The biggest challenge with Analytics until now has been cross platform view of users.
Someone can start their customer journey on the iPhone and then continue on in their MacBook. This, of course, is very common but not easily tracked.
With Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you now have the ability to easily get a more holistic picture of what’s actually happening across website and application platforms.
The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform.Google
Another benefit of GA4 is that you can integrate with BigQuery. The new data model has greatly simplified data storage which means it’ll be somewhat easier to use going forward.
Universal Analytics vs Google Analytics 4
The data model is very different between Universal Analytics (UA) and GA4.
|Measurement||Session Based||Event Based|
|Reporting||Limited Cross Platform Reporting||Full Cross Platform Reporting|
|Automation||Limited Automation||Uses Machine Learning|
Sessions Based Approach vs Event Based Approach
A session refers to the interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame by your visitor.
With a sessions based approach, Google Analytics will collect and store user interactions, such as pageviews, events, and eCommerce transactions, as hits. One session can have multiple hits.
Flexible Event Based Model
Interactions with your website and/or app are now events.
The goal of using events is to get better insight about what’s going on with your website or app, with the same set of actions like pageviews, button clicks, or user actions.
Events can takes into account a bigger picture to the event or the user.
This can include things like the purchase value, the page a user visited, or their location.
Customer Journey Mapping in GA4
Google Analytics 4 uses three different pieces of information (identity spaces) to create a full picture of the customer journey as well as enable cross-platform reporting. These are:
- User ID
- Google Signals
- Device ID
Instead of transitioning over to GA4, Google recommends that you create a new Google Analytics 4 property and run it simultaneously with your existing Google Analytics.
Anyone signing up for Google Analytics as a new property will automatically be put onto GA4.
You’ll want to start collecting your Google Analytics 4 data as soon as possible so that once Google gets everyone moved over from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, you’ll know how the new framework will operate for your organization.