Google has announced that it will be transitioning from its current Universal Analytics platform to a new platform called GA4 (Google Analytics 4) on July 1st, 2023. On this day, Universal Analytics will no longer update with new data. Essentially, it would leave you blind to your website visitors and traffic if you haven’t updated your analytics before then. This change will bring a number of new features and improvements to the analytics platform, including enhanced data collection and analysis capabilities, improved user privacy controls, and support for new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
One of the major changes in GA4 is the focus on event-based tracking, which allows for more detailed analysis of user interactions on a website or app. Event-based tracking is a method of collecting data from user interactions with a website or application. Events are typically specific actions taken by a user, such as clicking a button, watching a video, or filling out a form. The data collected from these events can be used for analytics, conversion tracking, and remarketing. This can provide valuable insights into user behavior and engagement, and can help businesses make data-driven decisions about how to improve their online presence.
Privacy & Regulations
Another key feature of GA4 is the enhanced user privacy controls, which include support for anonymized data collection and analysis, as well as the ability to control what data is collected and shared. This is particularly important in light of recent regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These controls include support for anonymized data collection and analysis, as well as the ability to control what data is collected and shared.
While the GDPR is not directly applicable to organizations in the United States, it can still be important for US-based organizations to follow its guidelines. This is because if a US-based company processes personal data of EU citizens and is not in compliance with the GDPR, it can face significant fines and penalties. Additionally, the GDPR’s principles and guidelines on data protection and privacy are widely considered to be best practices, and following them can help organizations in the US demonstrate their commitment to protecting customers’ personal information.
In the USA, there is no federal law like the GDPR. However, some states have laws similar to the GDPR, like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a data privacy law that went into effect on January 1, 2020. It applies to businesses that collect, process, or share personal information of California residents. The CCPA gives California residents certain rights over their personal information, including the right to know what personal information is being collected about them, the right to request that their personal information be deleted, and the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information.
The CCPA applies to businesses that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Have annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million
- Buy, receive for commercial purposes, sell, or share for commercial purposes, the personal information of 50,000 or more California residents, households, or devices
- Derive 50% or more of its annual revenues from selling California residents’ personal information
CCPA also requires certain businesses to provide certain disclosures to California residents regarding their data collection and sharing practices, such as providing a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link on their website. Organizations that are not in compliance with the CCPA may be subject to fines of up to $7,500 per violation.
Options For Generating Reports
Google Analytics 4 also comes with a new set of reports, dimensions and metrics that will provide more granular insights and better understanding of user behavior. Some of this GA4 data is best organized through other Google tools like DataStudio (Looker Studio), which can make reports easy to understand and also add interactive elements. At TriAd, we make these reports each month for many of our clients.
How & When To Update to GA4?
It’s important for businesses to start planning their transition to GA4 as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition and to take full advantage of the new features and capabilities before Universal Analytics data is halted in July 2023. This may include updating website tracking code, familiarizing oneself with the new reporting interface and metrics, and training employees on how to use the new platform. This may also be a good time to consider updating other areas of your website.
TriAd has experience transferring all of our client’s Universal Analytics data to GA4. If you are looking for a partner to help transfer the data and set you up on the GA4 platform, we are happy to assist and start generating reports for your site! Contact us today to get started.