GA4 Is Coming And We’re Terrified

On July 1, 2023, Google Analytics as we all know it will stop working and we’ll be lovingly forced to start using Google Analytics 4.  What a fun treat!  In theory, this move is an “upgrade.”  Some of the exciting features of GA4 include:
•Improved Customer Journey Tracking.
•Improved user engagement analysis.
•More powerful audiences for your ad campaigns.
•More intelligent user privacy and tracking features.
•Simplified Goals and Events Setup.
•Enhanced visualisations and reporting.
•A plethora of parameters.
It’s hard to contain our excitement!
Don’t get us wrong. Google Analytics has been long overdue for an upgrade, especially as it comes to understanding the sales funnel, but this new property just feels a little ‘too little too late.’
There are tools, like Triple Whale for instance, that are more robust when it comes to tracking.  They show actual ROAS from all advertising channels and let you understand the journey of all your purchasers. It’s complex, insightful and accurate.  GA4 seems to fall short of those things. It has clumsy charts, unnecessary customizations and metric terminology that is rarely used in the digital marketing lexicon.
That said, the reason we’re shaking in our digital boots is not that GA4 will be too complex to figure out.  Hell, if we can figure out snapchat, anything is possible.  Rather, the part that concerns us the most is the sunsetting of Universal Analytics.  While simple, basic and unsophisticated, the thing that made the current version of Google Analytics so appealing is that it was simple, basic and unsophisticated.  It gave you the hard line basic metrics you needed with simple last click attribution, which served as a nice counterbalance to other tracking and attribution models. It was devoid of bells and whistles (at least always noting them as in beta) and just gave you some numbers to let you know directionally how things were going.
Our jobs are going to get harder without the simple presentation of those metrics. Sure theyre still in there, and with some tinkering. We’ll get right back to where we were, but we’d rather not.  After IOS14, the denigration of Google Shopping and AI taking over, we digital marketers could use some calm waters for a bit.  Guess that isn’t happening this year.