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


The free model of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is essentially the most extensively used net analytics resolution. The platform is so standard that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However though many contemplate Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the good selection in your advertising and marketing 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 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 growing. On high of that, Google Analytics dangers shedding the customers’ belief because of grey areas across the likes of privateness and information possession.

With a privacy-focused future forward, now could be the time to hunt alternate options that higher steadiness information assortment with compliance. With a correct analytics platform, entrepreneurs make your information assortment correctly: 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 are going to dive into the problems with Google Analytics 4 from a consumer perspective and from a privateness and compliance standpoint, so you may make an knowledgeable determination earlier than switching platforms.

Consumer perspective: Google Analytics 4 is a step within the fallacious route

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

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

There is no such thing as a easy method to migrate your information

 Migration is a fancy course of and must be deliberate fastidiously. 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 dimension—you’ll be able to have a whole bunch of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin accumulating information from scratch, they may as nicely swap to a brand new analytic software program.

Not-so-intuitive consumer interface

Essentially 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 a success kind like Common Analytics makes use of. The whole lot 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 that they had with this earlier platform.

Limits on customized dimensions

A customized dimension is an attribute that entrepreneurs can configure of their analytics instrument 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 reviews, however there’s a strict restrict. You possibly can 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 promoting channels. When custom-made, these groupings permit entrepreneurs to trace the efficiency of these channels effectively.

Not like Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t assist you to create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As a substitute, 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 a lot of speculations as to why this could be, together with:

  1. Google might have been disillusioned 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 resolve 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 method to go

If an organization operates in a number of international locations, advertising and marketing 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 consider GA4 won’t final lengthy in Europe. Right here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European legislation

Google makes it troublesome to gather information in keeping with the Normal Information Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of private 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 the usage of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. Which means organizations engaged in gathering, storing, and processing information about EU residents have to regulate their insurance policies and introduce severe technological adjustments to be GDPR-compliant.

There is no such thing as a clear guideline the place the info is linked by means of Google Analytics

A Google information implies information is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nevertheless, the info could also be saved in a geographic location that doesn’t have ample privateness safety to the EU.

Newly launched options in GA4 partially tackle this concern by permitting the primary a part of information assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nevertheless, information can, and most probably will, be despatched to the U.S.

 The way forward for advertising and marketing requires customers’ consent

Whether or not or not it’s the info high quality, instrument limitations, lack of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with information, we consider entrepreneurs will probably contemplate 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 dwelling when switching to our platform.

If you want to study extra about Google Analytics alternatives or get extra info on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, go to

Nonetheless undecided? Take a look at our article on addressing the issues about switching to an alternate analytics resolution and the analytic mindset you ought to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—here’s what you need to know.

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