We’ll be honest – the transition to GA4, Google’s next-generation measurement solution, from Universal Analytics, has posed its fair share of challenges – some that are proving to be especially frustrating to analytical marketers since the official sunset of Universal Analytics. However, amidst these hurdles, we here at GlowMetrics have discovered several exciting aspects of GA4 that have sparked a positive outlook on the other side of the sunset. Here are five features we love about GA4:
1. Event parameters through Tag Manager:
- GA4 allows for more flexibility and customisation when tracking events through Google Tag Manager, which is a shift away from Universal Analytics, where interactions were captured by various hit types.
- Event parameters allow you to send additional information along with events, such as product details, user properties, or any other relevant data.
- By utilising event parameters, we’re able to capture more in-depth insights about user interactions and behaviour on a website.
2. Faster Looker Studio and Quicker Dashboards:
- The new GA4 connector establishes a seamless connection between GA4 and Looker Studio compared to Universal Analytics. This means that the process of retrieving and rendering data through dashboards is quicker and much more efficient.
- Previously, there were major issues related to the API quotas for Looker Studio reports, impacting the concurrent requests, hourly tokens, and data accessibility. However, we’re pleased to share that these issues have been mostly resolved by Google.
- With the updated GA4 API and improved quota management, Looker Studio users can experience a seamless and efficient data integration process. New metrics now come through much faster compared to the previous delay experienced with Universal Analytics. Additionally, the documentation has been updated to provide comprehensive descriptions of each metric in the source, enhancing the understanding and analysis capabilities.
- These advancements in the GA4 and Looker Studio integration mean that dashboards can be accessed and explored without the previous limitations. Users can now benefit from real-time insights, apply filters, and change date ranges without worrying about exceeding the hourly and daily token quotas or facing error messages.
3. Free connection to BigQuery:
- Unlike Universal Analytics, the connection to Big Query is free of cost through GA4 for the first 1 TB of data processed and 10 GB of storage per month.
- Although costs may vary depending on your website and analytics’ needs – which can be calculated using the BigQuery storage calculator, the ease of data exportation and analysis for GA4 is seamless with BigQuery compared to other data sources.
4. GA4’s Primary User Metric:
- Active Users, which is GA4’s primary user metric offers a more comprehensive view for the measurement of a website’s user engagement compared to Universal Analytics’ Total Users, which simply calculated the total number of unique users for an event.
- It includes not only sessions but also individual actions taken by users, providing a more comprehensive view of their overall engagement. By incorporating the scope of engagement, we’re able to more accurately pinpoint detailed information on specific actions or events within those sessions.
5. Conversions per session:
- GA4’s event-based tracking allows for the measurement of repeat conversions within multiple sessions. This means that if a user performs the same conversion action multiple times, GA4 captures and counts each instance separately.
- This enhanced measurement provides a more accurate representation of user engagement and conversion rates than Universal Analytics.
Using a new product like GA4 after years of experience and familiarity with Universal Analytics may seem confusing. However, with features like these, we think GA4 will only improve as time goes on.
Interested in learning more about GA4? Our Glow Analytics Academy offers intensive 6-week training courses on everything from GTM for GA4, the GA4 Interface, Reports and Insights, and Looker Studio for GA4. For more updates and interesting insights like these, check out our GlowMetrics Blog.
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