Google Analytics 4 is a new kind of property with different reports than the properties in Universal Analytics. Properties contain Google Analytics reports and data for your website and/or app. The reports and user interface change according to the property that you have selected to view at that moment. Google Analytics 4 properties can be used on websites, in apps, or both whereas Universal Analytics properties only support websites.
Google Analytics 4 offers several new features that Universal Analytics does not provide. GA4 includes Analytics Insights, enhanced measurement events, and unsampled explorations (which are currently in the beta stage).
What Is GA4?
Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4, is Google’s latest iteration of its web analytics platform. This new property type has several benefits including:
- New insights and predictions powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
- Deeper audience integration with Google Ads.
- New reports based on the customer lifecycle.
- Codeless event tracking.
- More granular user data controls.
- Machine learning to fill in data gaps.
Google Analytics 4 is now the default option when you set up a new property. While the previous version, Universal Analytics, is still available, Google recommends that you install both property types and run them together. The development of new features is focused on GA4.
New GA4 Property Features
There are a few new features in Google Analytics 4 that can provide unique insights into your data. GA4 now offers Analytics Insights, enhanced measurement events, and unsampled explorations.
What Are Analytics Insights in GA4?
Analytics Insights allows you to configure conditions and it uses machine learning to help you understand and act on your data.
There are two types of insights available through Analytics Insights.
With Automated Insights, Analytics Intelligence will detect unusual changes or emerging trends in your data and notify you automatically.
With Custom Insights, you create conditions that detect changes in your data that are important to you. When the conditions are triggered, you will be notified.
How to See Analytics Insights in GA4
You can view the Insights card on the Analytics Home page or the Advertising snapshot report.
The card includes the most recent insights.
If you want to see a full list of insights, manage insights, or create new custom insights, click View all insights at the bottom of the card.
The Insights dashboard shows the most recent automated insights and custom insights for your property. The dashboard refreshes in real-time when new events are triggered. It also refreshes when Analytics identifies interesting insights.
You can click on the cards to see the full details. You can also click Load more to see older insights. Insights will remain for one year after they are created.
Analytics Intelligence learns more about your favorite insights as you interact with the cards. Once Analytics Intelligence learns which ones you are most interested in, it will rank the new insights accordingly.
How to Create Custom Insights in GA4
You can create your own set of rules to generate insights. Here’s how:
1. Click View all insights on the Insights card.
2. Click Create.
3. To use one of the suggested custom insights, select the check box for each insight you want to create, then click Create selected. If you want to use a suggestion as a template, click Review and create in the row of that insight. Modify the insight condition if necessary, then click Create.
4. To create your own insight, click Create new under “Start from scratch.”
5. Set the condition that generates the insight.
- Evaluation frequency: You can choose how often data is evaluated (hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly). Note: Hourly evaluation is only available for web data.
- Select segment: “All Users” is the default segment. Click Change to select other dimensions and values. You can also specify whether to include or exclude the segment.
- Metric: You can select the metric, condition, and value to set the threshold that triggers the insight.
6. Enter a name for the insight.
7. Manage your notifications. You can automatically view the triggered custom insights in the insight dashboard. You can also be notified via email.
8. Click Create in the upper right.
What Are Enhanced Measurement Events in GA4?
With enhanced measurement events, you can measure interactions with your content by enabling options (events) in the GA interface. No need to change any code!
Note: Before turning on enhanced measurement, be sure you fully understand each option and what data will be collected.
How to Enable or Disable Enhanced Measurement
1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
2. Click Admin and navigate to the property you want to edit.
3. In the “Property” column, click Data Streams > Web.
4. Under “Enhanced measurement,” slide the switch on to enable all options. Click the gear to edit individual options as needed.
Events and Parameters for Enhanced Measurement
The following table explains when events are triggered and which parameters are collected for each event. You can find data about each triggered event in the “Events” report within the Engagement topic. Click on the event name in the report for more information.
What Are Unsampled Explorations in GA4?
While unsampled explorations are still in the beta stage, they can increase the accuracy of your results by exploring unsampled data. This makes the exploration more accurate and can reveal insights that aren’t visible in standard explorations.
