After first being introduced as the Google Analytics App + Web beta in 2019, Google Analytics 4 was officially announced in October 2020.
A New Google Analytics
GA4 differs fundamentally from GA Universal in most aspects of implementation and reporting. If you’ve used Firebase Analytics (officially Google Analytics for Firebase) for tracking Android and iOS apps, you’ll recognize some of GA4’s reporting UI, as well as its underlying schema.
In place of pageview hits, and event hits consisting of designated category, action, and label fields, all user interaction in GA4 is captured in terms of events and event parameters. This more agnostic schema will surely enhance flexibility for implementation and comprehensibility for reporting.
GA4 has reduced the number of built-in reports and instead offers all Google Analytics users – even in non-premium/enterprise accounts – a series of rich reporting templates. This encouragement for Google Analytics users to build their own reports is welcome; the custom reports in GA Universal have traditionally been underutilized, with an overreliance on the prebuilt reports.
An approach of dual GA Universal/GA4 tagging is recommended is currently recommended. GA4 can take advantage of certain aspects of existing GA Universal implementation, such as tag management containers, triggers, and variables that are already in place.
You can undertake your GA4 implementation in phases, starting with basic page_view event tracking, building out event capture, and taking advantage of essential features and integrations and they reach parity with GA Universal.
Google Analytics Universal has not been officially deprecated and will almost certainly continue to collect data into the foreseeable future, but it will likely become unsupported at some point. Google Analytics 4 is certainly the focus of feature development going forward and will offer a better option for confronting emerging privacy legislation and changing user identification mechanisms in browsers.
Taking the GA4 Tests on googleanalyticstest.com
The topic-specific GA tests listed in the left navigation are designed to help you learn implementation and reporting for Google Analytics 4. Many of the implementation questions pertain more to Google Tag Manager than to gtag or other tag management systems.
Some questions are fairly technical, and all are quite challenging given the recency of GA4. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t readily know each answer; correct and incorrect responses will both be followed by detailed answer explanations, designed to support the learning process in either case.
The tests currently include 119 questions, and we expect to add questions in the coming months.
Create a Test Property
As you take the test, you’re encouraged to create your own GA4 test property and a Google Tag Manager container for exploring GA4 tag, all separately from your organization’s current Google Analytics.
The resources below can help you to complete these tasks and to answer the test questions.
As you gain knowledge of GA4, you can begin implementing GA4 on its own, or in dual tagging with GA Universal as is currently the recommended approach.
You’re encouraged to review these resources as you take the GA4 tests.
Introducing the New Google Analytics (Google)
Events, User Properties, and Collection Limits (Google)
GA4 Ecommerce Developer Guide (Google)
What You Need to Know About Google Analytics 4 (Cardinal Path)
Implementing Google Analytics 4 on Your Website (Cardinal Path)
Google Analytics 4: Ask Me Anything Webinar (Cardinal Path)
Implementation Guide for Events in Google Analytics 4 (Simo Ahava)
Google Analytics 4: Ecommerce Guide for Google Tag Manager (Simo Ahava)
Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ)
Note that the GA4 tests on googleanalyticstest.com are not developed by Google and do not relate to the GAIQ. If you’re interested in gaining an official certification in Google Analytics, see the Google Analyitcs Universal/GAIQ resources on this site.