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Master GA4 implementation with the right partner

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A simpler way to implement GA4 on your website

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January 19, 2024

Don't navigate your GA4 implementation alone

By: Mark Gorney

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides you with a powerful new way to own and use your data — if you know how to fully leverage its capabilities. 

Updating from a Universal Analytics property to a GA4 property means more than adapting to a new interface or creating a new bookmark in your browser. GA4’s entire data model, event naming schema and implementation methods have changed. It encompasses almost every aspect of the implementation and reporting processes needed to use Google Analytics effectively.

Switching can be overwhelming, but engaging a GA4-certified consultant for support can help you focus less on the transition and more on activating your GA4 data.


Common GA4 roadblocks

From setting up the GA4 property and understanding the new reporting and admin interface to dealing with data discrepancies, implementing GA4 for businesses requires your team to meet a wide range of concerns.

Three common roadblocks you can encounter during this transition include:


1. The new interface

In addition to learning how to use the new GA4 interface, many users struggle with the fact that it’s missing key features that users have become reliant on.

Data that could be configured and saved in a single report or dashboard in the old interface can now require searching through multiple areas. Reporting is also less intuitive, with limits on filtering to one dimension at a time and on the number of rows in each report.


2. Data caps

If Google Signals is enabled and part of your property’s reporting identity, GA4 withholds smaller data amounts with a feature called "thresholding.” This means users may not always get the complete picture of who is interacting with their property and how. Low-volume data won’t appear, so users relying solely on the GA4 interface could be missing out on helpful customer or user insights.


3. Data migration

GA4’s native export connection to BigQuery can help businesses overcome some of the limitations of the new interface, including the lack of reporting capabilities and the data caps. But, migrating your data to BigQuery can come with its own challenges.

Any historical data, year-over-year analysis or just general site metrics from your Universal Analytics property can be downloaded and exported before it is deleted from Google’s servers in July 2024. You will also have to start streaming your GA4 data to your BigQuery instance and back up your new historical data.


The value of an implementation partner

Engaging GA4-certified consultants for your implementation helps you overcome these common roadblocks and empowers your businesses to fully leverage GA4.

The right partner can help ensure that you have the training, tracking, and data strategy in place so that you not only have the right data but also know how to use it for smarter decision-making.

They add value to your GA4 implementation by helping you:


Own your data

Working with an implementation partner to take your data from GA4 to BigQuery can help you take ownership of your data and find new opportunities for using it.

With BigQuery, your data is no longer stuck in Google Analytics. You can merge or activate your data with other sources or build custom dashboards, calculate new metrics, create new dimensions and normalize historical data — capabilities that aren’t available with basic data present in the GA4 interface.

You can also take advantage of Google Cloud Platform's advanced analytics features. For example, with Google’s machine learning algorithms and conditions you set, you can perform predictive analytics functions that can generate predictive audiences for users who are likely to purchase or likely to churn. You can then import that data back into GA4, which can natively integrate with your Google Ads to help you create even more effective marketing.

An implementation partner can help train you on these features and identify the metrics that can make a significant impact on your business.


Visualize your data

With limited reporting capabilities in GA4, finding an effective way to visualize your data becomes even more critical.

Implementation partners help you create customized dashboards in visualization tools such as Power BI, Tableau or Looker Studio to meet your specific reporting needs — overcoming GA4’s limited interface. For example, you can access or schedule reports as frequently as you need, have reports readily available to share with stakeholders and even have them branded according to your own brand guidelines.


Prepare for the future

Get ready for the “death of the third-party cookie” by working with an implementation partner to set up server-side implementation.

Using Google’s suite of Cloud Platform tools lets you send your data directly to a client-owned server, helping you address privacy regulations, including GDPR, CCPA and HIPAA. In a changing regulatory landscape, it’s essential to work with an implementation partner on strategies to help you avoid potential liability and adapt quickly to future legislation.


Want to get started?

We can help you activate your GA4 data to get the user and customer insights you need to drive growth. Reach out today to learn how.