“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”
—Marty McFly, Back to the Future
If you feel unprepared for a futuristic look at gathering and organizing data—you’d better get ready.
Google has announced that the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will soon replace Universal Analytics (UA) as its data and reporting tool. On July 1, 2023, UA will stop processing new hits. Therefore, migration to GA4 is a must.
Don’t wait for the next lightning storm to make your move—hop into that plutonium-filled DeLorean and rev it up to 1.21 gigawatts! Switch over to GA4 now to be proactive—future you will be grateful.
Great Scott! The Good News
There are benefits to stepping into the future. It could be the decision that leads to outsmarting Biff Tannen—I mean, outperforming your competition.
Google built Universal Analytics around the concept of a session, which is a series of page views. But where we’re going, we don’t need session-based data. So, GA4 focuses on event performance. Events can be anything from page views to clicks, form submissions, and even custom events you define yourself.
This change has many implications. For example, GA4 can collect more data than UA, provide more user journey insight, and track multiple platforms. For example, Google is introducing tracking for iOS and Android apps—not just web traffic. Overall, the new GA4 allows for better organization and comparison of your data.
Another benefit of the new GA4 system is that it strictly adheres to privacy regulations, collecting website and app data while remaining compliant with GDPR. GA4 includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement and behavioral and conversion modeling.
What to Expect
If you don’t initiate a switch from UA to GA4, Google will automatically create your new profile, maintaining your current settings. And according to our calculations, once this baby hits your apps and websites—you’re gonna see some serious … shifts in your analytics interface.
Firstly, GA4 will remain free to you. That’s right. You don’t need no credit card to ride this train. If you get reports directly from Universal, you’ll see small changes in your reporting with GA4.
If Find8 is supplying your reports, much will remain the same. However, you could see less demographic information, such as age or gender, since GA4 is focused on privacy and events.
Protect Past Data
In the past, UA stored your data for years, making year-over-year reporting simple. The new GA4 system will store data for just 14 months. So, year-over-year reporting is still possible—but expect a slight disruption in the first year.
Consider exporting your historical data for your records. Find8’s data specialists can complete this. Just think of us as your Doc Brown. Suddenly, the future’s looking a whole lot better.
Finally, Google continuously makes improvements to its platforms, including GA4. Find8 will keep you updated as features are released.
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