What is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics Universal (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) are two different versions of the Google Analytics platform. The main difference between them is their approach to data collection, reporting, and analysis.

Here are some key differences between UA and GA4:

  1. Data collection: UA relies on tracking cookies to collect data, while GA4 uses a more privacy-centric approach by using an event-based tracking system. GA4 also includes a measurement protocol that allows for server-side data collection.
  2. Data reporting: UA provides reports based on sessions and pageviews, while GA4 uses a more user-centric approach by tracking events and user properties. This means GA4 provides more granular and flexible reporting options.
  3. Machine learning capabilities: GA4 includes more advanced machine learning capabilities, such as predictive metrics, cross-device tracking, and automated insights. These features help marketers better understand user behavior and make data-driven decisions.
  4. Integration with Google Ads: GA4 is designed to work seamlessly with Google Ads, allowing marketers to track and analyze their campaigns more effectively. Universal Analytics also integrates with Google Ads, but the integration is not as advanced as in GA4.
  5. Customization: GA4 provides more customization options compared to UA. For example, you can create custom dimensions and metrics without needing to modify tracking code, which can save time and resources.

Overall, GA4 is a more advanced version of Google Analytics that provides more comprehensive and flexible data collection, reporting, and analysis capabilities. It’s also more privacy-centric and includes more advanced machine learning features. However, UA is still widely used and provides a robust analytics solution for many businesses.

By starting the switch over to GA4 before the deadline of July 1, you have the ability to compare and contrast the offerings from both properties and ensure that all your most valuable data points are accounted for.


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