Google Universal Analytics is currently being phased out in favor of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). As this transition takes place, GA4 features are being continuously introduced and upgraded.
In this article, I’ve identified three of the most important recent improvements to GA4 that you should be taking advantage of:
- new ecommerce item-scoped dimensions and metrics allowing you to better analyze your products and services,
- enhanced Google Analytics search functionalities enabling easier access to information about a given GA4 property or account and faster navigation to other ones, and
- new Data quality icon features and Google Analytics 360 sampling controls providing an improved reporting experience for properties with large and complex data.
Here’s what you need to know about the new improvements:
New ecommerce item-scoped dimensions and metrics
In January 2023, the following ecommerce item-scoped dimensions and metrics were introduced:
These new dimensions and metrics make more detailed information available within item scope. For example, you can now see how many times the checkout process was initiated for a specific item.
Please remember that when you are preparing reports in GA4, item-scoped dimensions should be combined with item- or event-scoped metrics to get reporting metrics. For example, you can get:
- the reporting metric purchase_count (the number of times a specific item was purchased) by combining the item-scoped dimension item_name with the item-scoped metric item_purchased
- the reporting metric item_count (the number of items in a given category that were purchased) by combining the item-scoped dimension item_category with the item-scoped metric items_purchased
- the reporting metric purchases (the number of purchases on your website or app) by combining the item-scoped metric item_category with the event-scoped metric purchases
More background information on GA4 ecommerce dimensions and metrics is available here.
Enhanced Google Analytics search functionalities
The Google Analytics search bar has been updated to allow you to:
- open the settings for the current property entering the keyword Property
- open the settings for the current account by entering the keyword Account
- navigate to one of your other Google Analytics 4 properties by entering its property ID or name, web stream ID, or app stream ID.
This feature empowers you with more convenient and user-friendly navigation. Find out more about it here.
Improved reporting experience for properties with large and complex data
As of February 2023, you can now find:
- a Data quality icon at the individual card level.
Previously, the Data quality icon appeared at the top of the Reporting snapshot report and overview reports. However, different messages can apply to different cards. With this update, Google Analytics more precisely shows which messages apply to each card in a report so that you’ll be aware of the specific cards that are under thresholding and which ones contain unsampled data.
2. a new (other) row message in the Data quality icon.
The (other) row appears when a report has dimensions causing less common data exceeding cardinality limits to be grouped into an (other) row.
In this new (other) message, you are presented with several options to reduce or eliminate these cardinality limits:
- For all properties, Create an exploration creates the same report in Explore. Note: the (other) row never appears in Explore because it uses raw, event-level data.
- For Google Analytics 360 properties, Expand this data flags the report as high priority. Note: you may flag up to 100 reports per property as high priority. Google Analytics permanently removes the (other) row from the reports you’ve flagged.
3. new sampling controls for Google Analytics 360 properties.
The following new sampling controls allow you to adjust the level of precision and speed in your explorations:
- The More detailed results option uses the maximum sample size possible to provide results that are the most precise representation of the full data set.
- The Faster results option uses a smaller sampling size to give faster results (option selected by default).
Follow this link to learn more about the (other) row and data sampling.
We hope you find these updates useful. If you have any questions about them or other ways you can get the most out of GA4 for your business, we have the answers! We help clients succeed with the platform every day, are fully up to speed on its latest capabilities, and look forward to sharing our knowledge with you.
In the meantime, be sure to check out:
- recordings of two free GA4 workshops my colleague Julia Kazlova led to present our best practices for its reporting suite and several of its most impactful metrics:
- One covers how to self-audit and improve your GA4 implementation.
- The other provides practical tips and insights for fully utilizing GA4’s advanced metrics and reporting use cases.
- Migrating to Google Analytics 4, our 7-step guide to a successful transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Get it below!