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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 extensively used net analytics resolution. The platform is so widespread that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However although many take into account Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the excellent alternative 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 change to its successor, Google Analytics 4. Whereas this will likely look like a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.

The training curve can be steep—Google Analytics 4 is nearly a wholly new platform and nonetheless growing. On prime of that, Google Analytics dangers shedding the customers’ belief resulting from grey areas across the likes of privateness and knowledge possession.

With a privacy-focused future forward, now’s the time to hunt options that higher steadiness knowledge assortment with compliance. With a correct analytics platform, entrepreneurs make your knowledge assortment accurately: predictable and sustainable. In spite of everything, entrepreneurs and analysts need to course of user-level knowledge 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 choice earlier than switching platforms.

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

 Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement know-how that’s neither effectively understood nor extensively accepted by the advertising 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 isn’t any easy strategy to migrate your knowledge

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

The problem solely grows with the group’s measurement—you possibly can have a whole bunch of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin amassing knowledge from scratch, they could as effectively swap to a brand new analytic software program.

Not-so-intuitive consumer 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 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. Every part in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “occasion.” This can be a enormous distinction.

To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they must 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 software to dive deeper into their knowledge. It provides the choice to pivot or phase this knowledge to isolate a selected viewers or visitors for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to phase studies, 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 personalized, these groupings enable entrepreneurs to trace the efficiency of these channels effectively.

In contrast to Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t mean you can create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As a substitute, entrepreneurs will solely be capable 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 numerous speculations as to why this may be, together with:

  1. Google could have been disenchanted with the pace 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 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 knowledge privateness legal guidelines and worldwide laws.

Knowledge safety laws continually 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 tough to gather knowledge according to the Basic Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of non-public knowledge to customers and clients. The regulation requires you to acquire specific consent when processing private knowledge. Failure to adjust to this provision may end up in hefty fines and even prosecution.

The latest choice of the Austrian Knowledge Safety Authority (DSB), states that using Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. Which means organizations engaged in gathering, storing, and processing knowledge about EU residents have to regulate their insurance policies and introduce critical technological adjustments to be GDPR-compliant.

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

A Google information implies knowledge is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nonetheless, 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 knowledge assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nonetheless, knowledge can, and more than likely will, be despatched to the U.S.

 The way forward for advertising requires customers’ consent

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

Piwik PRO excluds the privateness and compliance points related to Google Analytics, permitting entrepreneurs to gather knowledge predictably and sustainably. The consumer interface and have units are just like Common Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts really feel at residence 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 resolution and the analytic mindset you have to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—right here’s what it’s essential to know.



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