The free model of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is probably the most extensively used internet analytics answer. The platform is so in style that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However although many contemplate Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the good selection in your advertising and marketing setup—particularly since Google introduced the sundown of Common Analytics.
On July 1, 2023, Common Analytics properties will cease processing new hits, forcing customers to change to its successor, Google Analytics 4. Whereas this will likely appear to be a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.
The educational curve will probably be steep—Google Analytics 4 is nearly a wholly new platform and nonetheless creating. On high of that, Google Analytics dangers dropping the customers’ belief as a result of grey areas across the likes of privateness and knowledge possession.
With a privacy-focused future forward, now could be the time to hunt options that higher stability knowledge assortment with compliance. With a correct analytics platform, entrepreneurs make your knowledge assortment accurately: predictable and sustainable. In any case, entrepreneurs and analysts need to course of user-level knowledge whereas constructing belief with their guests.
On this article, we are going to dive into the problems with Google Analytics 4 from a consumer perspective and from a privateness and compliance standpoint, so you may make an knowledgeable choice earlier than switching platforms.
Consumer perspective: Google Analytics 4 is a step within the improper path
Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement know-how that’s neither effectively understood nor extensively accepted by the advertising and marketing neighborhood.
From a consumer expertise perspective, many discover GA4 difficult to navigate. However past that, there are a bunch of challenges with the function units. Allow us to dig deeper into these limitations:
There isn’t a easy technique to migrate your knowledge
Migration is a fancy course of and must be deliberate rigorously. Sadly, Google Analytics 4 doesn’t make it any simpler. With out knowledge or tag migration, all historic knowledge from Common Analytics won’t be transferred to the brand new platform.
The problem solely grows with the group’s measurement—you’ll be able to have tons of of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin amassing knowledge from scratch, they may as effectively change to a brand new analytic software program.
Not-so-intuitive consumer interface
Probably the most distinguished problem entrepreneurs and analysts will seemingly encounter with Google Analytics 4 is the unfamiliarity with the brand new interface.
A brand new dashboard has a number of instantly obvious variations from what entrepreneurs are used to working. Hit varieties are important to how Common Analytic properties deal with all stats. Hit varieties embrace web page hits, occasion hits, eCommerce hits, and social interplay hits.
GA4 doesn’t have any idea of successful sort like Common Analytics makes use of. All the pieces in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “occasion.” This can be a enormous distinction.
To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they should adapt shortly to keep up the identical momentum that they had with this earlier platform.
Limits on customized dimensions
A customized dimension is an attribute that entrepreneurs can configure of their analytics device to dive deeper into their knowledge. It offers the choice to pivot or section this knowledge to isolate a selected viewers or site visitors for deeper evaluation.
GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to section stories, however there’s a strict restrict. You may solely have as much as 25 user-scoped customized dimensions and as much as 50 event-scoped customized dimensions per property.
Lack of customized channel grouping
Channel groupings are rule-based groupings of selling channels. When custom-made, these groupings enable entrepreneurs to trace the efficiency of these channels effectively.
In contrast to Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t help you create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As an alternative, entrepreneurs will solely be capable to use their default channel groupings.
Motivations behind the brief deadline
The deadline Google has left the analytics neighborhood to behave is startling. There are a lot of speculations as to why this could be, together with:
- Google might have been upset with the pace of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and determined to behave decisively.
- Google circumventing among the authorized warmth that Common Analytics is going through within the EU.
- Google wanting to chop prices and rid itself of technical debt related to hundreds of internet sites with legacy options put in. Since GA4 is designed to assist Google’s promoting community, it ensures extra income than the competitors.
Now there’s a concrete deadline to make the change, entrepreneurs might want to resolve whether or not they need to begin adjusting to Google Analytics 4 or begin afresh with a brand new platform.
Privateness and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has a protracted technique to go
If an organization operates in a number of nations, advertising and marketing groups will want to concentrate on the quite a few challenges ensuing from the obligations of each native knowledge privateness legal guidelines and worldwide rules.
Knowledge safety laws continually altering and tight safety rules solely complicate issues additional. Studying the tea leaves, we imagine GA4 won’t final lengthy in Europe. Right here’s why:
Google Analytics violates European regulation
Google makes it tough to gather knowledge in step with the Normal Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of non-public knowledge to customers and prospects. The regulation requires you to acquire specific consent when processing private knowledge. Failure to adjust to this provision may end up in hefty fines and even prosecution.
The current choice of the Austrian Knowledge Safety Authority (DSB), states that using Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. Because of this organizations engaged in gathering, storing, and processing knowledge about EU residents have to regulate their insurance policies and introduce critical technological adjustments to be GDPR-compliant.
There isn’t a clear guideline the place the information is related by means of Google Analytics
A Google information implies knowledge is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nonetheless, the information could also be saved in a geographic location that doesn’t have sufficient privateness safety to the EU.
Newly launched options in GA4 partially handle this concern by permitting the primary a part of knowledge assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nonetheless, knowledge can, and most probably will, be despatched to the U.S.
The way forward for advertising and marketing requires customers’ consent
Whether or not or not it’s the information high quality, device limitations, lack of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with knowledge, we imagine entrepreneurs will seemingly contemplate switching platforms.
Piwik PRO excluds the privateness and compliance points related to Google Analytics, permitting entrepreneurs to gather knowledge predictably and sustainably. The consumer interface and have units are much like Common Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts really feel at dwelling when switching to our platform.
Nonetheless undecided? Take a look at our article on addressing the considerations about switching to an alternate analytics answer and the analytic mindset you need to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—right here’s what it’s worthwhile to know.