GA4P: Navigating the new analytics model

We wanted to launch Brunch and Learn to share key insights and industry trends with our wonderful client base to keep them up to date with the latest in the ever changing tech industry. 

With being a year into lockdown, we were keen for this series to beat the Zoom fatigue by creating a unique and interactive experience to inspire our attendees and get them excited about key digital insights. To achieve this we’re including inspiring talks from experts, stimulating client Q+A sessions followed by lively breakout rooms whereby we use the awesome Miro mind mapping tools to connect with attendees, outlining ideas and questions. 

Personalised Brunch Boxes

To add to the experience we also deliver personalised brunch boxes to each of our attendees, this session’s box included their choice of pancakes or waffles, orange juice, coffee, fresh fruit, a Reflect Digital notebook amongst other goodies. What’s better than learning new and exciting insights from an industry expert over brunch?

GA4P: the helicopter

We kicked off our first Brunch and Learn session with a topic that everyones talking about… GA4P - the new GA update. This change is the biggest thing to happen in analytics in a decade, so there was a lot to cover! We were joined by guest speaker and analytics expert Jill Quick, from the Colouring In Department, who guided us through the new analytics model. 

Jill took us on an exciting journey, using the analogy that

“if Analytics was a vehicle, GA1 would be a bike, GA2 would be a moped, GA3 would be a car, and GA4P would be a helicopter.”

She guided us through the steps to get our pilots licence to learn to fly the helicopter that is GA4P. Demonstrating both the theory and practical processes to take in order to pass our test. 

“Imagine being told your car’s going to be swapped for a helicopter and you’ve got to learn to fly.”

Jill’s metaphor demonstrated this seismic shift in analytics and how it’s going to impact us all. 

Jill explained how:

“GA4P is the biggest thing to happen in analytics in a decade! Despite the PR from GA about this ‘upgrade’ it is not a carbon copy of Universal Analytics. It is a completely new model, and will impact everything we do around reporting. All websites using GA are going to have to adapt, migrate and learn how to use the new platform. We all need to skill up."

Jill’s vibrant presentation gave a great understanding of the opportunities of this new platform. She shared some of the key gems in GA4P, and highlighted features that can customise insights and help marketeers to make better decisions about their website and marketing activities.

Navigating GA4P

She took us through 5 different phases in learning to navigate GA4P, explaining a checklist of theory and practical steps to migrate to the new analytics model:

  • Phase 1: Dual tag basic configuration
  • Phase 2: Customise your setup
  • Phase 3: Compare and review reports
  • Phase 4: Enhance setup
  • Phase 5: Big Query skill level up

To help digest the upcoming change, Jill helped attendees to navigate through the migration journey by walking them through an in depth roadmap. This covered the steps on how to approach the shift and questions that each marketeer should be asking themselves. Not only did Jill talk the audience through the roadmap, but each client will receive a personalised version of the document, highlighting key focus points and essential changes to be made. 

Key takeaways

The session provided attendees with an abundance of information on the change that is coming and steps that need to be taken in order to adapt. Here’s a few of the key takeaways:

  • Get ahead of the game whilst you can. Start using GA4P as soon as possible. Understand the changes, test the functionality and get to grips with the new model. Start the migration process sooner rather than later. You do not want to find out one morning that your car’s been replaced with a helicopter and you don’t know how to fly it!
     
  • One main advantage of Google Analytics 4 Properties is that all users of the product will have access to a Big Query streaming export. Big Query will become your new best friend for capturing the event parameters that you’re interested in, but also for joining additional data that you weren’t able to send with your implementation.
     
  • You can now have 30 goals in GA4P. You can toggle these on and off and re-use them, which is much better than in Universal Analytics. It means you can therefore have custom events, which you can then use to create custom conversions. 
     
  • The GA4P interface is still changing at a rapid pace. Google is very intelligently using us to adapt and streamline the model by implementing user feedback to improve the platform, so do expect changes and new functionality as time goes on.

The benefits of learning to fly

The GA4P update is going to affect all that use it, however, there are some amazing benefits that come with this upgraded model:

  • It’s a more flexible data model
  • Faster implementation
  • It helps to answer big questions
  • Big Query = hello data science and additional data processing
  • Higher quality reporting
  • Improved paid media
  • Less sampling and increased confidence in recommendations
  • Opportunity to build your own machine learning for predictive analytics for paid media

GA4P is coming whether we like it or not, so let’s skill up and learn to fly!

Feel free to reach out to our expert team if you have any questions or challenges relating to GA4P, we’d love to help!

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MEET THE AUTHOR.

GEMMA KANE

Gemma’s manages the marketing strategy and communications for Reflect Digital. She’s always busy making sure our audience understands what the agency offer and that they hear about all the amazing work the team do. From events to our emails and website, you’ll find Gemma’s work anywhere you see the Reflect Digital logo. 

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