Google Analytics 4. What is it and what does it offer?

18th Nov. 2020

Google Analytics 4 is just an upgraded version of Google analytics. It adds AI-Powered Smarter Insights, tracks users across devices, and provides more granular data controls. The new Google Analytics 4 includes extensive predictive insights, deeper integration with Google Ads, cross-device measurement capabilities, and more granular data controls.

Let’s Know About what really Google Analytics 4 Offer

AI-Powered Smarter Insights

Although Google uses machine learning in the current version of the scan, it has always been a bit of a bolt, hidden away, and only used when requested. With version 4, Google built AI at the heart of it, enabling it to fill data gaps, predict future customer behavior, and identify trends. The hope for Google is that this AI-Powered Smarter insight will help businesses make wise decisions in this current changing and volatile landscape.

Deeper integrations with Google Ads and other Google Marketing Platform

This in-depth integration with other applications of the marketing suite, in particular with Google Ads, allows better granulation of audience segments. AI can now identify audiences on your behalf, those audiences based on predictive spend or lifetime value

Customer-centric analysis

This new Google Analytics 4 aims to help give you a more complete view of how customers interact with your business or organization by aggregating web and app metrics into reports, as well as acquisition channels. The result is to produce reports that allow you to dig deep to understand all aspects of the customer journey. It also allows you to easily combine data from multiple websites into a single property, to get a more complete picture of how users interact with your sites if they cross multiple domains and websites.

User privacy

Google has introduced a new approach to data controls in Analytics. With users and regulators demanding more control over how organizations use their personal data, the purpose of these new controls is to make it easier to collect and manage that data. This makes it easier to identify users, for example, who have given permission to collect Analytics data, but who have disabled personal ads on a site or app.

Google understands that there may be tools and capabilities that users need from their current analytics setup, so they recommend running the new Google Analytics 4 in parallel with the current universal analytics for now.

What are the differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4?

The biggest difference between traditional Universal Analytics and the newer Google Analytics 4 is the user interface.

There are differences in data collection between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 properties – how data is defined and what data elements are called. Here are some of the concepts in GA4:

  • Events: These are the user's interactions with a website or application - like pageviews, button clicks, user actions, etc. Unlike before, events do not require adding custom code with the on-site analytics tracking code. Some events are measured by default.
  • Parameters: additional bits of information that give context to each event. For example, parameters can be used to describe the value of a purchase, or to provide context into which, how, and why the event was logged. It can include page titles, article IDs, etc.
  • Event hit: Traditional Analytics "pageviews" translate to the "page_view" event in GA4. Remember that for events, a Universal Analytics event has a Category, Action, and Label and has its own hit type. In GA4, however, each “hit” is an event; there is no longer any distinction between the types of hits.

According to Google, “it’s better to rethink your data collection in terms of the Google Analytics 4 model rather than port your existing event structure to Google Analytics 4.”

Differences in the way that hits are handled over time can cause sessions to appear lower. Marketers shouldn't expect their data to match exactly. Google also explains this by saying, “Some aspects of session counting differ between the two platforms. For example, in Universal Analytics, a new campaign will start a new session regardless of the activity, but a new campaign will not start a new session in Google Analytics 4. This may result in a drop in the number of sessions in your Google Analytics reports 4. "

Differences in the way delayed data is handled can also cause differences in your data. In traditional Analytics, hits are processed if they arrive within 4 hours of the end of the day, but Google Analytics 4 processes events which arrive up to 72 hours later.

At TheDigitalCrafts, we have years of experience building and monitoring Google Analytics accounts for clients from different industries. We understand that each requires a unique strategy, and we get to know the businesses and goals of each of our clients before we create them. If you would like help with your Google Analytics account, we would be happy to help. We'll work with you to understand what you're looking to accomplish with your website and online marketing strategy, and use that information to create goals that reflect it. Contact us today for more information email [email protected]