Google Analytics 4 is here!


Paul Shearing

Head of Analytics and Data Science


Analytics and Data Science

Earlier this year, we discussed Google App + Web properties, Google’s latest beta analytics platform which revolutionizes how events are tracked across the web and apps.

App + Web officially launches out of beta today, under the new name Google Analytics 4. Previously, the App + Web beta was optional (users could choose to set up an App + Web property or a standard Google Analytics property) but moving forward, any new properties created will default to a Google Analytics 4 property.

Existing Google Analytics users won’t be affected in their use of the current universal analytics property but long term, most of the new analytics developments will be focused within GA4. It’s for this reason that we recommend all websites set up a GA4 property alongside their existing analytics in order to start tracking data now, so that a future migration to GA4 (as the primary analytics measurement) is easier, with an adequate history of data collection.

Why is GA4 so important?

Google has re-engineered analytics from the ground up, built in a way that is fitting with the way users interact with digital entities. This coupled with changes in regulations on data collection, on how browsers collect data, and how users expect their data to be collected and used – means that new solutions are needed to measure and analyze this information.

Google Analytics 4 offers a more robust solution for businesses and marketers in light of these changes as it is designed to work even when there are no cookies or other identifiers in place. This means marketers and brands can still learn about their customers despite potential gaps in their data.

We talked about some of the exciting features of Google Analytics 4 (previously App + Web) here, with notable features including the concept of streams for truly cross-channel reporting, a simpler events-based architecture, and a BigQuery export.

 

Some of the newest capabilities that will be included in Google Analytics 4 Properties include:

Event editing and synthesis

Google Analytics 4 allows users to modify and collect new events and conversions without the need to write and implement client-side code. Instead, events can now be logged and edited within the GA4 platform. This makes it much easier and quicker for marketers to keep on top of tracked events and ensure their accuracy.

Cross-domain measurement

It is now easier for brands to track and measure the user journey across domains as this data can be accessed within the Google Analytics 4 interface. Without the need for client-side code to be written and implemented, marketers can begin tracking this information as soon as possible.

With new integrations across Google’s different marketing products, as well as tracking across both app and web interactions, there is also better insights on how different channels work together.

Life cycle reporting

Reporting in GA4 has been improved and simplified, and reports are based around the customer lifecycle, so it will be easier to get a deeper understanding of the customer journey from acquisition, to conversion, to retention, There are now template reports suitable for ecommerce websites that display data around ecommerce funnels more efficiently.

Improved predictive measures

Google Analytics 4 uses Google’s advanced machine learning models to automatically identify and alert users to significant data trends such as rising demand for certain products, and they are continuing to add new predictive metrics which will help deliver a higher ROI.

What about current universal analytics properties?

There are currently no plans to deprecate Universal Analytics and Google is very clear that these users will not be losing any data or the ability to track data using their universal analytics properties whatsoever. However, they strongly recommend a dual implementation to benefit from all the future new features and developments as GA4 will be where efforts are focused on moving forward.

It is worth noting that Google is also working on an enterprise version of GA4 for GA360 users which is currently in beta. We can help you to access this beta version which has enterprise-level features.

 

How will moving to Google Analytics 4 benefit my business?

There are several benefits Google Analytics 4 offers over universal analytics:

  • It delivers smarter, faster and more efficient insights
  • In-platform cross-platform tracking makes it easier to gain a holistic view of your users
  • It provides a reliable and durable solution against changes to data regulations thanks to the unique Google Signals and advanced modeling capabilities.

What now?

Although GA4 is officially launched and out of beta, GA4 will continually be improved and Google has hinted at exciting future features such as automated and custom insights and predictive metrics such as revenue.

As all new properties will automatically be created within Google Analytics 4, there is nothing to do in these cases except enjoy the new features and capabilities GA4 offers. For users with existing analytics properties, now is the time to set up GA4 (if you haven’t already) so that you can begin collecting useful data.

You can read more about the new Google Analytics 4 in Google’s official update.

Want to get started on GA4?We can help


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