If Google Analytics 4 Feels Overwhelming, You’re Not Alone


By: Drew McManus

It’s easy to look at the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) dashboards and feel completely lost. For those who don’t have a great deal of experience working with GA4 you may think the issue is you but rest assured, there is a considerable amount of angst from even the most seasoned marketers and data analysts.

There’s a great article from Roger Montti published in the June 23, 2021 edition of searchenginejournal.com that explains why there’s so much negative backlash. If you’re looking for some validation into your own misgivings, this is a must-read article.

I’ve been telling my own clients to run parallel instances of their existing GA account alongside a new GA4 property because in case you didn’t already know, GA4 doesn’t import any of your existing data. That may change but as of now, it’s not a guarantee so running both at the same time means that even if you simply ignore the new GA4 property, it’s still gathering data.

Here are some of the GA4 pain points Montti covers:

  • GA4 is difficult to use.
  • GA4 is so complex even seasoned data nerds require a manual to use it.
  • GA4 is geared less toward general use and more toward commercial ecommerce.
  • Many existing third party add-ons are no longer compatible.

Read The Article

Have you started using GA4? If so, what’s your opinion?

Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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5 thoughts on “If Google Analytics 4 Feels Overwhelming, You’re Not Alone”

  1. I’d be happy if they’d only offered it, but today Google is pushing this monstrosity onto everybody, I’m using Google Ads and I don’t care to track that many signals of my advertising. But I have to now because things will stop working if I don’t click around this new convoluted interface and agree to everything by default and never go there again. Ugh. They’ve lost the plot.

  2. I’ve been using GA4 for some time now and it is a perfect example of Google “fixing” something that wasn’t broken. Reports that were easy to access in legacy GA are now either rendered unusable or simply nonexistent in GA4. For reporting, the easiest way to do it is to set up your reports that you would normally access in legacy GA in Google Data Studio rather than trying to set them up natively in GA4.

  3. just went to read the article. so many popups on that site i would swear it’s 1999. talk about annoying and unusable, just go to that site. so bad i didn’t read the article.

    • I tend to use pop-up blockers for general browsing but I didn’t have any issues accessing anything at the site. There are quite a few embedded tweets and those can take some time to load since they are pulled from Twitter in real time.


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