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April 2022

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 has been available for some time now. Google recently announced that support for Universal Analytics will end on July 1, 2023. This has the necessary consequences for you as a user.

Why Google Analytics 4?

According to Google, the current Universal Analytics is insufficiently prepared for the future, because increasingly higher demands are made in the field of privacy. With Google Analytics 4, Google wants on the one hand to give users more insight into the customer journey of customers and on the other hand to better meet user privacy requirements. With a new way of measuring that focuses more on customer behavior, Google hopes to continue to operate optimally in an ever-changing market.

The differences

Where Universal Analytics was still dependent on cookies and used an event-driven data model for measurements, Google Analytics 4 works across the platform. It is based on events and parameters. To meet the new privacy requirements, no more IP addresses are stored

The main benefits

  • Cross-platform user identification

Google Analytics 4 considers individual users interacting with a business, rather than the devices and browsers. This makes it easier to follow a user's path.

  • Complete reports

Reports are organized around the customer's cycle. These customer lifecycle reports provide a more complete picture of how customers behave across channels and devices towards your business.

  • Predictive Statistics

Machine learning will play a greater role, enabling predictions to be made. In this way, users are more quickly and better informed about trends, for example increasing demand for a product, expected turnover or the number of expected customers dropping out.

  • Easy to use

Because everything is more minimalistic in Google Analytics 4, it is easier to use. Data is clearly presented in graphs, instead of in tables. The number of possible reports has been reduced from 150 to 30 and creating an account has been simplified.

  • Manage target groups more easily

Setting up and creating target groups of visitors on your own website and in your own app has become easier due to the improved target group integration with Google Ads.

The most mentioned disadvantages

  • Some features expire

Some of the features of Universal Analytics have not made it to Google Analytics 4. These include bounce rate, site speed reporting, and integration with Google Optimize.

  • Data cannot be transferred

Google Analytics 4 is built on a new data model that is fundamentally different from the old one. It is therefore not possible to transfer Universal Analytics one-to-one to Google Analytics 4. No historical data is included from Universal Analytics. Everything will have to be redesigned. For example, consider setting conversions.

What will change as of July 1, 2023?

As of July 1, 2023, the current Universal Analytics will be replaced by Google Analytics 4. As described on the Google Analytics support page , this has the following consequences:

  • Until July 1, 2023 you can continue to use your data in the Universal Analytics property and add new data.
  • After July 1, 2023 you will have 6 months access to previously processed data. Google recommends saving historical data reports.
  • Google will release new information about the expiration dates of the current Universal Analytics properties in the coming months. After this expiration date, you will no longer be able to view Universal Analytics reports in the Analytics interface and you will no longer be able to access your Universal Analytics data via the API.

Our advice

Because Google Universal will no longer be available in the future, it is necessary to switch to Google Analytics 4. We recommend that you create and set up a Google Analytics 4 property by June 30, 2022 at the latest. In this way you can make a comparison with data from the previous year. It is recommended that you first export and enter the old data while you are still using Universal Analytics, before getting started with Google Analytics 4 completely.


Haven't created a Google Analytics 4 property yet? Our online marketing specialist is happy to think along with you and unburden you when creating and setting up Google Analytics 4.

Dave

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