GA4 isn’t all it is cracked as much as be. What would it not appear to be to modify?


Google Analytics is the highest participant on the subject of monitoring web site guests. The platform’s worth is mirrored in its reputation, which is why it’s the market chief boasting an 86% share. However with nice worth comes nice accountability, and Google Analytics lacks in that division.

Designed to maximise information assortment typically on the expense of knowledge privateness, Google Analytics and its mom firm, Google LLC, have been on the radar of European privateness activists for a while now. Reviews of questionable privateness practices by Google have led to authorized motion primarily based on the Common Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR) that may end in an entire ban on Google Analytics in Europe.

On high of that, Google not too long ago introduced it’ll finish help for Common Analytics in July of 2023, forcing customers to modify to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). So, if the change should be made, why not search a brand new analytics supplier? There are nice free and paid options that enable organizations to steadiness beneficial information assortment with privateness and compliance. With a GDPR-compliant analytics answer in place, your information assortment turns into accurately predictable and sustainable.  

The issue with GA4 from a person perspective

Common Analytics’ successor could be very completely different from what you’re acquainted with. Aside from the brand new person interface, which many discover difficult to navigate, there’s a laundry record of points with the function set in GA4—from no bounce fee metrics to an absence of customized channel teams. Listed below are among the limitations in GA4 from a person perspective that you just may discover irritating.

Not-so-seamless migration

GA4 introduces a unique reporting and measurement know-how that’s neither properly understood nor extensively accepted by the advertising neighborhood. There isn’t any information or tag migration between the platforms, that means you’d have to begin from scratch. The problem grows with the group’s dimension—you’ll be able to have tons of of tags or properties to maneuver.

Limits on customized dimensions

A customized dimension is an attribute you configure in your analytics instrument to dive deeper into your information. You may then pivot or section this information to isolate a particular viewers or site visitors for deeper evaluation. Whereas GA4 permits you to use customized dimensions to section your studies, there’s a strict restrict—you’ll be able to solely use as much as 50.

Lack of customized channel grouping

Channel groupings are rule-based groupings of promoting channels and, when custom-made, enable entrepreneurs to test the efficiency of stated channels effectively. In contrast to Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t can help you create customized channel groupings within the new interface, solely default channel groupings.

Why Google is providing you with a brief deadline to make the change to GA4

It’s startling to think about the deadline Google has left the analytics neighborhood on the subject of appearing: Common Analytics will cease processing new hits on July 1, 2023. This might be a option to inspire customers emigrate extra shortly. Maybe Google was upset with the velocity of adoption for GA4 and determined to behave decisively for this subsequent model.

One other risk for the quick deadline is that Google needs to chop prices and rid itself of technical debt related to hundreds of internet sites with legacy options put in (a lot of these customers are usually not energetic customers of the product). Since GA4 is designed to help Google’s promoting community, it ensures extra income than the competitors.

Regardless of the case, customers want to arrange to maneuver to GA4—or change to an alternate. 

The issue with GA4 from a privateness standpoint

Google claims the brand new platform is designed with privateness at its core, however the privateness issues are removed from over. A scarcity of clear tips on information processing has many questioning the legality of GA4 in Europe. Listed below are among the causes that go away us to imagine GA4 gained’t final lengthy in Europe.

Latest legal guidelines and rules

Google makes it tough to gather information in step with information safety rules resembling GDPR. Which means that organizations engaged in gathering, storing and processing information about EU residents have to regulate their insurance policies and introduce severe technological modifications to be GDPR-compliant.

One of many ​​key compliance points with Google Analytics is that it saves person information, together with details about EU residents, on U.S.-based cloud servers. As a U.S.-based know-how firm, Google should adjust to U.S. surveillance legal guidelines, such because the Cloud Act. This laws states that Google should disclose sure information when requested, even when that information is positioned exterior of the U.S.

Within the judgment referred to as Schrems II, a European courtroom dominated that sending private information from the EU to the U.S. through transatlantic transfers is prohibited if corporations can’t assure this information can be secure from U.S. intelligence.

