Offering expanded predictive insights, deeper integration with Google Ads, more data controls and much more, the recently released Google Analytics 4 is more intelligent, detailed and promises greater ROI from your marketing.
Millions of businesses rely on Google Analytics to better understand their customers and create ever-improving experiences for them. As more companies move online and cost pressures increase, analytics tools are of increasing importance; helping businesses to assign every penny of their marketing budget to where it will have the most impact.
GA4 offers a more complete overview of the customer lifecycle and uses AI to dive deeper into insight. It’s able to collect much wider data than the standard user interactions. For example, granular, first-party data on web vitals.
GA4 offers a more complete overview of the customer lifecycle and uses AI to dive deeper into insight.
Giving us some deeper insight into 3 key changes that are likely to affect companies, Three Whiskey’s Data and Analytics Lead Henrik Brodtkorb shares his thoughts:
1. Companies will need to set up tracking
Since the data structure is completely rebuilt, companies will need to set up tracking aligned with the new data schema to be able to fully leverage the new functionality. This will be costly, especially for larger businesses, but in the long run it will provide much better analytics.
2. BigQuery exports are now more available
With GA4, Google has made BigQuery exports generally available (previously, this came with a six-figure price tag). This is great news, as companies can easily access and analyze unsampled hit-level data and integrate with other platforms where companies previously imported 3rd party cost data to. E.g. Facebook Ads cost data.
With GA4, Google has made BigQuery exports generally available (previously, this came with a six-figure price tag).
3. More accurate, and private, web-tracking capabilities
There have been a lot of other developments in the Google Web Tracking space, which has led up to the release of GA4.
In August, Google released Serverside Google Tag Manager, meaning better tracking for users who use adblockers, and much better control of user privacy (deciding what data is sent to ad platforms, true IP address redaction, etc). Additionally, "consent mode" allows tracking of users who reject cookies, which fills a large gap in first-party data collection.
These two things mean companies are able to track user interactions with their web estate more accurately, while respecting their privacy choices.
Companies are able to track user interactions with their web estate more accurately, while respecting their privacy choices.
GA4 has been built with machine learning as the main form of data measurement, using ‘modeling’ that can make assumptions about site traffic and user behavior. This more intelligent approach promises to offer a more complete understanding of the user journey across devices, instead of focusing only on individual, fragmented metrics.
With the dwindling stability of traditional analytics and new privacy laws (such as GDPR and CCPA), GA4 promises to be a more “future-proof” solution for businesses looking to make the most of their data.
Photo by Chase Chappell on Unsplash