5 Things We Love to Hate About Google Analytics 4
Well, hello there, fellow data enthusiasts. Yes, you. You're the discerning analyst, digital marketer, or web developer who knows Google Analytics like the back of their hand, aren't you? But let's chat about the new kid on the block - Google Analytics 4 (GA4). How about we spill the beans on 5 things we dislike about GA4? Sure, it's got some flashy new features, but we're here to dissect what really grinds our gears about it. We're not haters, promise! But, come on, who doesn't love a good, honest rant?
Thing #1 - User Interface: "Wait, Where is Everything?"
Remember those warm and fuzzy days when you knew exactly where everything was in Universal Analytics (UA)? Those were good times, right? Now, welcome to the GA4's labyrinth! The new layout is oh so intuitive - said no one ever. It's like trying to find your way out of a corn maze, blindfolded, with one leg.
The Challenge of Navigation
How about locating a basic metric like Bounce Rate? It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack...that's in another haystack. GA4, did you have to play hide-and-seek with the metrics we used so frequently?
Report Customization Woes
Custom reports? More like, "throw all the metrics on the screen and see what sticks". Even Picasso would scratch his head looking at GA4's 'masterpiece' of a custom report design.
Thing #2 - Bounce Rate: "Gone with the Wind"
Oh, dear old Bounce Rate, where art thou? It's no Shakespearean tragedy, but GA4's decision to nix this beloved metric is somewhat...deflating, don't you think? We'd love to chat about this, but you know, it's hard to when Bounce Rate has, well, bounced.
Engaged Sessions? Seriously?
Instead, GA4 offers us "Engaged Sessions". Because we apparently love ambiguous terms as much as we love deciphering the meaning of modern art. Should we start handing out decoder rings with GA4's tutorial now?
The Death of a Key Metric
Bounce Rate, you were simple, you were uncomplicated, you were... easy to understand. But alas, GA4 thought it best to give you the ol' heave-ho. We miss you, buddy.
Thing #3 - The Default Event Tracking: "The TMI Problem"
GA4, we appreciate the effort, but we didn't need an information overload. The automatic event tracking in GA4, while seemingly handy, is like being at a party where the host shares his entire life story. Unasked. So. Much. Information.
Is More Always Better?
Scrolls, video plays, file downloads - it's all tracked. But GA4, buddy, did you consider that maybe, just maybe, we don't need to know EVERYTHING?
The Cluttered Aftermath
While GA4 seems intent on making us data hoarders, we're left sifting through a heap of data. And let's be honest, it's about as fun as cleaning out a garage.
Thing #4 - The Death of Views: "More Options = More Confusion"
Do you remember the simplicity of creating different views in UA? Well, bid them goodbye because GA4 decided we're apparently too advanced for such simpletons' tools. They've handed us "Data Streams" instead. Oh, joy!
The Tangled Web of Data Streams
Different streams for web, apps, and the mysterious 'connected site' tags? Sounds like a recipe for a delightful afternoon of data analysis, doesn't it? Spoiler alert: it isn't. It's more akin to a wild goose chase.
Too Many Cooks
And did we mention you can't filter data within these streams? That's right, every bit of junk data is now your new pet. Say hello to your new, cluttered, confusing reality. Have fun with that!
Thing #5 - Cohort Analysis: "A Rose by Any Other Name…"
Ahh, Cohort Analysis. Sounds like a cool addition, doesn't it? If only we could figure out how to use it properly. But hey, who needs intuitive design when you've got fancy names, am I right?
A Complex Conundrum
Trying to understand the logic behind GA4's Cohort Analysis is like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube while juggling. Upside down. In the dark.
The Struggle is Real
Google, we're all for advancements, but throwing us into the deep end with a feature like this? It feels like we've been handed the keys to a spaceship and been told to "just figure it out".
There you have it, folks
The top 5 things we have a love-hate relationship with when it comes to Google Analytics 4. It's like a rough diamond - full of potential, but boy, does it need a lot of polishing. And until then, we'll be here, wading through data streams, hunting for missing metrics, and reminiscing about the good old days of UA. So, here's to hoping the folks at Google are listening to our desperate cries for help. Cheers!