics which will sunset on July 1st 2023.
This major shakeup has been flagged for a number of years and the next generation of Analytics which collects event-based data from both websites and apps will begin on July 1, 2023. From this date standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data.
Google is moving on from Universal Analytics due to its inability to deliver cross-platform insights, whereas GA4, on the other hand, can measure data across websites and apps.
The Universal Analytics model has become obsolete, partly due to GDPR regulation which has restricted the data measurement from cookies on desktop.
By not relying exclusively on cookies, and using an event-based data model, Google Analytics 4 can operate across multiple platforms. This makes it a more future-proof solution.
GA4 will use event based data instead of session based data. Event-based analytics is the method of tracking and analysing interactions between individual users and your product. Session based data is derived from grouping user interactions on your website over a period of time.
Event-based analytics platforms like Amplitude, KISS metrics, and Mixpanel, (and soon GA4), offer deeper insights, tracking user behaviour based on the specific clicks, scrolls and other website interactions and discovering profound insights based on those findings.
GA4 includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, and behavioural and conversion modelling with simplified predictive capabilities. Google have said
“It helps businesses meet evolving needs and user expectations, with more comprehensive and granular controls for data collection and usage. Importantly, Google Analytics 4 will also no longer store IP addresses. These solutions and controls are especially necessary in today’s international data privacy landscape, where users are increasingly expecting more privacy protections and control over their data.”
Direct integrations to media platforms help drive actions on your website or app and provide complete insights of the customer lifecycle with a measurement model that isn’t fragmented by platform or organized into independent sessions.
This more comprehensive overview provides a greater understanding of how different marketing activities collectively influence conversions.
Machine learning generates predictive insights about user behavior and conversions, creates new audiences of users likely to purchase or churn, and automatically surfaces critical insights.
Expanded integrations with other Google products, like Google Ads, work across GA4’s combined web and app data, make it simpler to use Analytics insights to optimize ad campaigns.
You can customize the structure of your Google Analytics 4 properties to meet the specific data governance needs of your organisation.
What should I do now?
You should back up your website data for future use if you created a website before October 14, 2020 as its likely that you are using a Universal Analytics property.
If you created your property after October 14, 2020, you’re likely using a Google Analytics 4 property already, and no action is required.
Will I lose access to my data?
Not immediately. Google Universal Analytics will stop processing new hits on July 1st with all 360 analytics ceasing processing on October 1st however you will be able to access data for a minimum of six months after this date.
July 1, 2023: All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits.
October 1, 2023: All 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits.
For further information and advice on GA4 please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 071 91 79063