Preparing for the Switch from GA to GA4
Written by Kendall Gilbert, Media Analytics Executive
Exciting things are happening in the world of Google Analytics. Google Analytics, also known as GA, is in the process of indefinitely switching over to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July of 2023. This deadline is coming up quickly and will throw all GA users into a frenzy if they do not prepare for this major change.
This switch is not just minor changes - everything is changing. This switch will include metric changes, tagging differences, new user layouts, abolishment of once key features in GA, and much more. This switch is a direct result of Google’s action to protect users' cookies. GA4 is designed using no users' cookies as these text-like files carry private data that has been a growing concern for users throughout the past years.
So, what should current Google Analytics users do to prepare for this major change? Start now.
Users should migrate towards using Google Analytics 4 to prepare for when GA is completely shut down in July. Furthemore, users should run their data through GA and GA4 to see the differences in how data is coming through. To learn more about this migration process, google has provided step-by-step details here - https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/10759417?hl=en.
Specifically, advertising employees using GA must inform their clients of this switch. If not, clients will be extremely confused when their metrics in reporting dashboards completely change. Advertising experts must also switch as soon as possible to learn the new product in order to inform their clients about the changes in a knowledgeable way.
For example, one of the KPI metrics “Bounce Rate” is completely taken away and now turned into “Engagement Rate.” These two KPIs have extremely different definitions. Additionally, within GA, data is based solely on sessions, and in GA4 sessions are completely abolished and replaced with events and parameters. These are just two examples of switches that have been established. To find out more about metric changes click here.
Another major problem lies in not being able to compare data running through GA4 to historical data running in GA. Historical data in GA cannot be transferred over into GA4. This is another reason why GA users must migrate their accounts to GA4 as soon as possible!
This is an exciting yet daunting new chapter for analytics. Google Analytics users must become aware of this switch if they want to be prepared for the next chapter of analytics within a cookie-less world.