learn how to upgrade from ua to [ga4] + integrate looker studio

Learn How to Upgrade from UA to [GA4] + Integrate Looker Studio

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that lets marketers track website performance and create detailed reports. It provides a range of features that allow marketers to assess user behaviour, traffic sources, and the effectiveness of their digital campaigns. With the latest release of Google Analytics 4, marketers can gain even more insights from their data.

But how does it compare to Universal Analytics (UA)? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between Google Analytics 4 and the older UA version so that marketers can make the right decision for their business.

We’ll look at the benefits of difference, migrating to GA4 and how to determine which version is right for you. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about which analytics tool is best for your business.

What is GA4: Understand the key features

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s web and mobile analytics platform. It is a complete and unified solution for businesses to track and analyze customer behaviour across multiple devices, including websites, apps, and other connected devices.

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GA4 provides businesses with a more comprehensive view of customer behaviour and enables them to make data-driven decisions about their marketing strategies. It uses machine learning algorithms to automatically identify patterns in data and make recommendations to improve your marketing strategy.

GA4 collects more data than its predecessor, Universal Analytics, and provides a more accurate view of customer behaviour across multiple devices. It also offers a modern, intuitive user interface, making it easier for businesses to access and interpret their data.

What was the need for Google Analytics 4?

The need for Google Analytics 4 (GA4) arose from the increasing complexity of digital marketing and a more comprehensive solution to track and analyze customer behaviour. With the rise of mobile devices, the increasing use of apps, and the growing importance of customer data, businesses needed a platform that could keep up with these changes and provide a more accurate picture of customer behaviour.

GA4 was developed to address these challenges and provide businesses with a more robust and intuitive analytics platform. With its advanced features, such as cross-device tracking, machine learning, and enhanced data collection, GA4 provides a complete view of customer behaviour. It enables businesses to make more informed decisions about their marketing strategies.

In addition, the increased focus on privacy and data protection has made GA4 an attractive option for businesses looking to comply with privacy regulations and protect the privacy of their customers. By offering greater control over data collection and providing a more transparent data privacy policy, GA4 helps businesses stay ahead of the curve in terms of privacy and security.

What are the key differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4?

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Source: cardinalpath
Data collectionGA4 uses a “data privacy by design” approach, allowing businesses to collect and process data while respecting user privacy.UA also collects data but may not have the same privacy protections as GA4.
User interfaceGA4 has a new, updated user interface that may take some time to get used to.UA has a more familiar user interface that may be easier to navigate for those used to the previous version of Google Analytics.
Event trackingGA4 automatically collects common events, eliminating the need for manual configuration and implementation.UA requires manual configuration and implementation to track events.
Cross-device trackingGA4 provides improved cross-device tracking and reporting capabilities.UA has limited cross-device tracking and reporting capabilities.
Reporting functionalityGA4 offers advanced reporting features, including search functionality and improved report visualization.UA has limited reporting functionality, with fewer advanced features available.
IntegrationGA4 integrates with other Google products, making it easier to share data and make informed decisions.UA may not have the same level of integration with other Google products.
Data processingBeyond 14 months, data processing in GA4 requires the use of BigQuery, which can increase costs and complexity.UA does not require the use of BigQuery for data processing.
Initial setupThe initial setup of GA4 can be complicated, requiring a thorough understanding of its features and functions.UA has a simpler initial setup process, making it easier to get started.

What are the Advantages of Migrating to GA4

  1. Enhanced data collection: GA4 allows for more flexible and accurate data collection, giving you a better understanding of your audience and website behaviour.
  2. Improved User ID tracking: GA4 introduces a more robust method for tracking user behaviour across devices and sessions.
  3. Automated event collection: GA4 automatically collects common events, eliminating the need for manual configuration and implementation.
  4. Increased accuracy in attribution: GA4 provides a more accurate way to attribute conversions and other important events to specific marketing campaigns and channels.
  5. Enhanced cross-device and cross-platform tracking: GA4 makes it easier to track user behaviour across devices and platforms, including mobile apps, allowing you to get a complete picture of your audience.
  6. Integration with Google’s marketing tools: GA4 is integrated with Google’s marketing tools, such as Google Ads and Google Tag Manager, making it easier to share data and make informed marketing decisions.
  7. Streamlined setup and configuration: GA4 has a more streamlined setup process, making it easier to get started and get the data you need to make informed decisions.
  8. Improved reporting functionality: GA4 brings more advanced reporting features previously only available in GA360, making it more useful for businesses to make sense of their data.
  9. Encourages data-driven decisions: By making data collection and analysis easier, GA4 encourages marketers to take data collection and measurement more seriously, leading to data-driven decision-making.
  10. Search for instant answers: GA4 offers a search function to quickly find the answers to common questions, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.

