iX POV: Get one step forward with Google Analytics 4

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  3. iX POV: Get one step ahead with Google Analytics 4

Google launched the latest version of Google Analytics, which builds on the beta version released last year (previously called App + Web). It’s a big change from Universal Analytics and is now the standard experience for all new customers.

How do I upgrade to Google Analytics 4?

Since the beta version was released, we recommend that you create a new property in addition to your existing properties. Now, Google is officially asking you to do the same. This allows you to collect data and take advantage of the latest innovations as they become available while maintaining your current implementation.

The earlier you set up your new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property, the more historical data will be available to you after the complete migration. You also have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the new features and the new data model, which is different from Universal Analytics.

What’s new in GA4?

Free BigQuery Link

One of the most exciting features of GA4 is that you can now easily link your analytics data to BigQuery, which was previously just a GA360 function. This enables advanced analysis using the raw data at the hit level. Querying your data in BigQuery bypasses some of the limitations of the Google Analytics user interface. For example, you can do the following:

  • Avoid random sampling and use 100% of the data in your analysis

  • Combine as many dimensions as you want

  • Create filters for historical data

  • Use this raw data to build your own machine learning models using R or Python.

Predictive Analytics

GA4 promises “smarter insights to improve marketing decisions and achieve a better ROI” with new forecasting functions such as:

  • Churn probabilityThis calculates the likelihood that users will be active on your website, so you can invest in customer loyalty more efficiently.
  • Probability of purchaseThis allows you to create audiences that include users who are most likely to buy, such as: B. “Users Expected to Buy in the Next 7 Days”.

Customer-oriented measurement

GA4 uses multiple identifiers, including user IDs and Google signals, to give you a more complete view of your customers. This will allow you to track users on different devices and fill in the gaps where cookies or other identifiers fail.

Privacy controls

With the new data functions, you can control how your data is recorded, processed and stored. In GA4, IP anonymization is activated by default. You can customize the ad personalization setting for a specific event type or user property.

Future proof

As the technology landscape becomes more privacy-focused, it becomes more and more difficult to track users online. However, the new Google Analytics is “designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers”. It’s not 100% clear how this is going to work right now, but it looks like Google is planning to use machine learning to model conversions where there are gaps in the data.

We don’t have an update from Google for the corporate version of GA4 yet, but we expect more information to be released soon – and it will be a few years before the GA360 now receives much of the free GA460 features that the current one GA360 functions.

For now, we recommend that you continue to rely on your Universal Analytics implementation for business critical insights while creating a GA4 property. Since this is a new implementation and a new data model, it is important to familiarize yourself with these new Google Analytics methods at an early stage and to generate a data history in this capacity in order to be able to carry out future analyzes.

If you need advice or technical support setting up your Google Analytics 4 property, or if you have additional questions about digital marketing, please contact: results@icrossing.co.uk, we would like to help!