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    Change Now or Lose your Data as GA4 is on its way

  • February 15, 2023
  • Website Design

    Google believes that it can help businesses improve their conversion pathways by providing them with feature-filled analytical tools. These enable them to dig into their sites, rummage around in the data, and improve their strategies.

    Over the years, the search giant has released multiple analytical tools for webmasters, including the first Google Analytics (acquired from Urchin in 2005), Universal Analytics, and Analytics for Firebase. However, these pre-existing solutions tracked either websites or apps, not both.

    Now Google wants to bring its entire analytics show under the umbrella of Google Analytics 4. The new tool will offer the "app + web" approach Google first beta tested under the web-tracking version of Analytics for Firebase. The software attempts to meet the needs of multi-channel businesses who need to consolidate customer journey data into a single stream.

    Here are the main changes you need to be aware of:

    • UA properties will stop collecting data from 1st July 2023 and historic data will be deleted six months later. Your UA properties are your websites, blogs and mobile apps that you track within your in Google Analytics account. They will all have a unique property tracking ID which collects data
    • GA4 data will not be directly comparable to UA data and any existing reports using UA data will cease to update
    • GA4 uses a brand-new type of measurement based on events, as opposed to the previous page-view measurement (which used events as a custom tracking option) If you are using Google Tag Manager, the tags are different and will need updating or replacing
    • You will need a new Google Analytics property to store the data in - your old property will no longer exist
    • The interface of GA4 is very different from UA, so it will take some time for you and your teams to familiarise yourself with it - and get used to the way it works
    • GA4 doesn't have all the metrics you and your teams will be used to seeing in UA. Google will, however, be adding support - landing pages were added just recently

    GA4 also introduces a major change to how you can view data from multiple sources in one place. This change means that you'll be able to feed multiple websites and apps into one analytics property using what are currently known as Data Streams.

    In a post GDPR and iOS world, cookies are increasingly ineffective, and Google intends to replace that void with artificial intelligence. The AI will only apply in GA4 and not in Universal Analytics. We will also have the ability to change the standard attribution model (the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.) away from UA's current fixed default 'last click' setting , making the new GA4 a much more robust operating system in the long run.

    If you'd like to understand more about GA4 and make sure you're prepared, get in touch with Pixelsource and we will be happy to make sure you and your team are ready.

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