In this post, we will answer a lot of GA4 questions that you might have.
What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4 is the latest version of free Google Analytics. It is a tool that enables you to measure user behavior across your websites and apps.
This new version of Google Analytics is based on an entirely different data model, reporting, and tracking than the previous version. We will cover the difference in this post.
Is GA4 replacing Google Analytics?
The previous version of Google Analytics was called Univeral Analytics though widely known as Google Analytics and hence the confusion about what GA4 is replacing.
So GA4 is not replacing Google Analytics but is the new version and is replacing the old version, Univeral Analytics.
What is the difference between GA and GA4?
Since GA (Google Analytics) was the common name for Univeral Analytics (UA), I will highlight the differences between UA and GA4. Here are some of the main differences:
- Event Based Data Model - Universal Analytics was based on page views and events, while GA4 is entirely based on events. Everything in GA4 is an event, even page views are tracked as events.
- Events Tracking - In UA events only allowed 4 parameters: Category, Action, Label, and Value. In GA4 you can have put to 25 parameters for each event.
- Cross Platform and Device tracking - In UA app tracking were separate from website tracking. However, in GA4, you can track user activity across devices and platforms as well as offline tracking in one place.
- User Data Control - Since new privacy and data control laws and regulations require organizations to comply with user data deletion requests, GA4 has the built-in capability to do that.
- eCommerce Tracking - Much easier enhanced eCommerce Tracking is enabled in GA4.
- BigQuery Integration - You can send data directly to a data warehouse without needing a third party data connector.
- If you want to see 50+ things about GA4 then check out, 50+ things about GA4 eBook
Why is Google switching to GA4?
We live in a world where users use various platforms and devices during their journey to becoming a customer. Lines between Web Analytics, Digital Analytics, and Product analytics are blurring. The old data model for Google Analytics was not built for the new world and hence Google is moving to a new model with GA4
Additionally, various laws and regulations require much higher data and privacy controls. Having a standard event-based model makes it easier to comply with these regulations.
Does GA4 have dashboards?
GA4 has built-in reports and analysis capabilities. It does not yet have dashboards but you can build them using Looker Studio connected to GA4 data. GA4 also has the capability to create custom reports and exploration, which can be used as reports or dashboards as required.
Does GA4 use sampling?
Yes, just like the previous version, GA4 also used sampling. In addition to sampling it also has thresholding that gets applied to various reports based on the dimensions you use. You can learn about it at GA4 Thresholding Applied - What is GA4 Data Threshold and How to resolve it?
Also check out - GA4 Limits - Hits, Collection, Configuration, Parameters, and Reporting Limits
How much does GA4 cost?
GA4 is free. However, there are certain limits and if you do hit those limits then you might consider upgrading to the paid version of GA4.
When should I switch to GA4?
You should switch to GA4 as soon as possible. This will give you an opportunity to test GA4, become familiar with its capabilities, and tweak your tracking to make the most out of this new tool.
Where can I learn about GA4?
Check out Optizent Academy to learn Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - Google Analytics 4 - Zero to Hero.
If you want an instructor lead training session then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org