GA4 important changes from Universal Analytics

2023-12-12 13:11:17 UTC

In this article we have gathers some insights that we feel you should be aware of when changing over to Google Analytics 4.  

Data Freshness:

  • Google has updated the data processing time in GA4.
  • Users can view live data from their app or website within 30 minutes.
  • However, there's a delay of 12-48 hours before the data is stored in your account.
  • Due to this processing time, data for today's publication might not be immediately visible.
  • During this processing period, your data can changes.
  • If you want to know more about the data freshness then read here.

Data Retention changes: 

  • A significant change is seen in data retention periods between Universal Analytics and GA4.
  • In Universal Analytics, the default retention period was 26 months, while in GA4, it's now defaulting to 2 months.
  • The maximum retention period in the free version of GA4 is 14 months. For Google 360 customers, it can be extended to 50 months.
  • Data reaching the end of its retention period is automatically deleted monthly.
  • If you want to know more about data retention in GA4 then you can read googles documentation here

Adjusting the default data retention: 

  • To modify data retention settings in GA4:
    • Access the admin section of your property
    • Navigate to 'Data collection and modification' and then 'Data retention' to make adjustments (see picture below).data retention.png

Data sampling:

  • Exploring reports in GA4 may involve data sampling.
  • Reports with large data sets might have sampled data.
  • Indicators in the report will show whether the data is sampled or not (usually visible in the report's right corner). 
  • You can read more about why GA4 samples your reports and what you can do about it here
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