Google Analytics 4: What, Why and When?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is here to stay and there’s no going back. Starting July 2023, all Universal Analytics (legacy) properties will stop providing data and will be turned off. This is a massive change in analytics and it’s happening because of global privacy concerns regarding website data and location-based cookies.
What makes Google Analytics 4 different?
GA4 tracks website data on an event basis rather than a session basis like we’re used to. The main takeaway here is that the data we can track now is less concrete but offers much more granularity through custom events that you can set within your property. Setting up custom events and defining what you want to track will make data streams much more customizable for your business.
What can you do to prepare?
You should set up your site’s GA4 property in advance of the July deadline. This will prevent any lapse in data and keep you ahead of the curve when it comes to carrying over your goals and understanding the new system. There are many resources available online to help you understand what’s changed and what’s coming soon within GA4.
What does this mean for the future?
The future of analytics is headed toward customizable data streams. GA4 was born from privacy concerns. This means that the age of tracking individual sessions and dissecting data based on IP addresses is over. GA4 offers a powerful solution to organize and acquire specific types of data through custom events that wouldn’t have been possible before with UA. In the near future, having a deeper understanding of analytics will take you much farther than we’ve ever seen.