Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest version of Google Analytics, launched in October 2020, while Google Analytics Universal (also known as GA or GA Classic) is the previous version of Google Analytics that has been in use for many years.
Here are some key differences between the two:
- Data Model: GA4 uses an event-based data model, while GA Universal uses a session-based data model.
- Reporting: GA4 provides more advanced reporting features, such as cross-device measurement, machine learning-powered insights, and predictive analytics. GA Universal, on the other hand, is more limited in terms of reporting capabilities.
- User interface: GA4 has a new, more modern interface that is designed to be more intuitive and easier to use than the interface of GA Universal.
- Tracking: GA4 provides more flexibility in terms of tracking and allows for more granular event tracking than GA Universal.
- Data privacy: GA4 is designed with greater emphasis on user privacy, providing more options for users to control their data and providing more transparency in how data is used.
- Properties: GA4 properties are separate from GA Universal properties, and data cannot be transferred between the two. This means that users who want to migrate from GA Universal to GA4 will need to set up new properties and tracking codes.
Overall, GA4 is a more advanced and modern version of Google Analytics that provides more advanced reporting capabilities and more flexibility in terms of tracking, while also putting greater emphasis on user privacy. However, users who are already familiar with GA Universal may need to spend some time learning the new interface and adjusting to the new data model.