Web Analytics

Google Analytics 4: What You Should Know Now

Google Analytics 4 was launched on 14th October 2020, as the next generation of Google Analytics, where cross-platform and cross-device tracking allows to unify all data in one central location, the new Google Analytics 4 property.

Within this new Google Analytics property, datastreams can be configured from one or all data sources, including iOS, Android and website. Since the launch, Google has released some new features and functionality for Google Analytics 4 like the introduction to cohort analysis and user-scope custom dimensions.

What are Current Features of Google Analytics 4?

  • Datastreams: unify data points across devices, every point of data collected is now considered an Event in Google Analytics 4.
  • Event parameters: Universal Analytics dimensions become Event parameters, replacing the old Event dimension Category, Action, Label.
  • User properties: can be set for every website, automatically collecting user’s country, age bracket, or the device.
  • App Datastreams: differ from the web Datastreams in their implementation, as this is done through Google’s Firebase app development suite and then joined to Google Analytics.
  • New custom analysis: such as cohort analysis, which helps compare engagement between groups of similar users with more metrics and dimensions breakdown, and user-scope custom dimensions, which allows to identify static or slowly changing attributes of users.


What Is Our Experience with Google Analytics 4?

The Good

In Google Analytics 4 the implementation of standard events, like tracking downloads or outbound links, is made easier as it happens automatically. Thus, making the set-up of events smoother than with Universal Analytics.

The Bad

The downside to Google Analytics 4 is that most standard ecommerce and online shop technologies are not yet pushing Google Analytics 4 data. As a result, ecommerce data is less easily available in Google Analytics 4.

The Ugly

Since Google Analytics 4 is still in Beta, it will take time until it is fully functional, and some software products will take time to implement Google Analytics 4.


How You Should Use Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is already the default experience when creating a new Google Analytics instance. However, it does not yet have the complete feature set of Universal Analytics. As such we, and Google themselves, do not recommend that you replace your existing Google Analytics properties with new Google Analytics 4 properties just yet.

However, it is recommended that you set up Google Analytics 4 properties to run in parallel with your existing properties. That way you will not only keep all the features you currently have in Universal Analytics, but you will also get all the new features that already exist in Google Analytics 4 and those that will be released in the future.


If you need support with setting up your new Google Analytics 4 property and ensuring all your existing data is included, and even improved, in Google Analytics 4 we would be happy to assist you.

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