Google Analytics is an essential tool for digital marketers and business owners to understand user behaviour and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

With the launch of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), businesses in Australia need to understand the critical differences between GA4 and its predecessor, GA3 (or Universal Analytics). In this article, we’ll explore the impact of this migration on Australian businesses and why it’s crucial to be aware of these changes.

Key Differences between GA4 and GA3:

  • Measurement Model: GA4 focuses on events as the unit of measurement, providing more detailed insights into user interactions beyond just web pages. GA3, on the other hand, used sessions and page views as its primary metrics.
  • Tracking IDs: GA4 uses a measurement ID starting with “G,” while GA3 used a tracking ID starting with “UA.”
  • Views: In GA4, properties combine data from multiple data streams, eliminating the need for separate views and filters as in GA3.
  • Event Tracking and Setup: GA4 offers more flexibility in event tracking setup through parameters, allowing for easier customisation without the need to adjust implementation code.
  • Data Retention: GA4 has a maximum data retention period of 14 months, whereas GA3 retains data indefinitely.
  • E-commerce Tracking: GA4’s e-commerce tracking capabilities are still in development, offering limited visibility and options compared to GA3.
  • Attribution Modelling: GA4 provides limited attribution modelling capabilities compared to GA3, with a focus on model comparison and conversion paths.
  • Cross-Device and Platform Tracking: GA4 offers more robust cross-device and cross-platform tracking, allowing businesses to gain insights into user behaviour across different devices and channels.
  • Custom Dimensions and Metrics: GA4 uses event parameters instead of custom dimensions and metrics, providing more flexibility and control over data collection.
  • Privacy Law Compliance: GA4 includes updated visibility and control measures, making it easier for businesses to comply with privacy laws in countries where GA3 might be illegal.
Comparisons between UA and GA4

Impact on Businesses in Australia:

The migration to GA4 has significant implications for businesses in Australia. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cookie-Less World: GA4 prepares businesses for a cookie-less world, as data privacy concerns and regulations continue to evolve. GA4’s privacy-focused approach ensures accurate measurement without infringing on user privacy.
  • Enhanced Integration: GA4 offers improved integration with Google’s advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, to optimise campaign performance and increase marketing ROI.
  • Machine Learning: GA4 leverages machine learning to provide intelligent insights and predictions about user behaviour, helping businesses make data-driven decisions.
  • Expanded Insights: GA4 provides more comprehensive and intuitive reports, offering a broader view of the user’s journey and enabling businesses to understand user engagement better.
  • BigQuery Integration: GA4 provides a free connection to BigQuery, allowing businesses to access raw data and run advanced analyses, leading to more accurate insights.

Why Businesses Need to be Aware of the Changes:

Businesses in Australia must be aware of the changes from GA3 to GA4 for the following reasons:

  • Staying Ahead of the Curve: Embracing GA4 early on will allow businesses to adapt to the latest advancements in web analytics and gain a competitive edge.
  • Improved Data Accuracy: GA4’s enhanced tracking capabilities and machine learning algorithms provide more accurate data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions based on reliable insights.
  • Privacy Compliance: GA4’s privacy-focused approach ensures businesses are compliant with evolving privacy laws and regulations by leveraging powerful new AI learning and tools. This will mitigate potential legal risks for users.
  • Seamless Integration: GA4’s improved integration with other Google platforms enables businesses to streamline their marketing efforts and optimise performance across channels.
  • Futureproofing: By migrating to GA4, businesses ensure they are prepared for future developments in web analytics, including evolving consumer behaviours and technology advancements.


The migration from GA3 to GA4 brings significant changes and opportunities for businesses in Australia. Understanding the key differences and embracing the new features of GA4 are going to allow businesses to stay ahead in the evolving digital landscape.

By leveraging enhanced tracking capabilities, machine learning insights, and improved integration, businesses can make data-driven decisions, optimise their marketing efforts, and confidently navigate the cookie-less future.

Should you have queries on how the migration to GA4 may affect your organisation’s digital operations or reporting systems, talk to us today.