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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 common 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 selection 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 seem to be a pure development, entrepreneurs shouldn’t be fooled.

The training curve shall be steep—Google Analytics 4 is nearly a wholly new platform and nonetheless growing. On prime of that, Google Analytics dangers dropping the customers’ belief as a result of 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 stability 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’ll dive into the problems with Google Analytics 4 from a consumer perspective and from a privateness and compliance standpoint, so you may make an knowledgeable resolution earlier than switching platforms.

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

 Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement know-how that’s neither properly understood nor extensively accepted by the advertising neighborhood.

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 is no such thing as a easy option to migrate your knowledge

 Migration is a posh 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 dimension—you’ll be able to have tons of of tags to maneuver. So, if entrepreneurs should begin amassing knowledge from scratch, they could as properly swap to a brand new analytic software program.

Not-so-intuitive consumer interface

Essentially the most distinguished problem entrepreneurs and analysts will probably 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 sort like Common Analytics makes use of. All the things in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “occasion.” This can be a large distinction.

To ensure that entrepreneurs to have success on the brand new platform, they must adapt rapidly to take care of 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 device to dive deeper into their knowledge. It offers the choice to pivot or phase this knowledge to isolate a selected viewers or site visitors for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for customized dimensions to phase reviews, however there’s a strict restrict. You may 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 selling channels. When custom-made, these groupings permit entrepreneurs to trace the efficiency of these channels effectively.

In contrast to Common Analytics, GA4 doesn’t let you 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 neighborhood to behave is startling. There are lots of speculations as to why this is perhaps, together with:

  1. Google might have been upset with the velocity 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 1000’s of internet sites with legacy options put in. Since GA4 is designed to assist 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 wish to begin adjusting to Google Analytics 4 or begin afresh with a brand new platform.

Privateness and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has a protracted option to go

If an organization operates in a number of nations, advertising groups will want to pay attention to 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 imagine GA4 won’t final lengthy in Europe. Right here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European legislation

Google makes it tough to gather knowledge consistent with the Common Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR), which goals to revive management of private knowledge to customers and prospects. 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 resolution 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 severe technological adjustments to be GDPR-compliant.

There is no such thing as a clear guideline the place the info is linked via 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 enough privateness safety to the EU.

Newly launched options in GA4 partially deal with 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 requires customers’ consent

Whether or not or not it’s the info high quality, device limitations, lack of privacy-friendly options, or transparency in dealing with knowledge, we imagine entrepreneurs will probably 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 much 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 considerations about switching to another analytics resolution and the analytic mindset you have to be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—right here’s what it’s worthwhile to know.

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