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Analytics FAQ: We answer your questions about changes coming for GA4


New analytics are coming! If you've seen the notices from Google there's no need to panic, because we're here to help. We'll answer your questions about what changes to expect, when to expect them and what you can do to prepare.

What is GA4?


Google Analytics 4 is the new way to unify app and website measurements from Google. This is more of a true rebuild, a paradigm shift in your analytics; and not a facelift like we've seen in the past.

Why is this happening now?

A lot has changed since UA was first released in 2013: everything from how readers interact with your brand across platforms to privacy concerns like GDPR and data governance. Sites need to rely more on first-party data to know if a user is the same individual on an app, mobile device or desktop.

What is changing?

The current Universal Analytics (UA) is based on sessions and will sunset in July of 2023. With GA4, analytics will be based on "events" that recognize a consumer as a whole. This includes all the touchpoints they have with your site, rather than measuring from individual devices. You'll also be able to define custom events (previously called parameters) based on your KPIs and goals.

How do I prepare for GA4?


Now is a great time to review your goals and your plan for collecting data. Consider what you want to measure — such as traffic data — before you look at how you measure it. Are you capturing everything you want? Are you collecting too much irrelevant information? Do you collect data for multiple brands or solutions? Are you not sure where to begin? Sign up to learn more about our GA4 transition services. (see the sign-up form on the TownNews site)

How does it work?

TownNews collects your GA4 property ID for ingestion into BLOX CMS. For basic analytics or if you are using Data Insights, just submit a support ticket and we'll walk you through how to provide the information for your site. Need more assistance with your analytics strategy? Sign up to learn more about customized implementation packages.

Is it too late to switch over?

You'll want to create your GA4 property ID now to ensure adequate historical data. The deadline is fast approaching as UA will stop collecting data in July of 2023 for free users. For users on a paid version, collection only extends out to October of 2023. Be sure you have turned on GA4 before the historical data is no longer accessible.

Can reports be shared with my team?

Reporting within GA4 can be shared across your entire organization. Data can be collected and set up for a variety of roles. Consider having customized reports highlighting marketing, finance, executives and reporters that can be shared across the organization.

How do I sign up?

Basic analytics are included with your BLOX CMS site. For a more comprehensive, near real-time intelligence platform that reveals how visitors are engaging with your content, learn more and join the wait list.

Allie Peters is senior product manager for emerging products at TownNews.