Saturday, October 7, 2023

Differences Between GA4 and UA Analytics: What You Need to Know

In the rapidly evolving world of digital analytics, understanding the key differences between Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Universal Analytics (UA) is crucial for businesses seeking to maximize their online presence. While UA has long been the gold standard, GA4 represents a significant shift in approach and functionality.

Differences Between GA4 and UA Analytics


Universal Analytics (UA)

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Data model



Hit types

Page hits, event hits, ecommerce hits, social interaction hits

All interactions are captured as events


Category, action, and label

No category, action, and label

User metrics

Total users, new users, bounce rate, session duration, pages per session

Active users, Engaged users, New Users, bounce rate, session duration, pages per session

Goal types

Destination, duration, pages/session, smart goals, event goals

Conversion events


Pre-defined reports

Customizable reports and analysis

Data retention

26 months

14 months (standard), 38 months (with Analytics 360)

Machine learning

Limited machine learning capabilities

Extensive machine learning capabilities

Cross-platform tracking

Separate properties for web and app

Single property for web and app

Future development

Will be sunset in July 2023

Actively developed and supported

Overall, GA4 is a more flexible and powerful platform than UA, with a number of advantages, including:

  • A more comprehensive data model that can capture all types of interactions, regardless of platform or device.
  • Extensive machine learning capabilities that can be used to generate insights and predictions.
  • A single property for web and app tracking, which simplifies cross-platform analysis.
  • Active development and support from Google.

If you are not already using GA4, I recommend setting up a property and starting to collect data as soon as possible. This will give you time to learn the new platform and ensure that you have a smooth transition to GA4 when UA is sunset in July 2023.

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