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Welcome to a better world of analytics

Introducing GA4

You’ve probably heard that Google has discontinued Universal Analytics in favor of their new platform, Google Analytics 4, but what does that really mean?

Why the change to GA4?

UA (Universal Analytics) just couldn’t keep up and couldn’t track or predict behavior when privacy measures were introduced. The new Google Analytics 4 is designed to comply with current legislation and prepare analytics for the future. For example, Google plans to phase out cookies in the next few years so GA4 has been set up to eventually work without cookies.

GA4 uses predictive AI and data modeling to make up for the loss of data that comes with new privacy measures. In theory, the analytics platform can get the same level of information with less intrusive or personalized data collecting. However, this also means that GA4 is more about trends and patterns and less about exact numbers which will affect the way you interpret your data moving forward.

What do I need to know about the GA4 platform?

Different Data Model

Instead of website hits, the new analytics platform tracks events, which can include page views, clicks, scrolling, and more. This has some follow-on effects. For example, instead of tracking bounce rate, you'll see stats about your page engagement rate.

Multiple Views

You can’t create multiple Views for a single Property because in GA4, all your analytics are in one view. If you want to separate regular pages from tests or website metrics from app data, you can still do that with filtered reports.

Granular Data

You need to set up event parameters to get granular data. Event parameters are extra criteria for recording events. They give you more specifics to help you understand the data. For example, if you track link clicks as an event in GA4, it will just track the number of clicks. If you want to find out where people were on the page when they clicked, then you'll need to set up event parameters.


Conversions are tracked through events instead of goals. To track, you have to generate a new event and label it as a conversion.

GA4-Analytic screenshot
How is the data organized in GA4?

Home Tab - Very high-level view

You likely won’t find much actionable information here.

Reports Tab - “1,000-foot view”

This is where you can start to see general trends and patterns.

Explore Tab - “Eye-level view”

This can help you answer more specific questions about your data.

Advertising Tab - Conversion-level data

This is where you’ll see information about conversion events.

Important reminders about GA4:

  1. GA4 is a completely separate platform from Universal Analytics and historical data will only be available from the point in which the GA4 tag was installed.
  2. Look at trends and patterns in the data, not actual numbers. Ex: Facebook ads are generating about 2x more traffic than LinkedIn ads.
  3. There is a 24-hour delay reports receiving new data.

What’s next?

IdeaBank has already installed the GA4 tag on your site. Since the data model is so different, it’s imperative for you to learn and determine the metrics that mean the most to you. That’s where we come in. IdeaBank can help you identify the metrics that matter for your particular situation and deliver reports that give pertinent information on whether you’re reaching your goals. 

Although it’s a big change, it’s something that can offer big dividends, too. Reach out if you’d like to strategize for the future!

Contact IdeaBank Marketing »

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Social Media Examiner, Getting Started with GA4: A Practical Approach, 2023
Chris Mercer,, GA4 Clinic, 2023

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