The new GA4 (Google Analytics 4) features combine data from websites and mobile apps into a single report collection, enabling cross-platform research to be carried out. They do this by allowing you to track mobile apps (using Firebase) and websites (using the Global Site Tag or Google Tag Manager).
While you can track people through apps and websites with the GA4 assets, don’t get confused, they are super smart even if you have a website. They provide new features, such as ‘Enhanced Measurement’ (which monitors scroll-depth, outbound connections, site search, embedded YouTube videos, and downloads of files automatically). They can submit data to other assets of Google Analytics. Plus, they unlock reports, including ad-hoc funnel and path analysis, that allow you to analyze your audience in new ways.
Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics
Google Analytics – 4 aims to fix some of the problems posed in Universal Analytics and incorporate scalable and adaptable concepts. The main differences are as follows:
Data Processing: Session vs. Event-Based ModelA session-based data model is used by Universal Analytics (data is grouped within a given time frame based on a user’s interaction). It results in a management model that is structurally complex and computationally costly. As many analysts have probably experienced, it cannot be easy in UA to combine unstructured or semi-structured data with structured data, especially with the constant increase in data volume. With a schema solution based on an event, where everything is an event, Google Analytics 4 solves it. As a result, GA4 processes the user event with its specific parameters as a stand-alone model, ensuring that its database is versatile, scalable, and super-fast when queried.
Audiences DefinitionsIn Google Analytics 4, more options allow you to identify audiences (such as ‘User ID’ from your CRM). You will enable Google Signals to exploit anonymous user information collected from users signed into Google Services if you do not collect User IDs. Defining audiences take to its optimum the power of remarketing. With Google Analytics 4 feeding data to the Google Marketing Platform, remarketing ads can be delivered across multiple devices if a Google user has Ads Personalization allowed.
Identity Specs for ReportingIn Universal Analytics, there is restricted cross-device and platform reporting. It is available in User ID-enabled views and generates cross-device reports using only the User ID. Few Google Signal reports are also available in non-user ID views, but the fact remains that all of these reports in UA are isolated. Google Analytics 4 is genuinely a form of cross-device property and makes its case as a user-centric study. It combines the classic User ID, Google Signals data, and System ID so that all those reports have access to the information. Within GA4, without regard to platforms, you can now answer questions about your users. For example, “How much revenue has a user-generated, regardless of the category of the device?”
Custom TrackingIn UA, custom dimensions are secondary dimensions rather than primary ones that guide analysis on top of standard reporting. With Google Analytics 4, this isn’t the case. Custom metrics become level-set with traditional metrics for reporting and review in GA4’s analysis center. Furthermore, GA4 records additional events automatically, especially in apps.
Reporting UIFor certain predefined visual representations called standard reports in Universal Analytics, data is pre-organized. However, you can create custom reports if you have additional business requirements. The biggest problem with UA customizing reports is that when using them, the category of measurements and metrics must have the same scope, limiting their flexibility and capabilities. The consumer is restricted by this challenge to concentrate more on KPIs and reporting than on research. By only including a handful of regular reports, Google solved some of these reporting issues in Google Analytics 4. The details are often simplified to show you summary cards or overviews of a single perspective of your website and mobile app. It is now easier to recognize the users. You can now use the analysis hub function to generate customized custom reports and analyses.
ConclusionAs you can see, GA 4 adds value to your business in the following ways –
- Machine learning gives the organization more meaningful insights.
- Its reporting UI is simple, user-centered, and allows you to see the entire user journey in the marketing funnel at any point.
- Its event-based schema enables a user interface that is scalable, flexible, and smooth.