What is new in the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
GA4 also leverages machine learning to provide insights such as churn probability, purchase probability, and revenue prediction (available in the Exploration custom reports). Streamlined reporting and cross-device tracking allow businesses to gather all data in one place, making it easier to analyse user behaviour. Moreover, GA4 is designed with privacy in mind, including automatic data deletion after a set period and more granular control over data sharing, making it a privacy-focused solution for businesses.
What would happen with the old GA?
Google have announced that on July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. Google Analytics’ users will be able to see their Universal Analytics reports for a period after July 1, 2023. However, new data will only flow into GA4 properties.
There is an exclusion for the premium 360 Universal Analytics properties. The paid Google Analytics accounts will receive a one-time processing extension until July 1, 2024.
Where did the custom reports go?
In GA4, users can easily create custom reports and visualizations with Explorations. The Explorations section is a powerful tool that allows performing ad-hoc analysis. It offers a more flexible and intuitive approach to analysing data than the standard reports.
The most significant advantage of the Exploration section is its machine learning-powered insights. Users can leverage predictive metrics such as churn probability, purchase probability, and revenue prediction to understand customer behaviour and identify opportunities for growth. These metrics are derived from the data collected by GA4 and analysed using machine learning algorithms.
Overall, the Explorations section in GA4 offers a flexible and intuitive way for users to explore their data and uncover insights that can help drive business growth.
Another good option for customising existing reports or adding simple new reports is using the Reports Library section.
Explorations could be shared with other users of the property in read-only mode while any reports added to the Reports Library are by default visible to all users of the property.
How to export data from GA4?
Looker Studio is a business intelligence tool that allows users to connect and combine data from multiple sources, including GA4, to create custom reports and dashboards.
With Looker Studio, users can access and extract data from GA4 and other data sources, transform it, and visualize it using a wide range of chart types and widgets.
Additionally, Looker Studio offers a great collection of templates with pre-build reports which could be used to build professional reports in seconds.
Google Analytics Data API
Google Analytics Data API could be a good alternative to export data from GA4. The Google Analytics Data API is a powerful tool that allows users to programmatically access and extract data from their GA4 properties and integrate it into custom applications and workflows.
With the Google Analytics Data API, you can retrieve data for specific metrics and dimensions, such as user activity, demographics, and device information. You can also specify a date range for the data, apply filters to the data, and segment the data to gain deeper insights into user behaviour.
Google BigQuery is another common way to export data from GA4. Google BigQuery is a cloud-based data warehouse that enables businesses to store, query, and analyse large amounts of data.
With BigQuery, you can run complex queries and perform advanced analysis on your GA4 data, such as combining it with other data sources, creating custom metrics and dimensions, and visualizing the data in dashboards or reports. Additionally, BigQuery provides machine learning capabilities, making it possible to perform predictive analysis and anomaly detection on your data.
It’s important to mention that data exported from GA4 may not necessarily match exactly the numbers seen in the GA4 user interface due to a number of valid reasons.
How to build a Year-Over-Year (YOY) trend reports?
Looker Studio is a great tool to build a Year-Over-Year (YOY) trend report using data from Google Analytics Universal and GA4. You can blend data from the old and new GA properties using a full outer join connecting both datasets on date and easily combine top level metrics such as users or page views.