Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around?
The no cost edition of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, is the most extensively applied website analytics alternative. The platform is so well-known that it dominates 86% current market share, building Google the industry chief. But even though many contemplate Google Analytics the conventional, there are explanations to talk to if it is the ideal decision for your marketing and advertising setup—especially because Google declared the sunset of Universal Analytics.
On July 1, 2023, Common Analytics qualities will quit processing new hits, forcing consumers to swap to its successor, Google Analytics 4. Whilst this may perhaps seem to be like a normal development, entrepreneurs really should not be fooled.
The understanding curve will be steep—Google Analytics 4 is just about an fully new platform and nevertheless creating. On major of that, Google Analytics pitfalls dropping the users’ believe in due to grey parts all-around the likes of privateness and info possession.
With a privateness-concentrated long term in advance, now is the time to seek possibilities that much better balance knowledge assortment with compliance. With a suitable analytics platform, marketers make your knowledge selection as it should really be: predictable and sustainable. Soon after all, entrepreneurs and analysts want to system consumer-degree facts though creating rely on with their people.
In this write-up, we will dive into the troubles with Google Analytics 4 from a consumer perspective and from a privacy and compliance standpoint, so you can make an knowledgeable choice just before switching platforms.
Person standpoint: Google Analytics 4 is a stage in the erroneous direction
Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement technological know-how that is neither well recognized nor commonly acknowledged by the marketing and advertising neighborhood.
From a person practical experience standpoint, numerous uncover GA4 demanding to navigate. But beyond that, there are a host of troubles with the characteristic sets. Let us dig further into all those constraints:
There is no easy way to migrate your details
Migration is a intricate approach and need to be planned very carefully. Sadly, Google Analytics 4 does not make it any less difficult. Devoid of information or tag migration, all historic facts from Common Analytics will not be transferred to the new platform.
The challenge only grows with the organization’s size—you can have hundreds of tags to move. So, if entrepreneurs must start out collecting data from scratch, they could as perfectly swap to a new analytic software program.
Not-so-intuitive person interface
The most well known challenge marketers and analysts will likely come upon with Google Analytics 4 is the unfamiliarity with the new interface.
A new dashboard has various instantly obvious variances from what entrepreneurs are employed to running. Strike varieties are important to how Universal Analytic houses tackle all stats. Hit types incorporate site hits, party hits, eCommerce hits, and social interaction hits.
GA4 does not have any concept of a hit sort like Universal Analytics works by using. Every thing in Google Analytics 4 is classified as an “event.” This is a massive distinction.
In get for entrepreneurs to have achievement on the new system, they will have to adapt promptly to preserve the very same momentum they experienced with this prior system.
Limitations on customized proportions
A tailor made dimension is an attribute that marketers can configure in their analytics instrument to dive deeper into their info. It provides the possibility to pivot or phase this facts to isolate a particular viewers or site visitors for deeper analysis.
GA4 certainly enables for custom dimensions to phase reports, but there is a strict restrict. You can only have up to 25 consumer-scoped customized proportions and up to 50 party-scoped custom made proportions for every assets.
Deficiency of personalized channel grouping
Channel groupings are rule-primarily based groupings of marketing and advertising channels. When tailored, these groupings enable marketers to observe the effectiveness of all those channels proficiently.
Contrary to Common Analytics, GA4 does not permit you to build customized channel groupings in the new interface. In its place, marketers will only be equipped to use their default channel groupings.
Motivations driving the brief deadline
The deadline Google has still left the analytics local community to act is startling. There are several speculations as to why this could be, like:
- Google may perhaps have been let down with the pace of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and made a decision to act decisively.
- Google circumventing some of the legal heat that Common Analytics is dealing with in the EU.
- Google seeking to slice costs and rid by itself of complex financial debt affiliated with hundreds of websites with legacy solutions installed. Due to the fact GA4 is designed to assistance Google’s marketing network, it assures more earnings than the level of competition.
Now there is a concrete deadline to make the swap, entrepreneurs will have to have to come to a decision whether or not they want to begin modifying to Google Analytics 4 or get started afresh with a new platform.
Privateness and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has a prolonged way to go
If a firm operates in multiple nations, marketing teams will will need to be aware of the quite a few problems ensuing from the obligations of both equally regional information privateness guidelines and global polices.
Information security legislation continually transforming and limited protection regulations only complicate points further more. Reading through the tea leaves, we believe GA4 will not final extended in Europe. Here’s why:
Google Analytics violates European legislation
Google tends to make it complicated to collect knowledge in line with the Normal Details Safety Regulation (GDPR), which aims to restore command of private details to people and shoppers. The regulation requires you to get express consent when processing personalized details. Failure to comply with this provision can end result in hefty fines or even prosecution.
The latest decision of the Austrian Info Protection Authority (DSB), states that the use of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. This suggests that corporations engaged in collecting, storing, and processing knowledge about EU citizens have to regulate their policies and introduce really serious technological modifications to be GDPR-compliant.
There is no very clear guideline where the details is related by way of Google Analytics
A Google information implies facts is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Even so, the information may possibly be stored in a geographic spot that does not have enough privacy security to the EU.
Recently introduced characteristics in GA4 partially tackle this issue by allowing for the first aspect of info assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nevertheless, information can, and most very likely will, be sent to the U.S.
The future of internet marketing involves users’ consent
Whether or not it be the knowledge good quality, instrument constraints, deficiency of privateness-pleasant characteristics, or transparency in handling data, we feel entrepreneurs will probably take into account switching platforms.
Piwik Pro excluds the privateness and compliance problems linked with Google Analytics, making it possible for entrepreneurs to gather knowledge predictably and sustainably. The person interface and attribute sets are comparable to Universal Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts really feel at residence when switching to our system.
If you would like to master a lot more about Google Analytics alternate options or get extra info on the Piwik Professional Analytics Suite, stop by piwik.professional.
Nevertheless undecided? Verify out our report on addressing the fears about switching to an substitute analytics answer and the analytic mindset you need to be having: Switching from Google Analytics—here’s what you require to know.
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