What are the Disadvantages of Migrating to GA4

  1. Learning curve: GA4 introduces new features and concepts, which may require a learning curve for those familiar with the previous version of Google Analytics.
  2. Confusing dimension and metric labels: The new dimensions and metrics in GA4 may be unfamiliar to those used in the previous version of Google Analytics, causing confusion and reducing its usability.
  3. Limited backward compatibility: GA4 is not fully backwards compatible with the previous version of Google Analytics, so some reports and customisations may need to be recreated.
  4. Lack of support for some third-party tools: Some third-party tools and integrations may not yet support GA4, which may limit its usefulness in certain cases.
  5. Increased costs: Some advanced features in GA4 may require a higher level of pricing, which could increase overall costs for some businesses.
  6. Data migration challenges: Migrating to GA4 may require significant effort and resources, including transferring existing data and reconfiguring tracking and reporting setups.
  7. Limited reporting capabilities: GA4 is still in its early stages and may not yet offer all of the reporting capabilities that some businesses require.
  8. Cookie consent policy: GA4 is still subject to a cookie consent policy, which can limit its accuracy and usefulness.
  9. Data processing limitations: Beyond 14 months, data processing in GA4 requires BigQuery, which can increase costs and complexity.
  10. No recurring email reports: GA4 does not currently support the ability to set up recurring email reports, making it more difficult to stay informed and up-to-date with your analytics data.

Upgrading [UA] Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 [GA4]

Step 1: Log into your Google Analytics.

To enable Google Analytics, you need to log into your Google Analytics account. If you already have a Google account, you can use that to log in. If you don’t have a Google account, you can create one for free.

Step 2: Create a new property in Google Analytics 4

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To enable Google Analytics, you need to create a new property in Google Analytics. To do this, click on the “Admin” button on the right side of the page. In the Admin section, you will see three columns. In the the first column, and click on “Create Property”. Then, select the “Web” option and fill in the required like your website name which you be monitoring. 

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Step 3: Get the tracking code

After you have created your new property, you will be taken to the tracking code section. You will need to copy this code and paste it into your website. This code will enable Google Analytics to track the data from your website.

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Step 4: Verify the tracking code

The last step is to verify that the tracking code has been properly installed. To do this, you can use the Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension. Once you have installed the extension, you can visit your website and check that the Google Analytics tracking code is installed properly.

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It’s important to understand the new features and capabilities of GA4 and to map your Universal Analytics dimensions and metrics to GA4. Additionally, configuring GA4 events, setting up custom dimensions and metrics, and monitoring the GA4 data regularly are crucial for ensuring accurate and complete data collection.

Migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 can be a complex process and requires careful planning and execution. It is important to ensure that all of your data is accurately transferred to the new GA4 property. This video provides a valuable resource for anyone who is looking to migrate their events and dimensions from UA to GA4. 

Looker Studio tutorial for Google Analytics 4 (2023) | GA4 + Google Data Studio

The video explains the process in detail and offers practical tips and suggestions for a successful migration. If you are planning to migrate your data, we strongly suggest that you watch this video and follow the guidance provided. By doing so, you will be able to ensure that your migration is smooth and successful and that all of your data is accurately transferred to the new GA4 property.

TIP: Use Looker Studio to Monitor the Website Analytics with Email Reports

Monitoring data from the GA4 dashboard can be a tedious task, especially for bloggers who need to keep track of a large amount of data on a regular basis. Sifting through the data in the GA4 dashboard to identify trends and insights can be time-consuming and overwhelming.

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This is why it’s recommended to connect their GA4 data with Looker’s studio for a more efficient and effective data analysis process. 

Why use Looker Studio to Monitor the Website Analytics?

With Looker, you can create interactive dashboards, reports, and alerts to help them easily monitor their data and make data-driven decisions. The ability to quickly analyse data and identify trends can save time and effort, allowing them to focus on other essential aspects of their business.

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Benefits of Using Looker Studio in place of GA4 Dashboard

  1. Customisable dashboards: Google Data Studio allows you to create custom dashboards tailored to your specific needs. You can choose the data that you want to see, how it should be displayed, and what insights you want to highlight.
  1. Easy to use: Google Data Studio is user-friendly and easy to use, even for people with limited technical skills. With a drag-and-drop interface and a wide range of templates, you can quickly create a dashboard that provides the insights you need.
  1. Flexible data sources: Google Data Studio allows you to connect to multiple data sources, including Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and other data sources. This means that you can access all of your data in one place and get a complete view of your performance.
  1. Collaboration: Google Data Studio makes it easy to share your dashboards with others. You can collaborate with your team members, stakeholders, or clients, and share insights with them in real time.
  1. Automated reports: Google Data Studio allows you to automate your reports, so you can save time and get up-to-date insights delivered to your inbox.

How to connect GA4 Data from Looker Studio (Formerly Data Studio)?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics, and it offers many new features and benefits. If you’re a blogger or digital marketer, you can further enhance your data analysis by integrating your GA4 data into Looker’s Studio (formerly Data Studio). 

