Digital Strategy

GA4: Empowering Your Analytics in a Changing Digital World

8 June 2023 Edel Sweeney-Lee

In the ever-changing landscape of digital analytics, staying up to date is crucial. Let's rewind back to 2005, the birth year of Google Analytics and just look at how much progress we've made in tracking and analysing website data. However, progress always demands updates. To keep pace with the evolving digital realm, software updates are essential.

From 2005 to 2019 Google Analytics was the most widely used web analytics service on the web, However, with great market share comes great responsibility, and that's where the next phase of Google Analytics, GA4, comes into play. 

From 2005 to 2019 Google Analytics was the most widely used web analytics service on the web, However, with great market share comes great responsibility, and that's where the next phase of Google Analytics, GA4, comes into play. 

We'll explore its advantages and disadvantages, as well as what to anticipate. 

Gone are the days of complex tracking codes and manual configuration. GA4 offers simplified implementation through its streamlined tagging system. This means quicker setup times and smoother integration with websites. By efficiently implementing GA4, we can focus more on crafting exceptional websites and less on technical complexities. 

Cross-Platform Tracking

In today's multi-device world, users interact with websites through various platforms. GA4 excels in tracking user interactions across websites, mobile apps, and even offline touchpoints. As a user, this means we can gain a comprehensive view of your user engagement across different channels, enabling us to optimise user experiences and tailor our strategies accordingly. For example, using GA4, businesses can see that the user initially visited the website from their desktop computer, viewed specific product pages, and added items to their cart. Later, through the mobile app, they engaged with personalised recommendations and read reviews. Finally, the in-store purchase completes the conversion loop.

AI-Powered Insights

GA4 leverages the power of machine learning to surface valuable insights automatically. From predictive analytics to cohort analysis, GA4's AI capabilities enable us to uncover patterns and trends that may have previously gone unnoticed. This empowers us to make data-backed decisions, refine marketing strategies, and drive better business outcomes. This will move to more evidence-based decision making for organisations and taking it the step further by accurate predicting the trends 

Enhanced Event Tracking

GA4 introduces an event-driven data model, allowing us to track a wider range of user interactions and events. This granular tracking enables us to understand user behavior at a moredetailed level, providing insights into specific actions such as button clicks, form submissions, or video views. With this information, we can optimise website performance, identify conversion bottlenecks, and improve overall user satisfaction. GA4 introduces an event-driven data model that gives us the ability to track user interactions precisely.


But like everything in life there are some trade offs 

Learning Curve

GA4 introduces a new interface and data model compared to the previous version, Universal Analytics. This means users need to invest time and effort in understanding and adapting to 

the new system. The learning curve can be steep, especially for those who are familiar with the previous vers

ion and have to adjust to the changes.  

Limited Historical Data

GA4 may not have a time machine to go back to 2005, but it does start collecting data from the moment it's implemented. However, it's worth noting that GA4 doesn't provide an option to import historical data directly from Universal Analytics. This can be a bit of a letdown for businesses that love diving into historical data like it's a time capsule, using it for trend analysis, comparisons, or long-term reporting. 

While GA4 brings new and exciting reporting and analysis capabilities, it also comes with some differences compared to its predecessor, Universal Analytics. It's like trading in your trusty old Nokia N70 for the latest Iphone – you might need to adjust your settings. Users who are accustomed to specific reporting features, dimensions, or metrics in Universal Analytics might need to tweak their reporting strategies and workflows to adapt to the differences in GA4. Certain functionalities that were previously available may not be available or fully developed in GA4. This may impact businesses that heavily depend on specific features or customisation options. This is the same for Plugin and Integration Support GA4 is a relatively new platform, and as a result, some plugins, third-party tools, or integrations that were available for Universal Analytics may not be fully compatible or optimised for GA4 yet 

Ultimately, its not 2005 anymore, and GA 4 is here to change the analytics game, and it's time to make the move. 

Talk to us about how we can help!