The countdown to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is on – with less than six months until Universal Analytics will officially stop processing data, it’s crunch time for marketers.
That’s why MERGE hosted a webinar with BI experts from Domo and MERGE to review not only how GA4 provides users with more insights and control on what to measure, but also options for connecting GA4 to Domo.
Watch the full webinar here.
GA4 is an entirely new tool, built from the ground up. The current version of GA, known as Universal Analytics (UA), has been around since 2005. It was originally built for desktop usage and tracked via cookie-observed sessions.
It comes as no surprise that the measurement landscape has grown more complex since then, with users’ behavior split across multiple platforms and privacy regulations limiting cookie capabilities. As a result, UA is no longer able to properly provide lifecycle analytics.
Rather than try to upgrade UA, Google went back to the drawing board and created an entirely new product.
💡Read up on the benefits of GA4 and why it matters to executives.
While this change will take a considerable amount of time and preparation for marketers, GA4 is actually an incredible opportunity. With GA4, users have greater customization of tagging structures, more in-depth reporting capabilities, and a better view of all customer activities.
Not to mention, GA4 is built with privacy in mind (especially GDPR).
This means marketers can gain back data from customers even if marketers can't properly track using cookies. GA4 has machine learning capabilities backed in – meaning it can model a user’s behavior where there is missing data.
Ultimately, GA4 is extremely flexible and thoughtfully designed. With more in-depth reporting capabilities, marketers are able to see more user interactions and pathways through the site.
However, the biggest factor to consider is a tagging strategy – marketers will have to rethink how they tag their websites.
Most exciting capabilities of GA4
It’s fully event-based. Everything in GA4 is tracked as an event, which removes the silos of UA between page views and interaction events. In UA, users could only look at five stages of events, whereas in GA4, everything is on the table.
The only limit here is the user’s own creativity – GA4 encourages users to think outside the box.
Options for Connecting GA4
Domo is able to connect and extract value from data while getting it into the hands of business users faster. Here are some options for connecting Domo to GA4:
- GA4 Connector: This is a pre-built connector that Domo manages. This connector pulls from Google API. With this option, users have sampled data.
- Google BigQuery: This is also a Domo pre-built connector. With this option, users have granular data for detailed decision-making. This connector brings data to the Domo platform and Domo handles the scaling. This data is unsampled.
- Federated: This connector lets users query their data where it lives. It’s great for large tables and real-time data, yet some features are limited to the Domo platform. This connector does not copy the data from platforms – which is beneficial for real-time data.
- Multi-cloud: This connector leverages existing investments in data architecture. With this option, users have access to a wider variety of data sources. This data is unsampled.
💡Tip: Be sure to give yourself adequate time to implement tracking and tagging – this will be a heavy lift, but once your data is in Domo, it’s straightforward.
How to Prepare GA4 Dashboards
The silver lining of creating new dashboards is that you get to start from scratch – although this task may take up a significant portion of time, it’s a great opportunity to rethink your strategy and consider what has worked well in the past and what hasn’t.
This step is all about change management – people have been using these dashboards for months, maybe even years, and more than likely, some people might not be excited about this change.
The good news is that if you can manage the process of change, then your team will easily be able to tap into this new process.
Once you begin thinking about dashboard design, consider these factors:
- Audience: Who will be using these dashboards – is it executives or analysts?
- Business objectives: Do you adequately cover these in your dashboards?
- Metrics and targets: What metrics are crucial to your team – what are your KPIs?
- Medium: What medium is preferred – desktop or mobile?
- Visualizations and design: A marketing team may prefer charts and graphs, whereas finance prefers tables.
Struggling with bandwidth and looking to partner with an external partner? MERGE offers GA4 implementation services and holds deep expertise in Domo. The BI experts at MERGE can assist with connecting GA4 data with Domo. Contact MERGE today to learn more.