Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around?
The totally free variation of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is the most commonly made use of net analytics answer. The system is so well-liked that it dominates 86% sector share, producing Google the current market chief. But even however a lot of look at Google Analytics the common, there are factors to ask if it is the great selection for your promoting setup—especially considering the fact that Google declared the sunset of Universal Analytics.
On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics homes will stop processing new hits, forcing buyers to swap to its successor, Google Analytics 4. While this may well seem to be like a pure development, entrepreneurs need to not be fooled.
The mastering curve will be steep—Google Analytics 4 is nearly an completely new platform and however establishing. On top rated of that, Google Analytics risks shedding the users’ have confidence in thanks to grey locations around the likes of privacy and data possession.
With a privateness-concentrated upcoming in advance, now is the time to find alternate options that greater harmony facts selection with compliance. With a suitable analytics system, marketers make your information selection as it ought to be: predictable and sustainable. Immediately after all, entrepreneurs and analysts want to process consumer-level information while constructing trust with their site visitors.
In this report, we will dive into the difficulties with Google Analytics 4 from a user perspective and from a privacy and compliance standpoint, so you can make an knowledgeable choice prior to switching platforms.
Consumer point of view: Google Analytics 4 is a phase in the improper course
Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement technologies that is neither well comprehended nor extensively recognized by the promoting local community.
From a person expertise viewpoint, many come across GA4 tough to navigate. But outside of that, there are a host of challenges with the function sets. Enable us dig deeper into individuals constraints:
There is no easy way to migrate your knowledge
Migration is a advanced process and must be planned thoroughly. Sad to say, Google Analytics 4 does not make it any simpler. With no information or tag migration, all historical facts from Universal Analytics will not be transferred to the new platform.
The obstacle only grows with the organization’s size—you can have hundreds of tags to transfer. So, if marketers will have to get started gathering information from scratch, they may well as effectively swap to a new analytic program.
Not-so-intuitive consumer interface
The most prominent obstacle entrepreneurs and analysts will probably come across with Google Analytics 4 is the unfamiliarity with the new interface.
A new dashboard has various promptly obvious discrepancies from what entrepreneurs are utilized to running. Strike kinds are crucial to how Common Analytic properties tackle all stats. Strike types include things like site hits, celebration hits, eCommerce hits, and social conversation hits.
GA4 doesn’t have any notion of a hit variety like Universal Analytics makes use of. Everything in Google Analytics 4 is classified as an “event.” This is a big variance.
In order for entrepreneurs to have achievements on the new platform, they will have to adapt quickly to keep the same momentum they experienced with this earlier system.
Limits on tailor made dimensions
A tailor made dimension is an attribute that marketers can configure in their analytics instrument to dive deeper into their knowledge. It presents the choice to pivot or phase this knowledge to isolate a particular viewers or targeted traffic for further assessment.
GA4 indeed allows for tailor made dimensions to section reports, but there is a demanding limit. You can only have up to 25 person-scoped customized dimensions and up to 50 celebration-scoped custom made proportions for every residence.
Lack of tailor made channel grouping
Channel groupings are rule-based mostly groupings of internet marketing channels. When custom-made, these groupings enable entrepreneurs to keep track of the performance of those channels effectively.
Contrary to Universal Analytics, GA4 does not permit you to build custom made channel groupings in the new interface. As a substitute, entrepreneurs will only be equipped to use their default channel groupings.
Motivations guiding the short deadline
The deadline Google has left the analytics community to act is startling. There are a lot of speculations as to why this may well be, such as:
- Google may well have been dissatisfied with the pace of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and determined to act decisively.
- Google circumventing some of the legal heat that Universal Analytics is struggling with in the EU.
- Google seeking to slash prices and rid by itself of technological credit card debt affiliated with 1000’s of sites with legacy solutions installed. Considering that GA4 is intended to guidance Google’s promoting network, it ensures much more income than the levels of competition.
Now there is a concrete deadline to make the swap, marketers will need to decide irrespective of whether they want to start off altering to Google Analytics 4 or start out afresh with a new system.
Privacy and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has a long way to go
If a business operates in many international locations, marketing teams will will need to be aware of the quite a few problems resulting from the obligations of both equally nearby facts privacy laws and international restrictions.
Data protection laws constantly changing and limited protection laws only complicate items more. Reading the tea leaves, we feel GA4 will not final extended in Europe. Here’s why:
Google Analytics violates European regulation
Google makes it complicated to acquire facts in line with the General Details Safety Regulation (GDPR), which aims to restore command of individual facts to consumers and customers. The regulation calls for you to obtain express consent when processing personal facts. Failure to comply with this provision can final result in hefty fines or even prosecution.
The current decision of the Austrian Facts Safety Authority (DSB), states that the use of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. This means that companies engaged in gathering, storing, and processing details about EU citizens have to regulate their guidelines and introduce significant technological adjustments to be GDPR-compliant.
There is no obvious guideline in which the information is linked through Google Analytics
A Google information implies information is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. On the other hand, the facts may possibly be saved in a geographic site that does not have enough privateness safety to the EU.
Newly launched options in GA4 partially address this issue by making it possible for the initial part of data selection (and anonymization) on European servers. However, details can, and most possible will, be despatched to the U.S.
The upcoming of advertising and marketing calls for users’ consent
No matter whether it be the details high quality, software constraints, absence of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with information, we consider marketers will probably consider switching platforms.
Piwik Professional excluds the privateness and compliance challenges connected with Google Analytics, enabling entrepreneurs to gather data predictably and sustainably. The user interface and feature sets are similar to Common Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts experience at household when switching to our system.
If you would like to understand a lot more about Google Analytics possibilities or get additional information on the Piwik Professional Analytics Suite, stop by piwik.pro.
Nonetheless undecided? Check out out our report on addressing the considerations about switching to an substitute analytics resolution and the analytic state of mind you ought to be having: Switching from Google Analytics—here’s what you need to know.
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