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How Google Analytics Is Changing the Way We Look at Data

Written By Belfort Group

July 18, 2022

How Google Analytics Is Changing the Way We Look at Data
A New Take on Data Privacy

As anyone who works in marketing will tell you —an effective analytics strategy is a key to any successful marketing plan. When we create websites and apps, the objective is to connect with people and inspire them to do something — like making a purchase.  

An analytics platform can measure and track user activity to make sure our digital campaigns hit this goal. From evaluating website performance to reviewing user activity/click-through rates, this data reveals whether a marketing strategy is truly delivering or if it may need a revamp.   

Yet when it comes to analytics, privacy is a major concern for many. More people are becoming aware of their rights to privacy as online users. Government policies are also cracking down on major websites to follow privacy laws. 

In response to this, Google is introducing a new analytics platform that will hit the sweet spot in delivering hard data while respecting user privacy. The platform is called Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which will phase out the Universal Analytics platform on July 1, 2023.

The Nitty-Gritty of Google Analytics 4

A common challenge for marketers is accurately measuring the actions being taken on their websites and apps. GA4 seeks to bridge this gap by using machine learning to give marketers clearer insights into user engagement.  

What makes GA4 unique? Rather than measuring bounce rates, GA4 measures “events,” which include page visits/views, session times and transactions/button clicks. Through this method, GA4 tracks the entire end-to-end user journey with actionable data. 

When it comes to privacy, GA4 does not use third-party cookies to track user activity and it also does not store IP addresses. Instead, it processes data from both apps and websites to track one user’s activity.  As a result, GA4 offers a more action-oriented solution while still respecting data privacy.  

What This Means for Marketers

Many marketing experts see GA4 as a revolution and a much-needed breath of fresh air for the marketing world. It offers more flexibility with building conversion tracking while also determining which exact keywords, ads and campaigns are performing the best.  

With machine learning, GA4 pulls data for site traffic and user behavior and creates performance predictions based on patterns. This provides marketers ample opportunities to evaluate and — if needed — improve their marketing strategies.  

Overall, it means less time guessing what users are doing and getting more direct insight into the exact actions they are taking. With cross-platform functionality and improved algorithms, marketers get all their data needs delivered in one place with GA4.

Preparing for the New Platform

GA4 is available now and free to download. Businesses will not be able to import data from a previous platform into GA4, so making the transition to GA4 now is a smart business move.  

So, if you work in marketing, you should take the plunge and download GA4 today to immediately boost your analytics strategy! Since the process can take up to a few months, you can run GA4 in tandem with any current analytics platforms you may be using so there aren’t any interruptions in gathering data. 

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