The tech industry changes by leaps and bounds, but that is no news. In November 2020, Google launched its newest generation of analytical platforms: Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and Team Rednodo has already started using it. Based on our experience, here are some of the differences it provides compared to Google Universal Analytics (UA), its former generation.
It is essential to know that GA4 is not an upgrade but a new version of Google UA, and is still on its Beta version. It implies a shift in classical measuring Analytics: while UA analyzes data based on “page views” and “sessions”; GA4 establishes its measurement unit on “Events” -user interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web page or screen load-. Furthermore, its new utilities allow you to import offline events and analyze them as if they were collected via regular SDKs, using a CSV file.
This responds to new trends, where the traffic doesn’t just take place on web pages but also on mobile apps, Progressive Web Apps, and Single Page Applications. Therefore, GA4 helps you understand how people use your web, iOS, or Android app, achieving cross-device and cross-platform measurement. You could know now, for example, at the same volume of use, if your website or app converts better.
If engagement is a priority on your digital strategy, you can miss these updates. Former engagement metrics now have new names: engaged sessions, engagement time, sessions per user, and engagement rate.
Also, measuring goal conversion is more manageable now since GA4 contains up to 30 goal conversions and ten more goals than its previous UA version. Moreover, GA4 enhances machine learning, giving a higher position to advanced analysis reports for funnel analysis and path analysis.
Powered by machine learning, it can identify insights, metric anomalies, and predictions in an improved and more embedded way within the new solution. This is crucial nowadays: fundamental changes are hitting analytics and attribution of marketing campaigns due to privacy policies and the war against third-party cookies. Therefore, machine learning becomes more critical in closing the gaps of missing data.
In conclusion, GA4 is the future. With already an advanced offer, new developments within Google Analytics will continue to improve its functionalities. The bad news is that UA will eventually be phased out. If you are still using UA, our advice is to begin a migration to GA4. Although it does not yet contain all the functionalities of UA, this migration should be done progressively.
If you need help registering your new GA4 property, migrating your data, or if you have custom configuration or measurement problems, contact us! We will accompany you in the transition.