Change Now or Lose your Data – GA4 is on the way | Richmond & Towers
14th April | Anouska Leon back

Change Now or Lose your Data – GA4 is on the way

If you haven’t heard of Google’s new GA4, it’s probably time you did. The changes are coming whether we like it or not, and if you’re not prepared, it could have catastrophic consciences.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is due to replace the current version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics or UA) in June 2023. This means that in just over a year you’ll be using GA4, and your data must be migrated carefully and effectively to avoid any lasting impacts on your campaigns.

Here are the main changes you need to be aware of:

  • UA properties will stop collecting data from 1st July 2023 and historic data will be deleted six months later.  Your UA properties are your websites, blogs and mobile apps that you track within your in Google Analytics account.  They will all have a unique property tracking ID which collects data
  • GA4 data will not be directly comparable to UA data and any existing reports using UA data will cease to update
  • GA4 uses a brand-new type of measurement based on events, as opposed to the previous page-view measurement (which used events as a custom tracking option)
  • If you are using Google Tag Manager, the tags are different and will need updating or replacing
  • You will need a new Google Analytics property to store the data in – your old property will no longer exist
  • The interface of GA4 is very different from UA, so it will take some time for you and your teams to familiarise yourself with it – and get used to the way it works
  • GA4 doesn’t have all the metrics you and your teams will be used to seeing in UA. Google will, however, be adding support – landing pages were added just recently

GA4 also introduces a major change to how you can view data from multiple sources in one place. This change means that you’ll be able to feed multiple websites and apps into one analytics property using what are currently known as Data Streams.

In a post GDPR and iOS world, cookies are increasingly ineffective, and Google intends to replace that void with artificial intelligence. The AI will only apply in GA4 and not in Universal Analytics.  We will also have the ability to change the standard attribution model (the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.) away from UA’s current fixed default ‘last click’ setting , making the new GA4 a much more robust operating system in the long run.

If you’d like to understand more about GA4 and make sure you’re prepared, get in touch with me and our team of digital gurus will be happy to make sure you and your team is ready.

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