Server-side Tracking for Google Analytics 4
After being the industry’s first choice for over a decade, Universal Analytics will be completely replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Google recommends starting to use GA4 quickly, as Universal Analytics will no longer process data after July 1, 2023.
What will be different?
Although both tools are from Google, they are quite different: Universal Analytics is a page-based tracking tool while GA4 tracks event-based.
The old Universal Analytics breaks down hits into pageviews, events, social interactions, etc. – Whereas in GA4, every user interaction is simply an “event” – whether a button click, link click, scrolling, page view, download, or a video view. This simplifies a lot – but it’s a completely different structure.
Why do you need JENTIS in addition?
The fact remains that even with GA4 it is not legal to transfer personal data to a US company. Unlike Universal Analytics, the anonymization of personal data, specifically the IP address, is preset in GA4. But in order to perform such automatic anonymization, Google must first receive the data and process it accordingly. Thus, the data is considered to be stored at Google at least for a short time, which means that the anonymization is done too late and therefore cannot be DSGVO-compliant.
Therefore, a tool is needed to ensure that personal data can be pseudonymized before it is sent to Google. The solution for this lies in the use of a server-side tracking technology from a European provider such as JENTIS.
Universal data model
JENTIS implements a generic data structure. This data can be used for any tool and any data structure. Variables can be adapted, mapped and anonymized so that you remain independent of tools and versions.
With JENTIS the switch from UA to GA4 is simple
As soon as websites migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4 with JENTIS, there is no need to push new data into the data layer or change the front-end applications. JENTIS automatically takes care of the transition of events and data structure. This way, all historical data can be made usable for GA4 and any other tool, no matter what changes are in store for the future!
The Analytics Transition
After implementing server-side tracking with JENTIS, you then create a parallel setup of the current Universal Analytics property AND the new GA4 property. During the parallel setup, there is ample time to tune the GA4 tracking and ensure that the data flows in smoothly. This data helps measure all marketing activities and target ad campaigns.
Moving from Universal Analytics to Analytics 4 seems inevitable if you want to stay in the Google-World. Since you will have to revise your website tracking anyway, we recommend switching to clean, DSGVO-compliant and data model-independent data collection with JENTIS at the same time. The sooner you start, the better prepared you’ll be by the time Universal Analytics shuts down on July 1, 2023.
How can we help you capture better data? Get in touch with our expert team!
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