USING GOOGLE ANALYTICS? YOUR DATA IS AT RISK: ARE YOU READY FOR GOOGLE ANALYTICS 4?

Google Analytics 4
Ben Johnson
Updated on 18/10/2022

Is Google Analytics important for your business intelligence and reporting on your cinema’s performance?

If so, you need to start thinking about Google Analytics 4. The roll out is coming and there are some issues and opportunities that you need to be aware of to navigate the potentially tricky waters ahead. To learn more about this, continue to read. We have started offering consultations, book here.

The pandemic forced cinemas to sell more tickets and concessions online, this has caused a rethink on the importance of the ‘digital foyer’ as represented through the Website, apps and social media. This will continue to be a huge driver for innovation towards improving much needed eCommerce standards across the sector.

As good news as this is for the industry, there are challenges on the horizon which potentially slow down the gains that have been made. The first of which is the roll out of Google Analytics 4 (GA4)  next year, where all standard Universal Analytics  properties will stop processing data tracking on July 1, 2023 (estimated date).

So how does this potentially impact your cinema’s operation?

The Bad News

Past data will be deleted: Your historical data will eventually disappear if you don’t figure out where to store it - the current limit is two years. Without the background historical data any form of data analysis will be hampered and this will impact your ability to set appropriate benchmarks on tracking and performance.

Connections to third party tools will break: The reporting systems you have developed and invested in that are built around the analysis of website visits, audience behaviours and purchases will crash, so if you are using GA to report for Business Intelligence you must start to look at migrating to GA4.

Usual ways of reporting will no longer work: The data reporting and the way it’s collected is also set to change dramatically. You will also need to update your reporting standards to match these changes to make sense of the way data will be processed. This will affect you if you have already invested in porting data from GA into your CRM or CDP or other business intelligence systems.

The Good News

GA4 isn't just a rebrand of the old platform; it is complete rebuild from the ground up. This means that GA4 uses a different data model in order to process.

All-in-one app and web tracking: GA4 is able to pull in data from all your websites and apps. This means you no longer need to create a separate setup for your website and mobile app (using something like Firebase).

Predictive analytics: GA4 leverages automation and AI to provide predictive analytics, rather than just reporting events that have already occurred. Businesses can use this for forecasting, finding new audiences, and more.

GA4 is more compliant to updates in privacy laws: one example of this is GA4 does not log IP Addresses. Recent updates from the European Union member countries (https://www.datatilsynet.dk/english/google-analytics/use-of-google-analytics-for-web-analytics) has explicitly stated that current GA is in breach of GDPR legislation and now companies are being asked to update their systems and policies in order to comply with this fine tuning.

We therefore recommend that you run GA and GA4 concurrently to learn how these responses differ between the two platforms, because even Google is a little unclear on how the reporting will work in the future.

At Gruvi we are studying these changes and looking at solutions to help you stay ahead of the game. We will be issuing further news, but if you are looking to make the switch to GA4 right now, we have started offering consultations, which you can book here.

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