The Future of Analytics Is Here with Google Analytics 4
Why advertisers should prioritize the transition to avoid data loss
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation of Google’s web analytics platform. It offers many new features, including enhanced data collection, more robust and powerful reporting tools, and an improved user interface.
GA4 will be replacing the current iteration of GA, Universal Analytics–and Google announced in March that it will no longer support Universal Analytics after June 30, 2023, and will store previously processed data in UA for six months after that deprecation date.
Prepare for the future with Google Analytics 4
GA4 was initially released in October 2020 to provide a deeper integration with Google Ads and more predictive insights into performance across devices. Since then, as consumers have become more attuned to the importance of data privacy, Google has continued to update GA4 with new privacy-safe features and enhancements, while Universal Analytics has remained essentially unchanged.
While we all knew that an eventual move to GA4 was inevitable, Google yanked off the band-aid by announcing the official end to Universal Analytics support in mid-2023, causing some marketers to shift into panic mode.
Should I be panicking about Google Analytics 4?
You should not panic, but you do need to take immediate action to set yourself up for success over the next year as we inch closer to the sunset date. If you haven’t set up your GA4 properties yet, now is the time; even if you don’t start using GA4 on a daily basis yet, because historical data from Universal Analytics won’t port over into your GA4 property, you need to start gathering metrics around your events and conversion goals now to have accurate year-over-year data available in GA4 next year before Google pulls the plug on UA.
Google Analytics 4 Features
While this might be a shocking wake-up call, it’s not all bad news. GA4 offers more powerful data collection capabilities than Universal Analytics and tracks behavior more reliably across sessions and platforms. Additionally, unlike UA, which is built on a privacy-unsafe platform of cookie-based measurement and IP address tracking, GA4 sets marketers up for compliance and privacy safety into the future.
The future of analytics is here with GA4, so prepare yourself now for the changes ahead. Set up your GA4 properties as soon as possible, and start to become familiar with the platform’s capabilities and layout, so you are not left in the dark once Universal Analytics is sunset next year. GA4 is the most powerful and advanced version of Google Analytics yet, and it offers a wealth of features that can help you improve your business performance.