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The future of analytics: Transitioning to GA4

By Josh Bouwman, Lemon Tree Digital Lead

It’s no surprise that Google recently announced the sunset date for its widely used Universal Analytics (UA) platform.

The platform, which was originally launched in 2005, was recently superseded by Google Analytics 4 or commonly referred to as GA4. The new tracking and analytics program is an exciting new solution for businesses and marketers that brings with it more in-depth data and AI-powered analytics and modelling. 

With the 1st of July 2023 marked as the end for Universal Analytics, now is the time to get set up on GA4 to ensure you’re able to run year on year data comparisons.

Another important reason for setting up sooner rather than later is allowing Google’s machine learning time to plugin and start building your data models.

What’s the difference between Universal Analytics and GA4?

Besides the visual differences, GA4 was completely rebuilt by Google on new architecture.

Google Analytics was originally built around the concept of sessions, which is essentially looking at a series of page views by a user. GA4, on the other hand, is built around the concept of events; that is, everything from pageviews to clicks, to form submissions, to checkouts, through to any custom event you define.

This significant change allows GA4 to collect a lot more data, give you more insights into what people are doing on your website or app, and have the ability to track just about anything online – not just web traffic.

What’s the benefit to your business?

GA4 is built for the future. It has a strong focus on data privacy and utilises intelligent, machine learning to unearth insights and provide data-driven attribution modelling (the ability to assign credit to a specific touchpoint in the customer journey).

Whether you’re an ecommerce or service business, GA4 delivers a host of benefits that will help you measure your often complex, multi-platform, multi-device customer journey. The platform will also provide more clarity on your marketing activities with data-driven attribution. GA4 assigns attribution credit to more than just the last click, this means you can understand how your marketing activities collectively influence your customer’s journey to conversion.

GA4 will also give you access to Google’s crystal ball. Predictive Metrics uses AI to understand and predict user behaviour across purchases and event metrics.

Preparing for Google Analytics 4

Now’s the time to start planning your transition to GA4.

Enlisting the help of a specialist to migrate your analytics to GA4 can ensure valuable data is not lost in the process.

The changes in data collection between Universal Analytics and GA4 will require many changes to be implemented and tested. This is particularly important as some standard metrics in UA don’t come as standard in GA4.

If your business uses multi-channel or 3rd party platforms, CRMs, dashboards or reporting interfaces, they will all need to be adjusted to the new GA4 view. That’s not to forget any set up in Tag Manager will need to be updated.

How Lemon Tree can help you migrate to GA4

Lemon Tree is ready to help you migrate your tracking and analytics and can look after your entire GA4 migration process as part of a wider digital partnership. 

If you’re ready to take the leap and go beyond your basic Universal Analytics, setup we can help! Reach out to our team today.