As we talked about in our previous blog article about Google Analytics 4, it is the latest version of Google Analytics and a great tool to use for all analytics needs. Especially since it now combines app and web-property using an event-based data collection and reporting model. Although, there are some differences between Universal Analytics (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4), such as hit types, sessions, and content grouping. At RHUX Analytics, we believe that it is an excellent tool to start integrating and we highly recommend using them in parallel to make sure all data is tracking accurately.
1. It’s The Future Of Analytics
Just like in 2012, Universal Analytics replaced the 2007 version of Classic Analytics, and one day soon the time will come for GA4 to take the place of UA in the technology spotlight. Although Google hasn’t expressed any plans to discontinue UA, it will become less and less relevant as time goes on due to the fast-changing nature of the industry. From now on any new improvements or new features will most likely be added to GA4 and will eventually become the new standard.
2. Less Tag Maintenance
We all know how crazy things can get with the number of tags that need to be maintained to track everything correctly, and GA4 reduces that by creating “Enhanced Measurement.” This feature allows Google Analytics tags to send events without having to code or configure anything else with a single click. Some of the events include page views, scrolls, outbound clicks, site search, video engagement, and file downloads.
3. “Unlimited” Event Collection
Although GA4 also only allows 500 distinctly named events like the Universal Analytics version, some do not count toward the limits. These include enhanced measurement events and those automatically collected, such as first_open and in_app_purchase.
4. Bigquery Export Available for All
In this new version, Bigquery export is finally available to all GA4 users compared to before which was only possible with a GA360 subscription and, it's 10x more effortless than before. Now you can stream data directly to it and take advantage of the best reports for data analysis. You can connect analytics to Bigquery in less than a minute and choose the frequency your data is being exported, options are daily, streaming, or both. Both reports have their benefits, the streaming report data begins showing up only a few minutes after Google Analytics collects the data while daily is collected once a day and also includes attribution data.
5. Live DebugView
There is no need to wait hours to debug your data anymore! This new feature in GA4 gives you instant access to data from a device or browser and allows you to debug data collection directly in the interface.
6. Cross-device Tracking Included
Website and mobile app data are finally all in one place and, the best part is there is no additional tagging required. This enables marketers to see the full picture of users' journeys, even when they use multiple devices. This update is a tremendous benefit as it allows for more accurate data collection and attribution.
7. Better Visualization
The main dashboard is another fantastic improvement by Google. It provides a comprehensive snapshot of real-time data from your site with the option to add up to four dimensions for comparisons.
8.Additional Custom Dimensions And Custom Metrics
Compared to Google Analytics 4 that allows for up to 50 events scoped custom dimensions and metrics, Universal Analytics only allows up to 20 custom dimensions and metrics. Having these additional dimensions and metrics can be extremely useful to define and track custom data points about your users and their interactions with your site.
9. Machine Learning + Predictive Analytics
Google has enhanced its machine learning capabilities in Google Analytics 4, giving you the ability to group users into audiences as the event occurs based on various probabilities. One of them being purchase probability, based on active users from the last 28 days that are likely to purchase within the next seven days. Churn probability, the likelihood that a user will be inactive within the next seven days based on the past 28 days. As well as make revenue predictions from active users on your site in the last 28 days.
10. Analysis - Not Your Standard Report Section
Incredibly user-friendly, six different models of data visualization, various techniques, all your segments, dimensions, metrics, filters, and much more in the new Analysis reporting section. All of these tools in GA4 provide almost anyone the ability to create advanced analyses and funnels with their data in a short time.
As we can see Google has made significant improvements and upgrades from Universal Analytics to this new system. These are the top reasons we recommend our clients begin integrating GA4. If you have any questions or would like to know more about implementing GA4, contact us!