Amped Up Analytics: Google Analytics 4

Joshua Poore our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 4/8/2021 8:34 AM
Google Analytics 4 has amped up data insights into the behaviors and preferences of your customers. Where once each touchpoint only tracked what had been clicked, GA4 is bringing it all together in a more wholistic approach to the customer journey.

As the fourth quarter of 2020 dawned, Google upped its game. Crafting a compelling array of features with machine learning at its core, this new platform offers a more customer-centric approach to data-driven insights, rather than split data across platforms and devices.  

Though still in its infancy, there are some dramatic new changes afoot. And while it’s not a good idea to get rid of the old Universal Analytics platform before ringing in the new one, it is a good idea to understand what’s available now and what may come to be over time.

Four Advantages to Google Analytics 4.0


From our desktop to our laptop to our smartphone, we carry our office in our pocket or on our lap. So, what better way to integrate what was once called “App + Web properties” into a more cohesive trackable measurement of data. Add to this the privacy protocols in place to protect customers, and Google Analytics 4 offers flexibility for future cookieless tracking and permissions, and advantages are revealed.

  1. Combined Data and Reporting

    Rather than focusing on one property (web or app) at a time, this platform allows marketers to track a customer’s journey more holistically. 

    The platform’s premise is that there is a pattern everyone follows. From the moment a customer visits your website to clicks on a button subscribing to your newsletter or blog – Acquisition and Engagement. To the moment your customer makes a purchase, is happy with the product or sevice, and comes back again – Monetization and Retention. 

    Designed for marketers who want to track users across multiple formats, Google Analytics 4 hopes to solve with Data Streams. These Data Streams merge to paint a picture of the customer journey from website visit to purchase.

  2. A Focus on Anonymized Data

    This anonymization answers the call to Data Privacy and third-party data collection. Crafting a unified user journey centered around machine learning to fill in any gaps, marketers and businesses have a way to get the information they need without diving into personal data issues. This is a key change in that Google is moving away from client-side focus and using server-side and customer-centric capabilities.

    With GDPR and privacy laws in full swing, marketers face enhanced privacy regulations as cookies are phased out or blocked.


  3. Predictive Metrics and Audiences

    Using Machine Learning to predict future transactions is a game changer for the platform. These predictive metrics for e-commerce sites on Google properties allow for targeted ads to visitors who seem most likely to make a purchase within one week of visiting the site. 

    Though focused on e-commerce sites now and based on transactions and revenue, there is an opportunity for marketers to identify and convert based on such leads as video views or form submissions.


  4. Machine Learning-Driven Insights

    The launch announcement for GA4 explains it “has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms.” Machine Learning-driven insights include details that elude human analysts. 

What These Changes Mean on the Digital Frontier


We’re all reaching for higher value and Google Analytics 4.0 brings it into one unified platform for the future. As we make the shift from traditional Google Analytics to its 4.0 version, there is opportunity to get more creative.  

Wondering if you should upgrade? This article breaks down the pros and cons to help you decide. 

If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics, Harnham may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com. 

For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

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