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Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it price sticking round?

The free model of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is essentially the most broadly used net analytics resolution. The platform is so common that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However though many take into account Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the excellent selection in your advertising 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 modify to its successor, Google Analytics 4. Whereas this will likely look like a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.

The educational curve can be steep—Google Analytics 4 is sort of a completely new platform and nonetheless creating. On high of that, Google Analytics dangers dropping the customers’ belief as a consequence of grey areas across the likes of privateness and information possession.

With a privacy-focused future forward, now’s the time to hunt alternate options that higher stability information assortment with compliance. With a correct analytics platform, entrepreneurs make your information assortment accurately: predictable and sustainable. In spite of everything, entrepreneurs and analysts need to course of user-level information whereas constructing belief with their guests.

On this article, we’ll dive into the problems with Google Analytics 4 from a consumer perspective and from a privateness and compliance standpoint, so you can also make an knowledgeable determination earlier than switching platforms.

Consumer perspective: Google Analytics 4 is a step within the mistaken course

 Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement know-how that’s neither nicely understood nor broadly accepted by the advertising group.

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 is no such thing as a easy strategy to migrate your information

 Migration is a posh course of and needs to be deliberate rigorously. Sadly, Google Analytics 4 doesn’t make it any simpler. With out information or tag migration, all historic information from Common Analytics won’t be transferred to the brand new platform.

The problem solely grows with the group’s measurement—you may have tons of of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin accumulating information from scratch, they may as nicely change to a brand new analytic software program.

Not-so-intuitive consumer interface

Probably the most distinguished problem entrepreneurs and analysts will probably 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 sorts are important to how Common Analytic properties deal with all stats. Hit sorts embrace web page hits, occasion hits, eCommerce hits, and social interplay hits.

GA4 doesn’t have any idea of successful kind like Common Analytics makes use of. Every thing in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “occasion.” It is a big distinction.

To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they should adapt rapidly to take care of the identical momentum they’d 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 information. It offers the choice to pivot or section this information to isolate a selected viewers or visitors for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to section experiences, however there’s a strict restrict. You’ll be able to 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 personalized, these groupings enable entrepreneurs to trace the efficiency of these channels effectively.

In contrast to Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t permit you to create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As a substitute, entrepreneurs will solely be capable of use their default channel groupings.

Motivations behind the brief deadline

 The deadline Google has left the analytics group to behave is startling. There are various speculations as to why this is likely to be, together with:

  1. Google might have been disenchanted with the pace of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and determined to behave decisively.
  2. Google circumventing a few of the authorized warmth that Common Analytics is dealing with within the EU.
  3. 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 help 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 determine 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 strategy to go

If an organization operates in a number of nations, advertising groups will want to concentrate on the quite a few challenges ensuing from the obligations of each native information privateness legal guidelines and worldwide laws.

Information safety laws continuously altering and tight safety laws 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 legislation

Google makes it troublesome to gather information consistent with the Common Information Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of private information to customers and prospects. The regulation requires you to acquire specific consent when processing private information. Failure to adjust to this provision may end up in hefty fines and even prosecution.

The current determination of the Austrian Information Safety Authority (DSB), states that the usage of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. Because of this organizations engaged in gathering, storing, and processing information about EU residents have to regulate their insurance policies and introduce critical technological modifications to be GDPR-compliant.

There is no such thing as a clear guideline the place the information is linked by Google Analytics

A Google information implies information is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nevertheless, the information could also be saved in a geographic location that doesn’t have enough privateness safety to 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. Nevertheless, information can, and almost certainly will, be despatched to the U.S.

 The way forward for advertising requires customers’ consent

Whether or not it’s the information high quality, device limitations, lack of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with information, we imagine entrepreneurs will probably take into account switching platforms.

Piwik PRO excluds the privateness and compliance points related to Google Analytics, permitting entrepreneurs to gather information predictably and sustainably. The consumer interface and have units are much like Common Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts really feel at residence when switching to our platform.

If you want to be taught extra about Google Analytics alternate options or get extra info on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, go to piwik.professional.

Nonetheless undecided? Try our article on addressing the issues about switching to another analytics resolution and the analytic mindset you need to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—right here’s what it’s worthwhile to know.



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