Migrate and Thrive: Everything You Need to Know About Google Analytics 4

This page covers all angles of the Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 migration, from transfering historical data to ensuring dashboard reliability

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the new generation of Google Analytics, that will permanently replace Universal Analytics (UA) on July 1, 2023.

GA4 introduces a new data structure and data collection logic, replaces a session-based with event-based data modeling, and brings some of the Google Tag Manager and GA360 functionalities to the general audience.

Key GA4-UA Differences Changing the
Approach to Marketing Analytics

Event-based modeling

GA4 tracks all user interactions separately, out of the box, and as events, which enables:

— More granular data analysis;
— In-depth insights into user behavior;
— Analyze customer journeys, not URL performance.

It also means more complicated audience migrations, difficulties with historical data analysis and dashboard and reports maintenance.

Cross-platform tracking

GA4 can track user interactions across websites, apps, and other digital platforms.

Marketers now:

— Take on less fragmented approach;
— Save time merging data from multiple tracking systems.

Custom reporting

GA4 emphasizes custom reporting and introduces Explorations, a combination of advanced reporting techniques.

New features:

— Introduce capabilities for advanced data analysis & data visualization;
— Allow to dive into your data in great detail;
— Require to overcome a learning curve.

How to Set Up Your Google Analytics 4?

This guides will help you set up your accoutn, install new tags on your site if needed, and configure conversion and event tracking.
Guide on how to use the Google Analytics 4 Property Setup Assistant tool to facilitate migration and finish setting up your account.
Guide on how to set up a mobile app data stream for Google Analytics 4 and enable cross-platform tracking.
A migration action plan, following the PIVOT (Plan, Implement, Validate, Onboard, Transform) framework, outlining key tasks and skills needed at each stage.

Add a Google Analytics 4 property (to a site that already has Analytics)

Set up a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property alongside your existing Universal Analytics property.

How to use Google Analytics 4 for Mobile Apps

Learn how to make the most of Google Analytics 4 for your mobile apps with our comprehensive guide. Discover how to set up app data streams, track conversions, analyze reports, and reap the benefits of this powerful analytics tool.

GA3 to GA4 — Migration Checklist with Framework

Don’t underestimate this. It’ll be a lot of work for you.

How to Transfer Historical Data from UA to GA4?

Setting up a new tracking system is just the first step, the most critical process is historical data migration.
This step is vital for the continuous support of your marketing dashboards and reports, historical benchmarking, and revenue attribution.
Due to the difference in data schema, terminology, and metrics calculations, marketer can’t  simply merge Universal and Google Analytics 4 data.

Four Ways to Migrate Historical Data


Manual data extraction

It's a time-consuming and error-prone method, which suits only small businesses since there's a limit on the number of data rows exported.

Other options available to SMBs are Google Sheets Add-on and UA Query Explorer.

Aggregate data in Google BigQuery

GA4 and GA360 support Google BigQuery integration, enabling data export. This method still requires users to harmonize the data to match the GA4 data schema.

Alternatively, UA users can extract their data to third-party storage via API and push it to BigQuery. Either way, the process requires enormous IT and analytics resources.

Using in-house managed storage

If your marketing department already utilizes a data warehouse, your team can extract data from UA and GA4 and start from there, normalizing and transforming data to bring it to a unified format.

Using in-Using third-party solutions managed storage

Advanced marketing analytics provide pre-built data pipelines to transfer data from UA and GA4 to a database or data warehouse. Solutions with a robust data transformation engine can also run data mapping and harmonization to ensure you can still feed your data to a BI tool and track metrics QoQ and YoY.
Ensure a smooth transition, from the technical aspects to the strategic planning

How to Master Google Analytics 4?

From new data visualizations to user behavior predictive metrics, Google Analytics 4 presents a suite of innovative data analysis tools. To fully harness the enhanced capabilities, it takes a journey of learning and adaptation.
4 pitfalls you might face as a marketer, that may overturn your current approaches to marketing analytics and reporting.
4 ways to connect Google Analytics 4 to Looker Studio and start building clear-cut dashboard.
A mapping dictionary to address changes in terminology that the shift from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 has brought.

How To Avoid Dips In Marketing Performance With The Shift to GA4: 4 Things You Need To Know

Discover 4 essential insights to prevent drops in marketing performance while transitioning to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and maximize your data-driven success.

Load data from Google Analytics 4 to Looker Studio | Improvado

Improvado — the easiest way to connect Google Analytics 4 to Looker Studio. Avoid any technical complexities and routine.

Improvado Google Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 - Mapping Dictionary

Looker Studio turns your data into informative dashboards and reports that are easy to read, easy to share, and fully customizable.

How to Analyze Paid Ads Performance with New Data from GA4?

Ad platforms integration with UA and GA4 differs in several ways, including conversion tracking, audience creation and sharing, and revenue attribution. GA4 no longer supports first-click, linear, time-decay, position-based, and last non-direct click attribution models.
One mistake in merging UA and GA4 data, and marketing teams analyze performance based on inconsistent attribution, leading to skewed interpretations of what drives conversions and revenue, over or under-investment in certain channels, and disruption of the budget allocation process.
Use Improvado Paid Ads Google Analytics 4 dashboard recipe to ensure data consistency and precise ROI calculations.

✓ See key metrics and KPIs in one dashboard.

✓ Tap into granular performance data on website traffic related to ad campaigns beyond the destination URL.

✓ Analyze ad spend returns across multiple regions, geos, and devices, and how it correlates to particular campaigns, ad groups, and engagement-level analytics.
Save your marketing department from economic inefficiencies and missed opportunities

Do more with Google Analytics

Reliable insights with Improvado

Trusted by the leading data-driven companies, Improvado is an advanced marketing analytics providing businesses with fully automated no-code data pipelines: from data to insights.

  • Reliable data pipeline — automatically get analysis-ready data from hundreds of marketing platforms.
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Improvado helps ASUS streamline global marketing reporting.
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Activision relies fully on Improvado for its marketing dashboard.