The web analytics industry is rapidly growing. By 2028, the data analytics market is expected to be worth $550 billion. Just a few years after the internet was created, the first analytics solutions appeared. As time went on and websites became more complex, log analysis became more difficult. In the late 1990s, it could take up to 24 hours for a large company to process its website data. Urchin was able to provide this processing in as little as 15 minutes.
In 2005, Google purchased Urchin for $30 million, becoming a service millions of businesses rely on to understand analytics and provide optimized web experiences. In 2012, Google introduced Universal Analytics, which enabled tracking of users across devices and platforms through user IDs. Approximately 28 million active websites use Google Analytics. In October 2020, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) was introduced. GA4 is designed to combine app and web analytics in a single platform with a special focus on user privacy without compromising insights.
So, how is Google Analytics 4 different from Universal Analytics? Universal analytics distinguished hit types, but GA4 considered every event a hit, collecting all engagement data instead of just page views. Additionally, Universal Analytics monitors counting time as visit length and time between page views, but GA4 reports the average time that passes before a user will take another action. Currently there is no direct upgrade path from Universal Analytics to GA4 and no method to transfer historical data.
In this age, businesses need an analytics partner. To keep up with changing consumer patterns, businesses must realign their web analytics strategy. They must train teams on the new user interface and recode existing tags to work with GA4. Transitioning to GA4 presents the perfect opportunity to future-proof your tech stack and implementation and shift to privacy-centric tracking. Get expert help with your analytics transition with InfoTrust.