Sunset of GA3 – Sunrise of GA4

Nelson Chouissa

Senior Data Insight Director, Jellyfish

After two years of existing happily alongside GA4 (read my POV from 2 years ago on GA4), Google Analytics Universal (or GA3) will be deprecated and will give way to GA4 next year. This handover marks a turning point in data-driven marketing, because, as we already see it, GA4 radically changes data usage, from collection to activation.

It’s a great time to rethink all the elements, so here are the key things I am asking my clients to rethink as they look to move or move to GA4.

Rethink data collection

While some of my clients have kept their naming conventions inherited from GA Universal, my most advanced clients have taken advantage of the moment to rethink their way of tagging by being more event and activation centric. To do so, they have adopted the most robust and shared naming convention on the market: 

Event = {{verb}}_{{noun}}Param = {{element}}_{{state_or_attribute}}

The clarification of this naming convention (following Google’s recommendations) has often  led to the creation of an internal resource/framework listing event/param dependencies for Data Scientists and activation teams. 

Rethink data structuration/reporting

With the advent of Google’s Data Studio, some of my clients’ views and custom reporting had become obsolete. It was necessary to rethink the structure of their accounts, rethink cross devices, rethink without the resource intensive views (and reducing resources is a no-brainer for the planet). So the restructure focused on two key elements: the user journey overview (possible thanks to multi-stream properties) and governance (possible thanks to subproperties).

Rethink data quality

GA4 has also made it possible to put an important factor right at the center: data quality. 

Data quality with all its meanings: 

  • Data reliability : validate the mechanism and the stability of the data during the time
  • Data economy : applying the “less is more” principle to data. Collect less but collect better to maximize the impact of data usage at the very heart of digital marketing use cases.
  • Data connectivity : ensuring the quality/covering of the single user id mapping
  • Data usage : verify the use and the sharing of the data, because a good data is data that is used/shared

Rethink privacy

Because privacy is at the centre of GA4, many of my clients have taken advantage of this moment to work on three essential points: 

  • the sharing of privacy data and the possible biases of analysis (collect and store the consent rate by source into BigQuery for exemple )
  • the collection mechanism (with the usage of consent mode or not)
  • the governance (usage of subproperties to give access to the media agency for example )

Read our point of view on Privacy in our whitepaper, What Business Leaders Need To Know About Privacy.

Rethink analysis

The access to data in BigQuery for all my clients has been a major revelation. This is because they are sometimes blocked in terms of reporting capabilities. BigQuery allows for the de-siloing of data in the service of data gravity, and also allows data analysts to validate the data they were creating in the GA4 Explorer (and therefore the reporting they really want). So the analysis is self-analysing. 

Of course, for many of my clients, the central role of the GA4 explorer is also a major turning point. Indeed, the almost systematic use of it (and therefore of a data manipulation phase) goes in the direction of its appropriation. And because this concept must be taken in hand, we have created, at Jellyfish, a dedicated training course.

Rethink activation 

It’s the next step! Thanks to the advanced audience creation in the GA4 interface and into BigQuery, and the possibility to import and activate it into Firebase, and the link with Optimize, GA4 is a tool connected to its ecosystem. 

Finally, I need to speak about the link GA4 & Google Tag Manager S2S which allows to create real-time monitoring, calculation and activation into Google Cloud Platform.

 Thanks to all the characteristics I have mentioned above, alongside multi-contextual and connectable data enrichment, GA4 has become more than ever the future of activation. 

Want to know more about GA4? Read our article about the future of the analysis and fill out the for below and we will be in touch.