Make the Switch to Google Analytics 4
by Brittani Hunsaker • June 3, 2022
With the sunset announcement of Universal Analytics, many advertisers and marketers are looking for alternative solutions.
Specifically, we’re going to talk about how to put Google Analytics 4 at the core of your measurement plan.
- July 1, 2023: Standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. You’ll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for some time after July 1, 2023. However, new data will only flow into Google Analytics 4 properties.
- Estimated January 1, 2024: No more access to UA historical data. Google notes to export your historical reports before then.
What To Do Before June 30th, 2022
- Upgrade to GA4
- As a marketer, I find one of the best insights to be YoY comparisons. This helps us quickly identify seasonal trends and track YoY growth. Because your new GA4 property will not auto-fill historical data, in order to have YoY data once GA4 fully takes over, we’ll want to have the new GA4 property in place by the end of June.
- Complete the Migration Checklist
- The migration checklist ensures that your new analytics property is set up correctly and pulls in the appropriate data.
Whether you have implemented GA4 or not, we recommend double-checking that you’ve fully completed the migration checklist to get actionable, privacy-safe customer insights and YoY data.
Exciting Features with GA4
Simple, Efficient & Custom Intelligent Insights
AI-driven insights are at your fingertips. With GA4 properties, you can easily answer questions like:
- How many total unique users do you have, regardless of what platforms they use?
- How many conversions have occurred on your app and website in the last week? Which platform contributes to most of these conversions?
You can also go deeper to understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns across platforms. For example, you can see how many users started on your app, then visited your website to make a purchase.
Intelligent insights are customizable! How amazing would it be to spot anomalies in real time? A drastic drop in users or revenue can help you detect and resolve potential issues earlier, preventing costly downtime. Custom insights are available for daily events, users, views, conversions, and revenue.
Improved Cross-Device & Cross-Platform Data
The new GA4 combines app + web data and uses a session-based model to collect and store data.
Traditional UA relies heavily on device ID, whereas GA4 uses all available identity spaces: User ID, Device ID, and Google Signals.
When you only have access to one identity space, like a device ID, a single person could appear as a different user every time they interact with your business on another device. But when you use multiple identity spaces, you can get better insight into user journeys, with more robust cross-device and cross-platform data and reporting that reflects de-duplicated users.
Linking GA4 to BigQuery
One of the most promising features in the new version of Google Analytics (GA4) is BigQuery linking. (Previously only available to GA360 properties.)
BigQuery is a serverless, highly scalable, and cost-effective multi-cloud data warehouse designed for business agility.
Google deletes the data from the GA interface after 2-14 months, but you will always be able to access it through BigQuery if you use the native integration.
BigQuery also sets you up for 1P data solutions by storing/sending it to your data warehouse and enabling you to visualize the customer journey and perform a more in-depth analysis.
The Migration Checklist
To date, 8 out of every 10 GA4 properties audited only had the first few steps completed, meaning goals, events, and audiences had yet to be created. To take advantage of Google Analytics 4’s measurement continuity, automated insights about the customer journey, and easy activation to improve marketing ROI, verify you’ve gone through the entire migration checklist.
You can set up your new GA4 property to run in parallel with your existing Universal Analytics property. There are no changes to your Universal Analytics property, and it continues to collect data as always.
Leverage the Google Migration checklist here.
Looking for more assistance? Click here to access our free webinar recording to learn how to transition to GA4.