Google Analytics 4 Replacing Universal Analytics

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The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics 4 replacing Universal Analytics – We Discuss 5 key Features of GA4

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is deemed to be the latest and greatest, next-generation of Analytics. While GA4 is the new standard, Google has given a migration period until the 1st of July 2023, after this you can no longer continue to use the predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA). Time is of the essence, after the 1st of July Google will no longer support UA, so it’s recommended that you migrate to GA4 as soon as possible.

In this blog, we are going to talk about the impressive features Google Analytics 4 boasts. Still, using Universal Analytics? Don’t worry! Our certified Google ads management team can help your business migrate from UA to GA4.

We’ve outlined five key features of Google Analytics 4 and how they can improve your business’s performance; cross-device/cross-platform tracking, privacy controls, event-based data collection, machine learning data analysis and product integrations.

Five Key Features of GA4

Cross-Device And Cross-Platform Tracking

For nearly a decade, Google Analytics has been the most widely used internet tool for measuring the performance and engagement on websites. It is a vital tool that identifies successful keyword strategies.

Universal Analytics (UA) has been the ruling measurement tool since the inception of Google Analytics; however, the platform was designed for an era where users mostly interacted with sites through desktop computers – Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has been introduced to overcome this limitation. Despite being able to measure mobile and app metrics, Universal Analytics is limited in offering a unified experience for properties across multiple channels.

“People expect to interact with businesses when and how they like, such as browsing a brand’s website to research a product and then purchasing it later using the brand’s app. Getting insight into these cross-platform journeys is critical for businesses to predict customer needs and provide great experiences—but it can be very challenging.”

Russell Ketchum, Director of Product Management for Google Analytics

The capabilities that GA4 for cross-device and cross-platform tracking allows the user to track multiple interactions across multiple devices and platforms, such as websites, apps and other devices. This provides a better understanding of how users interact with your brand across different touchpoints. The team at Digital Pie can help you set up effective Google ads management by utilizing the new cross-device and cross-platform tracking to get results for your business. 

Enhanced Privacy Controls

Google Analytics 4 was introduced in 2019 to help improve privacy standards. One of the main factors driving the move to Google Analytics 4 is how Google Analytics collects data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now has an immense impact on how websites and platforms can legally collect and store user data.

Cookies – the annoying pop-ups you get when you enter a website – have been criticized in recent years due to increased privacy concerns. As a result of this, companies have been looking into alternative data collection streams.

GA4 has introduced new data controls, with new features such as data retention settings, the user has more control over data, and this supports improved compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR and local consumer privacy acts. 

Endless Parameters with Event-Based Data Collection

Google Analytics 4 no longer has a reliance on sessions, instead, the platform recognises and measures several types of human interaction “events”, such as:

  • Page views
  • Clicks
  • File downloads
  • In-site searches
  • Video engagement metrics

Previously, when Google Analytics measured metrics such as these, it involved manually setting up complex events. However now, the platform can automatically tag the events for you, providing you access to more data from the off-set. The data collection method used in Google Analytics 4, partnered with its user-friendly, original website design ensures that your e-commerce website is optimised for performance. Build a professional website design with the best – here at Digital Pie, we specialise in building affordable websites that deliver significant Google Ads results.

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The use of the event-based data collection systems that GA4 employs, enables tracking of specific user interactions. Measuring and tracking clicks, form submissions and button presses provides more accurate and detailed data compared to UA’s pageview-based data collection model.

Improved Data Analysis with Machine Learning

One of the key advancements of GA4 is the increased level of machine learning, this offers a better prediction of customer behaviour, allowing users to make informed decisions based on data – improving long-term ROI.

“To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we’re creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year 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,”

Russell Ketchum, Director of Product Management for Google Analytics

Integrated machine learning provides recognition of trends in data, allowing for better identification and prediction of customer behaviour. Users can opt to be automatically notified when changes and trends in data are discovered.

More accurate machine learning enables Marketers to anticipate the behaviour of different target audiences, providing the opportunity to build stronger relationships with potential customer groups. Machine learning allows for more accurate and actionable insights. It also includes new and improved metrics and dimensions that help enhance customer behaviour and engagement.

Digital Pie can help you make the most of your Google Ads campaigns, with our certified Google Analytics team, we have the expertise that gets results for your business.

GA4 Integrations Better with Other Products

google analytics machine learning

Google Analytics 4 boosts built-in integrations with other Google Products including; BigQuery, Firebase and Google Ads. This is a huge advantage because the BigQuery integration in Universal Analytics is a paid service, whereas in GA4 it is built in, allowing for more efficient data analysis and advertising. Previously only paying customers were able to export raw data from Google Analytics to BigQuery, whereas now with Google Analytics 4, it is a part of the free features – meaning everyone can access this tool.

BigQuery is essentially a data warehouse that helps users analyse and manage data. This powerful software includes in-built features like machine learning, geospatial analysis and business intelligence. The integration of BigQuery and GA4 allows for massive datasets to be analysed in seconds, using the platform’s machine learning to gather valuable insights.

google analytics intergrations
Google Analytics 4 also offers direct integration with several media platforms and other Google products such as Google Ads, Google Analytics 360 and Display & Video 360. These direct integrations seamlessly combine data to drive actions on a website or app. These integrations provide easy to use Analytic insights, enabling you to optimise marketing campaigns and reach the right audience base.


The newest generation of Google Analytics boasts many ground-breaking features, it has been designed to improve the user experience for both you and your customers. If you haven’t already, we recommend setting up your Google Analytics 4 properties as soon as possible. Digital Pie is a Google Partner, our certified Googles Ads and Google Analytics specialists are here to help with the migration from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Digital Pie can optimize your website design and Google Ads allowing you to get the most out of your data.

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