As Google continues to expand its Google Marketing Platform a lot of changes continue to come to the Google Analytics software. This guide is meant to simplify the different features of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Analytics 360 (GA360). Both platform's intended function is to collect user data. However, the amount of data that is collected and how that data is organized varies between the different software.
There are tons of resources online to help navigate GA4 and GA360. A great option is partnering with a Google-certified Partner to collect the data for you. Google-certified partners are trained on how to best use and maximize the features of the Google Marketing Platform which includes understanding Google Analytics 360.
In this article, we’ll be comparing GA360 vs. GA4 in terms of price, capabilities, and data collection limits.
Google Analytics 4 uses an event-based data collection model that provides a comprehensive overview of user behavior. GA4 can be used to monitor app usage as well as website traffic. While the predecessor of GA4, Universal Analytics, used a session-based data collection model GA4 tracks the interactions of the user while they are within your app or on your website. GA4 also has several categories of events that range in difficulty. The most difficult of these events are custom events that you can tailor to fit your data collection needs.
Google Analytics 360 is one of the products that form the Google Marketing Platform. The purpose of GA360 is to support enterprise teams by providing them with advanced tools like Unsampled reports, Data-Driven Attribution, and custom dimensions. Google Analytics 360 allows for higher data collection which provides a holistic perspective of the company. It allows for greater flexibility by having more options for custom metrics and event parameters. GA360 has the standard analytic capabilities of GA4 but with added features to accommodate a larger scale of data collection.
When deciding on whether you should get GA360 or G4 you should consider these three components:
Due to the expensive nature of GA360, it is an ideal program for larger companies. Google Analytics 360 costs a minimum of $ 150,000 a year which comes out to about $ 12,500 a month. That cost doesn’t include if you want to use specific features related to these programs: Google ads, Google Tag Manager, or Google BigQuery. In order to use Google ads, Google Tag Manager (GTM), or Google BigQuery there are additional costs within GA360 that are required. For example, GTM requires that you have at least three servers set up which can cost up to $75 dollars a month.
GA4 is free and works better for small to medium-sized companies. On the downside, there isn’t as much access to advanced features. GA4 also has a smaller sampling limit which restricts the amount of data a company can collect per month. It’s possible if your company is expanding that you may outgrow GA4 and need more data-collecting capabilities.
Since Google Analytics 360 is a paid program it has some features that Google Analytics 4 does not have. There are also similar features on both programs but the difference is in the amount of data that can be collected.
Some of the top GA4 features include but are not limited to:
Events are actions a user performs on the website or app that GA4 can track. What counts as an event is customizable. Some examples of events are tracking purchasing, video clips, or the length of time someone spends on the landing page.
Real-time reporting allows you to track what users are doing on your site or on your app in real time. It also keeps track of the number of users on your site within the last thirty minutes. If your site requires usernames or logins it can track the data of individual users by their login or user information.
GA4 has a feature called “report builder” that allows for report customization. Instead of having a report that covers several areas, it allows you to look at individual areas. Report builder has features like report data, report filters, charts, and templates to help separate and compress report data to fit your needs.
Mobile device tracking allows you to determine what mobile devices are being used by users to access your website. The majority of people today use mobile devices so they make up the majority of most business consumer base.
Some of the top GA360 features include but are not limited to:
Funnels help track the order users perform actions on your site. However, sometimes users aren’t performing actions in the order you wish them to. Custom funnels allow you to see what steps users are skipping which allows you to adjust to fix the problem.
A segment is a subset of Analytics data. For example, New users, mobile traffic, and converters are all segments. Segment overlap allows you to compare up to three segments at once.
GA4 and GA360 both use event parameters. However, GA4 is only able to track 50 event-scoped custom dimensions per property, 50 event-scoped custom metrics per property, and 25 actions per event. Meanwhile, GA360 can track 125 event-scoped custom dimensions per property, 125 event-scoped custom metrics per property, and 100 actions per event. Overall GA360 has drastically increased the data collection limits of its platform.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not Google Analytics 360 is for you try using Google Analytics 4 first. There isn’t a large financial investment you have to make if you start with GA4. Start by trying out the event parameters and slowly incorporate the more advanced features of the software.
GA4 is great for small businesses and could really help you understand the ins and outs of your user base. On the other hand, GA360 is great for larger companies that are constantly expanding.
Good luck on your data-collecting journey and I hope you stop by again for my tips on navigating the Google Analytic software!