We’ve been working on lots of data migrations recently from Google Analytics to GA4 and here is one learning that may be useful to website owners especially those suffering from inconsistent data.
Some background on the cookie issue
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires websites to take steps to protect the personal data of their users. One of the compliance measures that websites must take is to ensure that user IP addresses are anonymised. Anonymisation is the process of making data anonymous so that it can no longer be used to identify an individual.
There are several reasons why website owners might want to anonymise their user IP addresses. Firstly, it helps to protect the privacy of users who visit the site. Secondly, it can help to prevent cyber-attacks and other forms of fraud. And finally, it can help to comply with data protection regulations such as the GDPR.
Until recently, the only way to achieve this was by making data presented in Google Universal Analytics anonymous by modifying the way IP address was handled.
Google Analytics 4 may hold the key to your cookie and data woes
But now, there is a new option that provides anonymity out of the box, and GA4 is the answer. You may have already heard of or even set up GA4 but what most people don’t realise is that GA4 doesn’t capture IP address data, so thumbs up there.
But even more interesting is how much easier GA4 Google analytics tracking can make cookie management. If your cookie management tool and lack of user consent are resulting in inconsistent data points or, missing chunks of data, GA4 might hold the key.
As GA4 captures no identifiable user data it provides a great opportunity for website owners to include Google analytics GA4 as a functional requirement for website use meaning fewer gaps in data more accurate acquisition data and consistent journey tracking.
Next steps? If you haven’t already got GA4 up and running this is the time to do so, for all the non-techies out there…