Today is an exciting day, as the new version of Google Analytics is finally here!
Google Analytics 4 Properties is the new, official name of what has been known as App+Web Properties for the last year or so. Many people struggled with the name, struggled with the implementation hurdles, and struggled with a reporting suite that was (let's be honest) pretty spartan compared to what we're all accustomed to, but today's announcements are changing all that.
The big picture, though, is very interesting. Google Analytics 4 Properties is a direct response to things like GDPR, ITP and user awareness about tracking and privacy. And it's not like Google is building a tool to circumvent these factors; it's more like they're building a tool that lets marketers understand what happens on their digital properties while respecting these factors.
Google also say that Google Analytics 4 Properties is built with Machine Learning at its core. I have to admit I'm not too sold on this yet, I'm sure it'll be interesting to see how it develops but living in a world where it's hard to buy a dozen eggs without the packaging saying "built with ML at the core," we can surely be forgiven for being skeptical.
Here's a quick run-down of what's new:
- Events can be edited in the UI. So if you want to fix up some messy or misspelled data, you can do so (even retroactively!)
- Massive Data Import changes, with huge flexibility to be able to do a raw upload of your own data and join it, right in the UI
- Realtime BigQuery streaming (and you can even specify an Australia storage location)
- Things like cross-domain tracking, IP address exclusion and Ecommerce reporting are all ready to go
- Migration is going to be easier, with upgrade instructions in the UI.
Also, as of today, all new Google Analytics properties that are created will be Google Analytics 4 Properties. This is significant; it's not like ol' faithful Universal Analytics is going away, but when the default Property created became Universal Analytics (I can't remember when this was but suspect it was sometime in 1992), it did kind of mean the death-knell for 'Classic' Analytics.
And to be clear -- all this is free (well, apart from the BigQuery storage should you choose to enable the data streaming.) There's an impressive set of enterprise-y features for $0, which is good in anyone's language.
It's truly exciting stuff, and if you'd like to find out more you can read the official Google blog over here.
Google official learning hub: