Why it's important to make the switch now before UA stops collecting data
With the end of Universal Analytics data collection and processing on July 1st, 2023, it's important to start migrating to GA4 as soon as possible. The earlier you migrate, the more historical data and insights you will keep in the new Google Analytics. GA4 offers several advantages over UA, such as a more efficient way of measuring data, more adaptability for the future with its use of machine learning, greater insight into the customer journey, more advanced reporting capabilities, and integration with Google BigQuery. As the mandatory transition approaches, it's a good idea to review your current measurement plan and identify important interactions and information to collect using GA4's event-based data model and parameters.
Though you still have some time to make the switch, we recommend starting the migration as soon as possible. Time flies, and the 1st of July will be here before you know it!
Why you should upgrade to Google Analytics 4: The Advantages over Universal Analytics
- Measure data more efficiently with GA4
Unlike UA which uses sessions and pageviews as the basis for its data model, GA4's event-based approach allows for more detailed measurement and analysis of individual interactions. Plus, GA4 eliminates the need for clustering events into a category, action, label, and value by allowing you to send event-related information within parameters.
- Better prepared for the future with GA4
GA4's ability to function with or without cookies and use of first-party cookies for data collection, combined with its machine learning capabilities, make it more adaptable for upcoming changes in data privacy regulations than UA.
- Gain deeper insights into customer behaviour with GA4
Unlike UA which separates data sources using properties and views, GA4's event-based data model allows you to merge data from multiple sources, such as a website, app, or in-store devices, into a single property for a more comprehensive understanding of the customer journey.
- More advanced reporting capabilities with GA4
GA4's Explore feature offers more advanced visualisation options than UA for analysing user pathways, such as funnel or path exploration, and tracking lifetime value of users.
- Powerful data analysis with the integration of Google BigQuery
Previously available only to paying UA users, GA4 now allows for free integration with BigQuery, enabling the storage of raw event data from multiple platforms and the ability to perform more in-depth data analysis.
Optimise Your Measurement Plan: Identifying Key Metrics Before starting with GA4
Prepare for the upcoming transition by reviewing your current measurement plan and identifying key metrics. This may involve re-evaluating your platform's events, such as viewing FAQs or purchasing products. Define the information you want to collect per event, including specific FAQs viewed, products purchased, quantities, and payment methods. Take advantage of GA4's event-based data model and its ability to send up to 25 pieces of information per event using parameters, which differs from UA's limited option of assigning a category, action, label, and value per event.
Compare GA4 data with that of UA
Ensure a smooth transition to GA4 by comparing its data with that of UA until July 1, 2023. This allows you to identify any discrepancies, such as lower traffic or conversion rates in GA4. Utilise tools like the GA4 Migration Monitoring Dashboard provided by Krista Seiden to analyse the data and identify potential causes for differences, such as filter application, attribution models, domain configuration, and cookie consent settings.
Give yourself time to get used to GA4
If you're used to working with specific report views in UA, it can be challenging to find the same data in GA4. One of the biggest concerns is the potential for differences in data which can make it harder to trust the data as quickly as before. To ensure a smooth transition, it's essential to familiarise yourself with the new interface and learn where to find the information you need. Additionally, GA4 offers new features and insights that UA doesn't, so it's worth exploring these new possibilities!
Are you ready to make the switch?
Google Analytics 4 will replace Universal Analytics as of July 1, 2023. To understand the differences between GA4 and UA data and to get used to a new way of analysing, we recommend starting with GA4 as soon as possible.
Although it may be difficult at first, you will find that analysing data and spotting trends becomes easier once you force yourself to use GA4.