Around two and a half years ago, Google announced a new way to measure apps and websites together, with Google Analytics 4, commonly called GA 4.
This naturally meant that the tech giant would be shutting down the services of Universal Analytics (UA) soon.
When exactly? On the 1st of July 2023, to be precise.
This gives users just around a year’s time to make the switch to GA 4 before the update happens.
But why is there so much hullabaloo about a service update you may wonder? Here’s why:
In today’s cutthroat business environment, organizations need to navigate new challenges every day to understand the complex, multi-platform journeys of their customers for every purchase.
Why? Because people interact with businesses when and how they deem fit, such as by browsing a brand’s website to research a product and then purchasing it later according to their convenience, using the brand’s app.
This makes for an important study for businesses to understand how cross-platform journeys work, which enables them to predict customer needs and provide great experiences in turn.
We’ve curated a list of reasons why switching to GA 4 would prove beneficial for you in the long run:
1. Unified app and web analytics
The new update allows businesses to see unified user journeys across their websites and apps, using GA 4’s App+ Web property that allows for a single set of consistent metrics and dimensions– across the app and website.
This feature empowers you to find answers to questions like:
- How many conversions took place via your app and website in the last week, and which platform has been driving the bulk of these conversions?
- How many total unique users did you land, regardless of the platform they used?
- Which marketing channel helped acquire the newest users across your different platforms?
By being able to see the complete view of the customer lifecycle, you can track their conversions across the ad funnel, regardless of the platform or device they’re using.
2. Flexible Event Management through the improved data model.
In Google Speak, an event is any user interaction like clicks, page views, the app opens, etc. Understanding what drives these events gives you the knowledge of drawing up appropriate marketing and content strategies, which will help achieve your business goals.
Google Analytics 4 provides the flexibility that allows measuring different kinds of data. While Universal Analytics’ gauging method was based on page views, GA 4 measures data in terms of the events triggered when users interact with the website or app. Meaning, GA 4 employs an ‘events-based-tracking’ system.
This gives GA 4 way more flexibility and accuracy when tracking user behavior than Universal Analytics.
3. Integration with Big Query
BigQuery is Google’s cloud-based data warehouse service and integrating it with google analytics 4 means that you can export your google analytics 4 data into BigQuery for storage and analysis.
This is a big boon for two reasons:
- You get near-unlimited storage for your data
- The possibilities for advanced analysis open up in ways unimaginable earlier– what wasn’t achievable for Universal Analytics without an external connector.
4. Ability to predict purchase probability and churn
Purchase probability is the likelihood of a user to purchase on your website or app, while Churn is the likelihood of a user to stop using your product.
Google Analytics 4 uses machine learning which helps it to predict purchase probability and churn for individual users. This means that your marketing efforts can be targeted more effectively and you can focus on the most likely users to convert or churn.
As you can gather, GA4 is a major upgrade from Universal Analytics. It’s more flexible, more powerful, and more accurate. It has a more customizable interface, more control over custom reporting (which is also more detailed may we add), better real-time data, new automatic tracking, and more effective data exporting. So all in all, a much better deal than the existing G3/ Universal Analytics.
What’s the game plan moving ahead?
Google has decided that all standard Universal Analytics properties will process new hits till June 30, 2023, while the 360 Universal Analytics properties will process new hits till September 30, 2023. After that, you’ll still be able to access your previously processed data in Universal Analytics for another six months. But we say, if you’re serious about data analysis, why wait? Make the switch to GA4 right now, and get ahead of the game!