Google Analytics is a ubiquitous platform amongst tools designed to uncover and measure online user behaviour. Not only does it provide detailed understanding of the different types of engagement a user can have with a property, it is also well supported in the industry due to its wide use and integrations with other tools as its part of the Google suite. Its latest iteration, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), has been in the market for over two years and was introduced as a way to unify app and website measurement for analytics.
GA4 facilitates investigation into questions such as how many total unique users do you have across your app and website? Which is the better asset for driving sales, the site or the app? GA4 creates a more seamless understanding of the user behaviour across owned assets where previously was not possible. It is essential to understand the nuances of GA4 with its predecessor, Universal Analytics, recently announced to be sunset by July 2023, with premium users receiving an additional 3 months grace period.
Events v Sessions Based Tracking
Designed to futureproof the platform due to cookie depreciation and for privacy compliance, Google Analytics 4 evolves from Universal Analytics (UA) as it moves away from data focussed on users (i.e. session based tracking) towards events based tracking. With metrics between platforms being defined differently, it is recommended to redevelop a data collection infrastructure bespoke to GA4 rather than porting this from UA.
Media Tools and Integrations
As UA reaches the end of its lifecycle by July 2023, it will stop providing data to existing audiences, integrations, and reports. These will all need to be reconfigured or recreated and re-integrated with the GA4 ecosystem. It is recommended to act now, replicate or rebuild audiences and ensure that reports are populating as expected for comparability and allow for adjustments prior to the deadline.
Machine Learning Closing Cookie Data Gaps
Machine learning is becoming more vital in closing data gaps made inevitable by the cookieless future and data collection opt outs, all of which presents substantial challenges to the existing Universal Analytics. In GA4, creating this complete picture of user engagement is made easier by machine learning processing from the ever growing list of events and converting these into predictive metrics that the organisation can use to develop its audiences and measurements.
We recommend preparing your organisation for this new norm of tracking. If you would like be supported in this, please reach out to our experts at ADMATIC who are keen to help.