Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around?

The free of charge edition of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, is the most greatly made use of net analytics alternative. The system is so well known that it dominates 86% market share, generating Google the industry leader. But even nevertheless numerous take into account Google Analytics the normal, there are explanations to inquire if it is the ideal choice for your promoting setup—especially because Google introduced the sunset of Universal Analytics.

On July 1, 2023, Common Analytics properties will stop processing new hits, forcing buyers to switch to its successor, Google Analytics 4. Even though this may perhaps appear to be like a natural progression, marketers must not be fooled.

The finding out curve will be steep—Google Analytics 4 is practically an solely new system and nonetheless acquiring. On leading of that, Google Analytics hazards dropping the users’ have confidence in due to grey parts about the likes of privateness and facts possession.

With a privacy-concentrated future ahead, now is the time to request possibilities that better harmony information collection with compliance. With a proper analytics system, entrepreneurs make your details assortment as it really should be: predictable and sustainable. Immediately after all, entrepreneurs and analysts want to approach person-degree info whilst building have confidence in with their visitors.

In this post, we will dive into the issues with Google Analytics 4 from a user standpoint and from a privacy and compliance standpoint, so you can make an educated determination before switching platforms.

User standpoint: Google Analytics 4 is a phase in the completely wrong path

 Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement technology that is neither nicely understood nor commonly approved by the internet marketing neighborhood.

From a user expertise perspective, numerous come across GA4 complicated to navigate. But over and above that, there are a host of difficulties with the aspect sets. Permit us dig deeper into those restrictions: 

There is no basic way to migrate your knowledge

 Migration is a elaborate system and must be prepared cautiously. However, Google Analytics 4 does not make it any less complicated. With out data or tag migration, all historical facts from Universal Analytics will not be transferred to the new platform.

The problem only grows with the organization’s size—you can have hundreds of tags to go. So, if marketers ought to start out collecting data from scratch, they could possibly as nicely switch to a new analytic program.

Not-so-intuitive user interface

The most well known problem marketers and analysts will possible come across with Google Analytics 4 is the unfamiliarity with the new interface.

A new dashboard has many right away evident variations from what entrepreneurs are applied to operating. Strike styles are essential to how Common Analytic properties tackle all stats. Hit forms contain page hits, occasion hits, eCommerce hits, and social interaction hits.

GA4 does not have any thought of a strike sort like Common Analytics makes use of. All the things in Google Analytics 4 is classified as an “event.” This is a massive variation.

In order for entrepreneurs to have accomplishment on the new platform, they will have to adapt speedily to sustain the similar momentum they had with this earlier system.

Limits on custom dimensions

A customized dimension is an attribute that entrepreneurs can configure in their analytics instrument to dive deeper into their information. It offers the selection to pivot or segment this facts to isolate a precise audience or targeted traffic for deeper evaluation.

GA4 certainly permits for personalized dimensions to section reports, but there is a stringent limit. You can only have up to 25 user-scoped custom made dimensions and up to 50 party-scoped custom made proportions for each assets.

Absence of customized channel grouping

Channel groupings are rule-primarily based groupings of internet marketing channels. When tailored, these groupings allow entrepreneurs to monitor the effectiveness of individuals channels competently.

Not like Universal Analytics, GA4 does not enable you to produce custom channel groupings in the new interface. Alternatively, marketers will only be capable to use their default channel groupings.

Motivations powering the small deadline

 The deadline Google has left the analytics neighborhood to act is startling. There are numerous speculations as to why this may well be, which includes:

  1. Google could have been unhappy with the velocity of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and made a decision to act decisively.
  2. Google circumventing some of the lawful warmth that Universal Analytics is going through in the EU.
  3. Google seeking to reduce charges and rid itself of technological financial debt associated with thousands of websites with legacy options put in. Since GA4 is built to assist Google’s advertising and marketing community, it ensures far more profits than the competition.

Now there is a concrete deadline to make the change, entrepreneurs will require to make your mind up whether or not they want to start out changing to Google Analytics 4 or commence afresh with a new system.

Privacy and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has a extensive way to go

If a organization operates in a number of nations around the world, advertising and marketing teams will want to be mindful of the many issues resulting from the obligations of the two nearby knowledge privateness rules and global restrictions.

Details security laws constantly shifting and limited safety restrictions only complicate factors additional. Reading the tea leaves, we consider GA4 will not final extended in Europe. Here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European legislation

Google makes it difficult to gather data in line with the Basic Knowledge Defense Regulation (GDPR), which aims to restore control of particular information to customers and consumers. The regulation requires you to attain explicit consent when processing particular information. Failure to comply with this provision can outcome in hefty fines or even prosecution.

The new selection of the Austrian Knowledge Safety Authority (DSB), states that the use of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. This suggests that organizations engaged in accumulating, storing, and processing facts about EU citizens have to alter their procedures and introduce major technological alterations to be GDPR-compliant.

There is no crystal clear guideline the place the data is connected by means of Google Analytics

A Google manual indicates data is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. Nevertheless, the information could be saved in a geographic place that does not have adequate privacy security to the EU.

Freshly introduced features in GA4 partially deal with this concern by making it possible for the first part of knowledge selection (and anonymization) on European servers. Having said that, information can, and most most likely will, be sent to the U.S.

 The long term of advertising and marketing requires users’ consent

Whether it be the info quality, tool limitations, lack of privacy-friendly characteristics, or transparency in dealing with details, we believe that marketers will very likely contemplate switching platforms.

Piwik Pro excluds the privacy and compliance issues linked with Google Analytics, letting entrepreneurs to obtain knowledge predictably and sustainably. The person interface and feature sets are equivalent to Universal Analytics, so entrepreneurs and analysts experience at household when switching to our platform.

If you would like to find out a lot more about Google Analytics alternatives or get more information on the Piwik Pro Analytics Suite, visit piwik.professional.

Nevertheless undecided? Check out out our report on addressing the issues about switching to an choice analytics answer and the analytic way of thinking you should really be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—here’s what you have to have to know.