Steps to connect GA4 Data from Looker’s Studio:

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  1. Connect GA4 to Looker’s Studio: In Looker’s Studio, go to the “Connections” section and add a new connection for GA4. You will need to provide your GA4 tracking code and grant Looker’s Studio access to your GA4 data.

  2. Create a Data Source: Once you have connected GA4 to Looker’s Studio, create a new data source that includes the GA4 data you want to analyse. You can select the data dimensions and metrics you want to include and set up filters and calculated fields as needed.
  3. Build Reports and Visualizations: With your GA4 data source in place, you can now build reports and visualisations in Looker’s Studio. You can create bar graphs, line charts, pie charts, and more to help you better understand your GA4 data.
  4. Share with Stakeholders: Once you have built your reports and visualisations, you can share them with stakeholders, such as your team, clients, or customers. You can share your reports and visualisations via a link, embed them in a website, or export them as PDFs or image files.
  5. Monitor and Refine: Finally, monitor your GA4 data and reports in Looker’s Studio and refine them over time. As your website or app evolves, you can update your GA4 data source, reports, and visualisations to reflect the latest information.

You can watch a full step-by-step guide to create reports from data connectors of GA4 using Looker Studio. This video provides a comprehensive overview of the process and demonstrates how to create reports that provide valuable insights into your website data.

How to Schedule Monthly Emails Report Delivery on Looker Studio?

As a blogger or digital marketer, staying on top of your website or app data is crucial to ensuring its success. One way to make this easier is by using Looker’s Studio to schedule monthly email reports that deliver the data and insights you need directly to your inbox. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to schedule monthly email reports in Looker’s Studio.

Steps to Schedule Monthly Emails Report Delivery on Looker’s Studio

To schedule monthly email delivery of reports on Looker Studio, follow these steps:

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  1. Step 1: Navigate to the report you want to schedule – From the main menu, select the report you want to schedule and open it.

  2. Step 2: Access the Scheduling options – Click on the “Share” button on the top right corner of the screen, and then select “Schduleemail delivery” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Step 3: Set the delivery start date and time – Next, select the date and time you want the report to be sent. You can choose the exact date and time, or select a specific day of the week, such as the first Monday of every month.
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  1. Step 4: Set the schedule frequency – From the “Email Delivery” screen, select the frequency with which you want to send the report, such as “Monthly” from the repeat settings.
  2. Step 5: Add recipients – Enter the email addresses of the recipients who should receive the report.
  3. Step 6: Save the schedule – Finally, click the “Schedule” button to save the schedule and activate it.

With these steps, you can schedule monthly email delivery of reports on Looker Studio, and automate the process of sharing your data insights with your team, stakeholders, or clients. This feature makes it easy to keep everyone up-to-date on your website’s performance, and provides a convenient way to access your data insights whenever you need them.

End Notes

In conclusion, migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a necessary step for web site owners who want to take their data analysis to the next level. GA4 provides new features and capabilities that can help the website owner understand their website or app performance and make data-driven decisions..

Additionally, integrating GA4 data with Looker’s studio can make the data analysis process more efficient and effective. Looker provides interactive dashboards, reports, and alerts, making it easier for you to monitor their data and identify trends and insights. By taking advantage of the new features and capabilities of GA4 and integrating with Looker.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should you upgrade to Google Analytics 4?

Yes, you should upgrade to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible. GA4 is a newer version of Google Analytics that offers more features, such as enhanced reporting, improved data accuracy and more in-depth insights into your user behaviour. It also comes with new features, such as machine learning-driven insights, that can help you make more informed decisions about your digital marketing strategy.

What Happens if I don’t upgrade to GA4?

Universal Analytics will continue to work as it does now, and you can continue to collect and analyse data. However, Google has stated that it plans to phase out Universal Analytics by July 1 2023 eventually, so it’s recommended to plan for a migration to GA4 at some point in the future.

When is the Google Analytics 4 Migration Deadline?

On July 1st, 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer be accepting new data hits. This means that if you’re still using Universal Analytics for your website or app analytics, it’s time to start considering a transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

How to Backup Google Universal Analytics Data?

Google Analytics provides several options for standard accounts to download their data for backup and analysis purposes. These options include

Report Exports: You can easily export your GA data to popular file formats such as CSV, Sheets, Excel, or PDF directly from the Reports interface in the GA web application.

Data Transfer to BigQuery: Analytics360 customers can transfer their GA data to BigQuery, a highly scalable and secure data warehouse that allows you to store, process and analyse large amounts of data.

Reporting API V4: The Google Analytics Reporting API V4 provides access to all your GA data, enabling you to export it to databases, BigQuery, or files. This method allows you to programmatically extract your GA data and use it for custom analysis or data backup.

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