Getting ready for the entry of GA4
The most important part of starting up a website is creating a Google Analytics account. This will allow you to gather data for various optimizations of your website, campaigns, customer journey and much more. It helps you measure page performance and e-commerce figures so you can continue to grow your business through analytics month on month.
Google Analytics has launched a new update to the platform called GA4, which will give you a deeper understanding of your customers’ behavior across the different devices and channels they use on your website and in the app. Currently this is still a beta version but as of July 2023, everyone will have to switch to GA4. Historical data will still be available but no new data will be collected.
Want to know more about GA4? Read our other article and learn all about this new tool.
In the coming months, there are a few important dates to make the switch to GA4 as easy as possible and not to lose any data. We would like to give you a timeline so that it is clear when everything has to be in place.
Different platforms for data analysis
Besides Google Analytics, there are also other systems that focus on data collection and analysis. With all the different adjustments within GA4, we would like to list the pros and cons of the systems: GA4, Matomo and Piwik Pro.
The biggest advantage here are that it is the best system around for attribution. In addition, it is also free, which is often not the case with other systems. It is also part of the Google Marketing Platform and therefore various integrations have already been set up in advance, which only makes it easier to link everything. There are also many trainings online, from Google itself, which will help you with every step of the data analysis.
The disadvantages here are that the company is based in the USA and there are currently no agreements for data between the EU & USA. Because GA4 is a free platform, there are very few customizable options for everything within your branding and way of working.
Here the advantages are that no sampling is used. Furthermore, it is possible to purchase various plug-ins too, for example, adjust and personalise the functionality of your tracking.
The disadvantages of GA4 are that it is an American platform and there are currently no agreements for data between EU & USA. However, Google expects an appropriate solution, because the EU market is too important to completely let go. Because GA4 is a free platform, there are few customizable options to, for example, adapt everything to your branding and way of working.
No sampling is used here either. The other systems do not allow, but this one does, that the data can be hosted on its own server. This ensures that the full capacity of the server is available to you. You are no longer dependent on delays caused by peak traffic and the negative influences of other websites with whom you would share the server. This company is also based in the EU.
With this system, you have limited integrations which again will make it a very technical platform. What was the biggest advantage with GA4 is now a disadvantage, Piwik Pro has a limited attribution which is a disadvantage in its functionality.
If we then put the three different tools next to each other, we see the following:
- GA4 is good in terms of integration with all marketing platforms. For those who previously used Universal Analytics, migration will be the easiest. It is also free.
- Matoma is good for pricing and privacy, the disadvantage is that it is very technical. Possibilities are biggest here but a lot of technical knowledge is required in-house.
- Piwik: 100% data ownership, however, the reports are not easy to view in the free version, for this, you quickly have to switch to the Pro version.
The Dotters recommend starting with the switch from Google Analytics to GA4 so that no data is lost and comparisons can be made year on year. Are you stuck somewhere? Watch this video for more information!