What is GA4 and why is it needed?
When desktops and laptops reigned supreme, Google Analytics –which only measures website activity – was enough to provide the insights businesses needed. But as smartphones became ubiquitous and the app revolution hit the scene, Google created an additional platform – Google Analytics for Firebase – to provide insights into user behavior and activity on company apps. Like many who have both websites and apps, you may be burdened with the need to use both. And even when you do, it might be pretty difficult to capture a comprehensive picture of how users are engaging across your offerings. Plus, there are all the evolving privacy issues that must be taken into consideration. Here’s how Google frames it: “In today’s measurement landscape, businesses need to navigate new challenges to understand the complex, multi-platform journeys of their customers – all while prioritizing
user privacy.”

● “…Google Analytics 4 operates across platforms, does not rely exclusively on cookies and uses an event-based data model to deliver user-centric measurement.”
● “…Google Analytics 4 is designed with privacy at its core to provide a better experience for both our customers and their users. It helps businesses meet evolving needs and user expectations, with more
comprehensive and granular controls for data collection and usage. Importantly, Google Analytics 4 will also no longer store IP addresses. These solutions and controls are especially necessary in today’s
international data privacy landscape, where users are increasingly expecting more privacy protections and control over their data.”
● “Google Analytics 4 has the flexibility to measure many different kinds of data, delivering a strong analytics experience that’s designed for the future. It allows businesses to see unified user journeys across their websites and apps, use Google’s machine learning technology to surface and predict new insights, and most importantly, it’s built to keep up with a changing ecosystem.”

☑ Understand your customers across touchpoints: “Get a complete view of the customer lifecycle with an event-based measurement model that isn’t fragmented by platform or organized into independent
sessions. …”
☑ Improve ROI with data-driven attribution: “Use data-driven attribution to analyze the full impact of your marketing across the customer journey. …”
☑ Measure engagement and conversions with business and compliance needs in mind: “With new country-level privacy controls, you can manage and minimize the collection of user-level data – like cookies and metadata – while preserving key measurement functionality. …”
☑ Get greater value from your data: “Machine learning generates sophisticated predictive insights about user behavior and conversions, creates new audiences of users likely to purchase or churn and automatically surfaces critical insights to improve your marketing.”

☑ Easily activate your insights: “Expanded integrations with other Google products, like Google Ads, work across your combined web and app data, making it easy to use Analytics insights to optimize your campaigns.”
☑ Address your enterprise measurement needs: “New sub and roll-up properties in Analytics 360 allow you to customize the structure of your Google Analytics 4 properties to meet data governance needs.”

What’s needed to get ready for GA4?
Since this Google deadline of July 1, 2023 is one that isn’t expected to change, now’s the time to get moving so you can begin building historical data in GA4. As Google notes, “All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, and 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on October 1, 2023. After that, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in Universal Analytics for at least six months.” For additional resources, from Google, check out “Universal Analytics will be going away” and “Make the switch to Google Analytics 4.” And from one of our own AMG experts, Joshua Dana Swindle, check out “Google Analytics – Intro to GA4.” If you need support, we’re here to help you understand the changes and
help make the transition for you – just reach out and let us know.

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