Yes, GA4 is different, and it will take some time to get used to. The interface changed enough that finding what you’re looking for can take a moment, and there will be some discrepancies in data and numbers when it comes to reporting. Those are just the simple facts we’ll all have to live with.
All that said, I love the conceptual changes in GA4.
Second, it offers some increased flexibility. Specifically, the three built-in parameters for events and UTM tags often required creativity to properly organize and differentiate user activity. The change allowing 25 parameters per event will definitely help with that.
There are still some quirks within it (like the delay in recording events), and I also feel I’m going to miss some things Google eliminated, namely Views. Through the years, I’ve found many valuable use cases where they’ve helped me to report by either targeting or excluding certain audiences. As we roll out GA4 on more websites and apps, maybe I’ll better understand the data stream method better.
My recommendation at this point is to run both Universal and GA4 for a while. This will give you and your team a chance to acclimate to the changes you’ll see in your reporting numbers by stacking them side-by-side. If you’re a Google Analytics user, it will also let you log in and explore its functionalities without hindering your ability to get the data you need, should you need to revert to Universal for a while.
If you’re ready to make the move and need some help, please reach out. We’re on standby to assist you.