We’re going ‘back to school’ in this post to enable you to learn about some changes that are happening to Google Analytics…
Google is introducing GA4 – a new, updated, more powerful version of Universal Analytics (UA). From July next year, the current Google UA will no longer collect and present data on site visitors.
Why is it changing?
Google says it has prioritised privacy in GA4, making changes to attempt to bring Google Analytics in line with the GDPR*. Google has powered the new system with AI and machine learning, and provided separate tools for data collecting, reporting, and analysis.
Google’s pitch is that this will allow you to better understand how customers interact with your website and provide you with better data for use in advertising and sales. It will also help you to predict trends and fill in gaps in your data and provide better user behaviour information on your customers and sales, giving you an advantage and the opportunity to be more proactive with your site.
From what we’ve been testing, it looks pretty good.
When will it happen?
All Google Universal Analytics accounts will need to be upgraded to GA4 by July 1st, 2023. There may be a small extension offered by Google, but this has not been confirmed yet.
What do I need to do?
If you use Google Universal Analytics, this will affect you. All analytics accounts need to be upgraded to GA4 by 1st July 2023. However, it is recommended to do this as quickly as possible to allow for continuity of comparable data before and after the changeover.
If you’re not sure what Google Analytics does and would like to know more, just contact us and we can set it up for you and show you how to get the best out of it.
The small print…
* You can find out more about the specific changes to EU-focused data and privacy on Google’s website here. While it is used pretty much universally, the current Google Analytics is actually not technically fully GDPR compliant as some data may be transferred to the United States. Moves are being made to resolve this, including Google designating its Republic of Ireland HQ as the Data Processor for data gathered within the EU and the UK. GA4 initially uses your IP address to determine where to store the data, but then eliminates the IP address from the data stored, so it does not store that piece of data and risk transferring it to the US… It’s a complicated and ‘grey’ area of European Law, but one we all have to comply with if we are marketing goods or services to citizens of the EU! We must emphasise that this info is our best understanding of the position at the time of writing. We are not qualified to offer a legal opinion, so please contact your legal adviser if in doubt.