Google Analytics is on the way out. What should I do?
You need to devote time to analysing the data and using the insights to make positive change
There’s been increasing EU regulation around the collection and storage of personal data, which has led to a need for less intrusive, more privacy-focused analytics.
In response to this:
- Google is retiring Google Analytics (also referred to as Universal Analytics)
- Google Analytics will stop processing new hits on 1 July 2023
- there’s a relative new kid on the analytics block – Google Analytics 4
What this means for you
You need to stop using Google Analytics if you haven’t already. You’ll need to either move to Google Analytics 4 or find an alternative.
One of the main reasons that people are moving away from Google Analytics is because their service users are becoming more aware of privacy issues, so they want to make sure that they can easily explain the steps they take to protect user data.
Things to think about
Before you start looking for alternatives, it’s helpful to ask yourself why you need analytics and how you’ll use them. Knowing how you’re going to use what you collect will help you choose the right tool for the job.
For example, hotjar might be a good option if you want to understand how users behave on your website (what parts of the page they look at, what they don’t and how far down the page they scroll) so you can improve it. And many of our clients are using tools like hotjar to support service design too.
For performance analysis, you’ll want to understand whether your digital service is:
- meeting user needs
- allowing people to easily complete the tasks the service is designed for
- has a good audience/market reach to measure success
Another example is analytics for a charity fundraising campaign – what’s the average donation? And where does the donation come from (geographically/demographically)?
Thinking about service data is a great alternative to web page analytics. Lots of important things about services can be best measured through the data they naturally collect. Understanding service data can help you to solve problems in forms, delays and bottlenecks in processes, understand frequencies of different types of transactions, or frequencies of different problems needing support.
Whatever you choose, “it needs to be used to be useful” (thanks for that quote, Brent!). You need to devote time to analysing the data and using the insights to make positive change.
Alternatives to Google Analytics
Despite the fact that Google Analytics dominates the web page analytics landscape, there are alternatives, and it’s worth considering whether these might work better for you and your team.