Analyzing user behavior and measuring the performance of your website or app are essential aspects of managing a successful online presence. For a long time, Google Analytics has served as the standard tool for obtaining these insights. With the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a new generation of this analytics tool is being introduced, offering many advantages over its predecessor, Universal Analytics. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why switching to GA4 is crucial for preserving valuable data and gaining deeper insights into your users’ behavior. Powerful machine learning and integration with Google products GA4 is built with a strong focus on machine learning and integration with other Google products. This allows users to conduct more advanced analyses and obtain deeper insights. Machine learning techniques can identify patterns and trends that would otherwise be difficult to observe. Furthermore, integration with other Google products, such as Google Ads and Google BigQuery, enables data combination and provides a holistic view of your marketing efforts’ performance.
The new data model of GA4
An important difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics is the data model. GA4 uses events and event parameters instead of page views and event categories as in Universal Analytics. This new data model offers more flexibility and makes it easier to track user behavior across multiple platforms, such as websites, apps, and even smart devices. It allows marketers to gain a deeper understanding of how users interact with their digital assets.
The risk of sticking with Universal Analytics
Google will automatically create a GA4 property for you if you don’t have one, based on the settings of your Universal Analytics property unless you opt out. If you already have a GA4 property linked to a Universal Analytics property, the settings will be copied unless you opt out. You can continue to use your Universal Analytics property and collect new data until July 1, 2023. After that date, you will have at least 6 months of access to the previously processed data. At a later date to be determined, Universal Analytics reports will no longer be available in the Analytics interface, and you will no longer have access to your Universal Analytics data through the API. For the most reliable setup, a manual set-up is recommended. This way, you always have control over your account’s settings.
The necessity to switch to GA4
To ensure that you do not lose important data and can fully leverage the advanced functionalities, it is crucial to switch to GA4. The migration process may require some time and effort, but it is definitely worth the investment. By switching, you not only preserve your existing data but also gain access to new analysis and reporting capabilities. With GA4, you can obtain deeper insights into your users’ behavior, such as tracking user journeys across different platforms and analyzing events at a more granular level. Furthermore, GA4 provides enhanced privacy protection. With the rise of stricter privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the recent focus on user privacy, complying with privacy requirements is crucial. GA4 is designed with these privacy aspects in mind and offers more data control options and improved data retention choices. Switching to GA4 may initially seem overwhelming, especially if you are accustomed to Universal Analytics. It may involve reviewing and adjusting your tracking implementations, setting up new events, and understanding the new data model. Consulting Google Analytics documentation and any available resources or even seeking assistance from a web analytics specialist can be helpful in ensuring a smooth transition. Conclusion Google Analytics 4 offers a range of benefits and features over its predecessor, Universal Analytics. With advanced machine learning capabilities, a new data model and improved privacy protection, GA4 is essential for retaining valuable data and gaining deeper insights into your users’ behaviour. While the switch may take some time and effort, it is an investment that will pay off in the form of improved analytics and better capabilities for data-driven decision-making process. So don’t hesitate any longer, make the switch to Google Analytics 4 and ensure that you stay ahead of the competition and continue to gather valuable insights for the success of your online presence.