Found Table Ep.1 | Google Analytics 4 (1/2)

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GA4 is coming our way as Universal Analytics will be sunsetting at the end of June.

So, come the first of July, Universal Analytics is going to stop processing all data and it is imperative that brands are taking this super seriously and transition over to GA4 as soon as possible to ensure that they have accurate data to make judgments for their own internal marketing campaigns.

So, for this conversation today, we’re going to dive into the key benefits of transitioning over to GA4 and discuss the benefits of using GA4…

What are the key takeaways from (and key benefits of) the platform in itself?

So, Google Analytics 4 is the next generation measurement solution from Google.

It’s a lot more integrated in the Google systems and it brings together the two screens of measurement that we’ve never been able to accurately track together – the web and the app. So, for anyone that has real estate on both app and web, Google Analytics 4 is the first solution in its class, at enterprise level, that will unify those two streams of data.

Another benefit that Google Analytics 4 brings is its predictive capabilities.

We know that, with the gaps in the events that are introduced by the privacy controls, we have some work to do in finding missing sessions and the missing users. So, Google Analytics 4’s predictive capabilities help us to just start filling those gaps.

Another benefit is the fact that Google Analytics 4 has a new infrastructure that probably will not interest a lot of the users of the platform but (just to let you know) Google Analytics 3, which we all refer to as UA/Universal Analytics, was built on an infrastructure that was probably 20 years old and wasn’t fit for purpose anymore. So, Google Analytics 4 comes with a big overhaul of everything that is just behind the scenes.

What are the key challenges when it comes to migrating over from UA to GA4?

Google Analytics 4 introduces different concepts and different ways of looking at measurements. Before it was all about sessions and users and loads of types of hits, that no one really understood, right now it’s all about the user and it’s all about the events that those users do on the website.

So, everything is an event. There are a lot more things to track, more opportunities to track every single interaction that the user makes with the website or the app and we have everything centred on the user. Which makes it much easier to unify user journeys at user level throughout individual user sessions and throughout their interactions.

With these events in GA4, it’s much easier to organise the tracking for a website based on every single interaction with its elements.

Some people will not call the full overhaul of the tools a benefit in and of itself because of the way it looks at the moment (it’s still a nascent product) but Google are still working on the tools and are always looking to improve them.

What advice do you have for companies and brands that are watching this who haven’t yet transitioned over?

Year on year data is such an asset. Since the pandemic year on year data has obviously been a bit more challenging to make comparisons on but it is still incredibly valuable to have.

Now, when it comes to year on year data, it’s going to be quite easy to compare apples to apples for those who have migrated already.

If you haven’t transitioned across to GA4 already, viewing year on year data is going to be significantly more challenging.

Number one, the metrics don’t mean the same thing.

Number two, the tracking in the two different systems are going to have inconsistencies. As much as we would like them not to, there will always be inconsistencies.

There should be nothing to worry about at top level but when you dive into different segments, there may be data that doesn’t really make sense from one platform to the other.

We can definitely do the comparisons from this, but a tool called Bigquery, which is a storage solution by Google, needs to be used (and is quite easy to use by professionals). We download all the data into Bigquery merged at various levels and then the year on year comparisons are quite easy to do.

However, this includes extra steps, extra effort and extra work for everyone involved in getting that bigger if you haven’t migrated last year.

You can see the rest of this discussion at…

Found is a London-based multi-award-winning digital growthSEO, PPC, Social and Digital PR agency that harnesses the efficiencies of data and technology and future-thinking to help clients grow their businesses online.

If you have any questions or concerns about moving to GA4, the Found team is ready to help. Feel free to contact our team today.