Four things to do before transitioning to Google Analytics 4
By Ellinor Olmarken
In 2023, Universal Analytics (UA) will stop processing data. This is an enormous change for all data users, who will then have to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). But what does the switch actually mean?
The first question that comes to most people’s minds is: why GA4? Is it another tool that causes more problems than fixes? Or is it the modern solution for digital marketers?
GA4 is meant to be an improved and simpler tool. New users have complained about its interface and navigation, but — as we all know — getting used to new products takes time. And GA4 is here to stay. So, how do we adapt and make this tool our best friend?
Here are four things to do before making the historical switch:
1. Make sure to have a good understanding of GA4 and how it differs from UA
Since GA4 provides a completely new data model, it might seem more confusing than it is. As a start, find out what your data contain and see what has been beneficial with UA. You can then evaluate how GA4 can create a better understanding of your company’s needs and KPIs. Remember, that while UA is session-based, GA4 is based on events and parameters. This will make a big difference when analysing your data following the switch.
2. Breathe, explore, and keep track
Most of our clients have shown great concern when it comes to the switch from UA to GA4. But change is always scary at first. If you're currently using UA, try finding a way to incorporate GA4 as soon as possible and use it as an addition to your current program. You can then start learning the tool and make a gradual transition, instead of deep-diving straight away.
Eventually, all digital managers will have to embrace GA4, as UA will be gone in a year. So, it's all for the best to stay one step ahead.
3. Check your company's compliance
Unlike UA, GA4 doesn't track IP-addresses. This update removes the violation of privacy and personal identifiable information (PII).
4. Embrace the new GA4 perks!
How many times haven't digital marketers gotten infuriated trying to understand the relevance of numbers when looking to identify key measurements? Well, it's time to bid your frustration farewell. GA4 provides a wider range of customized options for reports, meaning that data is no longer an unnecessary accessory to spreadsheets and that core data is easier to present.
So all in all, take the time to start your transition to GA4 already now. Because step by step, bit by bit, UA will be a thing of the past. And the only way to master the ins and outs of GA4 is to take that first step and try it out.
See also our previous article about analytics and privacy.