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


The free model of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is essentially the most broadly used internet analytics answer. The platform is so in style that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However regardless that many contemplate Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the good 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 appear to be a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.

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

With a privacy-focused future forward, now could be the time to hunt options that higher stability information assortment with compliance. With a correct analytics platform, entrepreneurs make your information assortment accurately: predictable and sustainable. In any case, 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 person perspective and from a privateness and compliance standpoint, so you may make an knowledgeable determination earlier than switching platforms.

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

 Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement expertise that’s neither effectively understood nor broadly accepted by the advertising group.

From a person expertise perspective, many discover GA4 difficult to navigate. However past that, there are a number of challenges with the function units. Allow us to dig deeper into these limitations: 

There isn’t any easy approach to migrate your information

 Migration is a posh course of and ought 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 is not going to 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 effectively swap to a brand new analytic software program.

Not-so-intuitive person interface

Essentially the most outstanding problem entrepreneurs and analysts will possible 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 embody web page hits, occasion hits, eCommerce hits, and social interplay hits.

GA4 doesn’t have any idea of a success sort like Common Analytics makes use of. Every little thing in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “occasion.” This can be a large distinction.

To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they should adapt rapidly to keep up 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 provides the choice to pivot or section this information to isolate a particular viewers or visitors for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to section studies, 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.

Not like Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t can help you create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As an alternative, entrepreneurs will solely have the ability to use their default channel groupings.

Motivations behind the brief deadline

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

  1. Google might have been disenchanted with the velocity of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and determined to behave decisively.
  2. Google circumventing among the authorized warmth that Common Analytics is going through 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 swap, 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 an extended approach to go

If an organization operates in a number of international locations, 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 rules.

Information safety laws always altering and tight safety rules solely complicate issues additional. Studying the tea leaves, we consider GA4 is not going to final lengthy in Europe. Right here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European regulation

Google makes it troublesome to gather information according to the Common Information Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of non-public information to customers and clients. The regulation requires you to acquire express 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 using Google Analytics constitutes a violation of 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.

There isn’t any clear guideline the place the information is linked by means of Google Analytics

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 sufficient privateness safety to the EU.

Newly launched options in GA4 partially handle 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 way forward for advertising 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 information, we consider entrepreneurs will possible contemplate switching platforms.

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

If you need to study extra about Google Analytics options or get extra data on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, go to piwik.professional.

Nonetheless undecided? Try our article on addressing the issues about switching to an alternate analytics answer and the analytic mindset try to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—right here’s what it is advisable know.

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