How to Request an Unsampled Exploration
Note: Unsampled explorations are only available for Google Analytics 360 for GA4 properties. Additionally, to request unsampled data, the results of the current exploration must be sampled. Finally, unsampled data is only available for supported techniques
1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
2. Click Explore on the left navigation bar.
3. Create a new exploration or edit an existing one.
4. Configure exploration to find the insight for which you are looking.
5. When you’ve finished setting up the exploration, click Data quality in the top right.
6. Click Request unsampled results.
7. Click Proceed.
Note: You need to have enough tokens for your property to run the request. Tokens renew every 24 hours.
What Happens Next?
Your request for an unsampled exploration will open up in a new tab. Your unsampled results will appear here. When the request is complete, you’ll receive an email with a link to this tab. You can also refresh the page to see the data in the new tab when it is ready.
Tokens for Unsampled Explorations
To request an unsampled exploration, you will need tokens.
- Each Google Analytics 360 GA4 property has a quota of 300 tokens per property per day, shared by all users of the property.
- These tokens allow the property to query up to 15 billion events in total per day, across any number of explorations.
- The quota is reset at midnight Pacific time.
When you request an unsampled exploration, you’ll see the remaining quota (rounded down to the nearest 100) and the approximate amount of tokens required for the request.
You can have as many pending requests as allowed by your property’s quota. GA4 processes each request independently.
An Example of Using Unsampled Explorations
Suppose you want to explore 6 months’ worth of data, but each month contains over 1 billion events, and the entire 6-month data is over 15 billion events? As a solution, you can create separate tabs of unsampled data for each month.
Start with an original exploration in tab 1, set the date to January, and request the unsampled results for that exploration. Repeat this process for each month for which you want the result, changing only the month, so as to have one unsampled result for each month requested.
What Are the Differences Between Standard Explorations and Unsampled Explorations?
Standard explorations are the default results when you use the Explorations workspace. Depending on the amount of data involved in the query, the explorations may be sampled or unsampled.
Unsampled explorations differ from standard explorations in a few important ways.
Unsampled Explorations Aren’t Real-Time.
Unlike standard explorations, which show the results in a few seconds, you’ll need to wait for an email notifying you when your unsampled results are ready.
Unsampled Explorations Are Read-Only.
You can’t edit an unsampled exploration. Once requested, you can’t edit or change the dimensions or metrics, change the visualization, add or remove filters, create segments or audiences from the data, or change the date range, etc. You can, however, rename the exploration and any tabs, and add new tabs.
Unsampled Explorations Are Snapshots of Your Data.
Unsampled explorations are static: the data won’t change as time goes on or because of changes made to your property. For example, the exploration won’t be affected by data deletion requests, adding new custom dimensions and metrics, modifying events, etc.
Unsampled Explorations Are Temporary.
After you request them, unsampled results tabs delete automatically after 50 days. To preserve this data, you can export to one of the supported formats (Google Sheets, CSV, PDF, etc.)
Unsampled Explorations Are Shared With Your Property.
If you request unsampled results in an exploration that’s private to you, the exploration is shared with the property. To make the exploration private again, delete the unsampled results tab, and mark the analysis as unshared.
What Are the Limits of Unsampled Explorations?
Unsampled explorations have the following limitations:
- They are only a feature of Google Analytics 360.
- They are only available if the query would return more than 1 billion events. (GA360 properties already can query up to 1 billion unsampled events.)
- Once you sample current results, you can request unsampled results.
- You can request a maximum of 15 billion events per day in each property.
- The user lifetime technique doesn’t support unsampled explorations.
Using Google Analytics 4 for Your Website Data
Hopefully, these new features in Google Analytics 4 will help you better understand your website data. If you still need help using Google Analytics for your business website, SEO Design Chicago can help. SEO Design Chicago will set up your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Webmaster Tools, and Goal Conversions in order to ensure that you are maximizing your advertisement spend. Contact SEO Design Chicago today!
- How does GA4 differ from Universal Analytics?
- What are the benefits of using GA4?
- How do automated insights and custom insights differ?
- What can you do with Enhanced Measurement Events in GA4?
- What can you do with Unsampled Explorations in GA4?