March 29, 2022
Should I switch to Google Analytics 4 or another alternative?
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Google has announced the end of Analytics Universal, a move to Analytics 4 is necessary. Is this the only option? Check out alternatives for digital analytics with us

Google Analytics Universal (version 3) will stop collecting data in July 2023. For the next six months, you will still have historical traffic data available, and Google will no longer guarantee its availability.

If you’re measuring website traffic or setting goals and transactions, you’re probably using Google Analytics Universal. Have you thought about what you will use from July 2023?

Google is offering the transition to Analytics 4, a new version of digital analytics. You may have already noticed that several European courts and regulators have criticized the processing of web analytics data in Google Analytics. In particular, it prevents them from transmitting visitors’ IP addresses and other pseudonymous user behavior data to the United States. According to court decisions, the same data protection options are not guaranteed as in the EU.

So how do you decide how to measure website traffic and application usage? We’ll look at the pros and cons of Google Analytics 4 and explore other web analytics alternatives.

Google Analytics 4

If you’re using Analytics Universal, version 4 won’t be clear to you at first. Data is written only as events, Analytics 4 no longer recognizes anything like a pageview. The reports are quite austere, lacking quick reports where you had a number of numbers immediately available.

On the other hand, Analytics 4 is beneficial for more advanced users and data analysts. It allows you to create your own reports and include those metrics and dimensions that you need at the moment (or repeatedly). You no longer have to click through standardized reports, you can create your own.

There were also automated audiences created on the basis of machine learning. What users are likely to buy in the next week? On the contrary, what kind of visitors will you lose and so you can try to motivate them with a discount? These and other audiences are available for your ad campaigns.

The advantage is also the so-called Consent mode. If the visitor has not consented to the storage of cookies, his data will only be used to train the machine learning model and will then be discarded. Therefore, they will not be available in reports, but will be used, for example, to calculate conversions for campaigns. Numbers of users who have given their consent for statistical purposes will appear in the reports in Google Analytics 4 by default.

Benefits

  • One type of records – events and related parameters (eg click + URL or pageview + page title)
  • Custom reports
  • Link to other Google services like Tag Manager or Ads (conversion attribution)
  • Emphasis on monetization (web conversions)

Disadvantages

  • There is no one-click upgrade, no need to reset the whole
  • A complete paradigm shift – there are only events
  • Complex environment used by Analytics Universal users
  • Unclear attitude of European regulators on the legality of data transfer to the USA

Alternatives

Alternative services for digital analytics are usually paid. However, there are also services that can be run in the open source version on your own server. Here, however, you take on maintenance and operation, and traffic data then belongs to you 100%. If you have an IT department and therefore operation will not be a problem, you can also consider this option.

For all Google Analytics refunds, you or your agency will need to reset them.

Plausible Analytics

Web

Matomo Analytics

Web

Piwik PRO Analytics

Web

Open Web Analytics

Web

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Originally posted by Basta digital as “Mám prejsť na Google Analytics 4 alebo inú alternatívu?”

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