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

The free model of Google Analytics, Common Analytics, is probably the most broadly used internet analytics resolution. The platform is so common that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market chief. However though many take into account Google Analytics the usual, there are causes to ask if it’s the good alternative 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 change to its successor, Google Analytics 4. Whereas this may increasingly look like a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.

The training curve shall be steep—Google Analytics 4 is sort of a wholly new platform and nonetheless creating. On prime of that, Google Analytics dangers shedding the customers’ belief attributable to 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 any case, entrepreneurs and analysts wish to course of user-level knowledge 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 can also 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 effectively understood nor broadly accepted by the advertising and marketing group.

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

There isn’t any easy approach to migrate your knowledge

 Migration is a fancy course of and ought 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 is not going to be transferred to the brand new platform.

The problem solely grows with the group’s dimension—you’ll be able to have lots of of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin accumulating knowledge from scratch, they could as effectively change 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 sorts are important to how Common Analytic properties deal with all stats. Hit sorts embody web page hits, occasion hits, eCommerce hits, and social interplay hits.

GA4 doesn’t have any idea of successful sort like Common Analytics makes use of. Every thing in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “occasion.” This can be a big distinction.

To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they should adapt shortly to keep up the identical momentum they’d 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 section this knowledge to isolate a selected viewers or visitors for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to section studies, however there’s a strict restrict. You’ll be able to 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.

In contrast to Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t will let you create customized channel groupings within the new interface. As a substitute, entrepreneurs will solely be capable of 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:

Google could have been dissatisfied with the pace of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and determined to behave decisively.
Google circumventing a number of the authorized warmth that Common Analytics is dealing with within the EU.
Google wanting to chop prices and rid itself of technical debt related to 1000’s 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 change, entrepreneurs might want to determine whether or not they wish to begin adjusting to Google Analytics 4 or begin afresh with a brand new platform.

Privateness and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has an extended approach to go

If an organization operates in a number of nations, advertising and marketing groups will want to concentrate on the quite a few challenges ensuing from the obligations of each native knowledge privateness legal guidelines and worldwide rules.

Knowledge safety laws always altering and tight safety rules solely complicate issues additional. Studying the tea leaves, we consider GA4 is not going to final lengthy in Europe. Right here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European regulation

Google makes it troublesome to gather knowledge consistent with the Normal Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of private knowledge to customers and prospects. The regulation requires you to acquire express consent when processing private knowledge. Failure to adjust to this provision can lead to hefty fines and even prosecution.

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

There isn’t any clear guideline the place the info is related by way of Google Analytics

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

Newly launched options in GA4 partially handle this concern by permitting the primary a part of knowledge assortment (and anonymization) on European servers. Nevertheless, knowledge 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, software limitations, lack of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with knowledge, we consider 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 dwelling when switching to our platform.

If you need to be taught extra about Google Analytics options or get extra info on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, go to piwik.professional.

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

The put up Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it price sticking round? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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