Firms with a world presence should now adapt to a variety of rules, typically with completely different necessities and restrictions.


A Google information implies information is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nonetheless, the information could also be saved in a geographic location that doesn’t have enough privateness safety to the EU. This lack of transparency poses an issue for Google and organizations utilizing Google Analytics within the EU.

Newly launched options in GA4 partially deal with this concern by permitting the primary a part of information assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nonetheless, information can, and almost definitely will, be despatched to the U.S. The most effective factor to do is be open on the subject of gathering information from folks.

With correct transparency, people really feel a way of security and assurance. In return, organizations get extra information as a result of people now really feel taken care of and have the belief wanted to offer information.

Time to re-think the way you deal with shoppers’ information

The benefit of those rules is customers’ elevated consciousness about their information. That is the place alternate options come in useful. They give you privateness options you’ll want to adjust to legal guidelines and acquire the information you need. So, serious about making the change to a Google Analytics different? Right here’s what you’ll want to know.

Addressing issues about switching to an alternate analytics answer

Loads of customers could also be hesitant to make the change. It is sensible—Google has dominated {the marketplace} for therefore lengthy that it’d really feel like too huge of a problem to modify. For a advertising director or CMO to recommend utilizing a unique analytics instrument after which for that instrument to have much more limitations than the final wouldn’t be look.

It’s essential make an knowledgeable determination and select the platform whose function units match the group’s must course of user-level information whereas constructing belief with guests. Listed below are the information and myths when switching:

I’ll lose historic information.

It is a reality, however not for lengthy. Some alternate options have developed information importers within the wake of Common Analytics (Google Analytics v3) being deprecated.

It’s costly and arduous to modify.

It is a fantasy. Options are constructed with simpler person interfaces, use related measurement methodologies, and infrequently have options to assist with Google Tag’s migrations.

Options don’t provide demographic information. 

That is true: Google’s first-party information add intercourse, age group, and pursuits to profile information, and not one of the alternate options can provide such information enrichment.

I miss some reporting capabilities.

That is false. Every different has distinctive reporting capabilities, and a few are very versatile, permitting for extra transformations and information exports than Common Analytics.

It’s simpler to run promoting campaigns with Common Analytics.

That is true. There may be deep integration with Google Analytics and Google Advertisements/Google Advertising and marketing Platform, which provides entry to an intensive repertoire of knowledge.

I’ll lose my rank in Google Search.

It is a fantasy. Options’ prospects don’t report a decrease rank in Google Search. Be certain that your website is quick, mobile-friendly, in style (hyperlinks) and with full metadata.

The mindset to take when switching.

Entrepreneurs contemplating switching to a brand new platform have to take a brand new analytics mindset. We’re experiencing a quickly rising consciousness that information is of worth and should be protected. Since the way forward for advertising requires customers’ consent, the seller you select should can help you carry out analytics in a privacy-friendly method.

Our intention with Piwik PRO Analytics Suite has at all times been to offer shoppers highly effective analytics capabilities together with key privateness and security measures. The person interface and have units are much like Common Analytics, so entrepreneurs really feel at residence when switching to our platform.

Piwik PRO is geared in the direction of each delivering beneficial insights and privateness and compliance. Notably, switching to Piwik PRO excludes the privateness and compliance points related to Google Analytics to gather information predictably and sustainably. There’s each a free and paid plan, which permits completely different organizations to get an analytics service tailor-made to their wants.  When you’d prefer to be taught extra about Google Analytics alternate options or get extra info on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, go to piwik.professional.

This text was written by Maciej Zawadzinski, CEO, Piwik PRO.

About The Creator

Piwik PRO makes highly effective, privacy-compliant analytics software program and gives high-touch help, so prospects can get essentially the most out of their information. Piwik PRO Analytics Suite supplies versatile information assortment and studies along with consent administration, tag administration and a buyer information platform. Analytics professionals from main organizations, such because the Authorities of the Netherlands, Crédit Agricole and Greiner, optimize buyer and person journeys with Piwik PRO.


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