User ID is no longer needed to collect data

User ID is no longer needed to collect data
Photo by Lukas Blazek / Unsplash

A significant update has been released by GA4 that removes the necessity for collecting a user ID when collecting data provided by users on websites or apps. This change allows for a hashed and pseudonymized user ID based on collected data, enhancing cross-platform user reporting, conversion measurement, and audience-sharing capabilities.

Furthermore, this update introduces the ability to request the deletion of user-provided data using the collected information itself, in addition to standard identifiers. This development signifies a move towards greater privacy and flexibility in data handling, ensuring users' information is managed securely while improving analytical and reporting processes.

Source: Google Analytics

Deep Dive - Expert Opinion

Opinion and the feature in practice shown by the expert

This advancement means Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can link interactions from the same user on different devices, based on matching provided information such as email addresses, thereby offering a more cohesive analysis of user behavior.

However, this update comes with important caveats:

  • It requires linking with Google Ads to function.
  • The feature is not yet available for app data tracking.
  • There's a potential issue with sending user_ids to BigQuery, though this might be addressed in the open-beta phase.
  • Google employs a hierarchy for matching user data, prioritizing email, then phone, name, and finally address.
  • Introducing a user_id after initial data collection may result in GA4 treating the same individual as two separate users, complicating user count accuracy.

Given these considerations, it's advised to test this update in a parallel account to assess its impact on data integrity and reporting accuracy carefully. This proactive approach will help in understanding the full implications of these changes on your analytics and reporting ecosystem.

Source: Post

Expert: Josh Silverbauer

Another expert Thomas Eccelopines...

Google Analytics introduces Enhanced Conversions, a feature designed to improve cross-device conversion tracking and attribution through first-party data, potentially increasing recorded conversions by about 10%. To enable this, go to your GA4 Property settings under "Data collection" -> "User-provided data collection" and activate it. This allows GA4 to collect hashed, user-provided data directly from your site's Google tag.

Once enabled, your Google Ads will reflect a boost in conversion metrics due to Enhanced Conversions.

Note: This feature best serves web data streams and may take up to 30 days to manifest data enhancements. It's not advised for users to integrate with BigQuery. Interested in setting this up via Google Tag Manager? Comment below for direct instructions!

Source: post

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