Google Analytics 4 & What to do When Universal Analytics Goes Away

Posted October 14, 2022 in
What Is GA4?
GA4 is Google's newest iteration of its website and application analytics platform, slated to replace Universal Analytics (UA) in July 2023.

Why Do I Need to Get Started With GA4 Now?
When that July 2023 date rolls around, Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics. The only thing you’ll be able to do in UA is view the data from the six months leading up to that July 2023 date; you will NOT be able to update your UA Properties and Views.

Additionally, GA4 and Universal are not the same exact tools. GA4 requires a lot more setup and know-how than UA did, so you’d be wise to get comfortable in GA4 well before it becomes your only Google option.

What's the Difference Between GA4 and UA?
There are SEVERAL. Here's a list of the main takeaways:
  • GA4 needs a lot more configuration and setup than UA. No one will have everything they need out of the box.
  • The data itself will be different between GA4 and Universal analytics. They use different algorithms and calculations AND they categorize things differently, so you won’t be able to do 1:1 comparisons with year-over-year data.
  • You have to pay for certain features in GA4, such as data storage and filtered views. There might be workarounds, they just involve a lot of research and customization. (Remember when I said that thing about needing more setup and know-how?)
  • If you have a small site with little daily traffic, you may run into something called “thresholding.” This is when Google obscures some user data because they don’t want you to be able to personally identify your users in the face of modern privacy concerns. Again, you might be able to work around this with some reporting customization.
  • It's not all bad; GA4 is a very powerful analytics tool with endless configurations and useful features to help you understand your website or application analytics to help you reach your business goals.
So get excited! GA4 is a great tool that can provide extensive insight into your business and how it operates online.

Use the comment section below to ask GA4 questions, tell us how you're feeling about GA4 replacing Universal Analytics, or anything else that's top of mind for you! 
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