Google Analytics 4: Drawbacks and Limitations

Marketing Tips
Dec 28, 2019

The Power of Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4, is the latest iteration of Google's analytics platform. With its advanced tracking capabilities and robust reporting features, GA4 has revolutionized the way businesses analyze and interpret user data. This tool provides valuable insights into user behavior, allowing businesses to make data-driven decisions and enhance their online performance.

Drawbacks and Limitations of GA4

While GA4 offers significant advantages, it is essential to be aware of its drawbacks and limitations. Understanding these limitations helps users make informed choices and optimize their analytics strategies accordingly.

1. Learning Curve and Implementation Challenges

Transitioning from the previous Google Analytics version to GA4 can be a challenging task for users. The learning curve associated with the new interface and features may require some time and effort to overcome. Moreover, implementing GA4 tracking codes and events correctly can be complex, especially for those with limited technical expertise.

2. Limited Historical Data Availability

Unlike the previous version of Google Analytics, GA4 does not offer access to historical data. This limitation can impact long-term analysis and trend identification. It is essential for businesses to consider these limitations when making comparisons between historical and new data.

3. Lack of Universal Analytics Compatibility

Google Analytics 4 introduces a new data model, which makes it incompatible with Universal Analytics (UA). This incompatibility means that existing UA properties need separate configurations in GA4, resulting in data fragmentation and potential discrepancies.

4. Limited Third-Party Integration

GA4 currently lacks comprehensive integration with popular third-party tools and platforms. This limitation can hinder businesses' ability to combine data from different sources effectively. Implementing workarounds and manual processes may be necessary to bridge this gap.

5. Complexity in Advanced Configuration

While GA4 offers advanced configuration options, such as custom dimensions and metrics, it might require technical expertise to set up and utilize effectively. Users with limited technical skills might find it challenging to leverage the full potential of these features.

Is it Worth Sticking Around?

Despite its drawbacks and limitations, Google Analytics 4 presents exciting opportunities for businesses. It is important to evaluate the specific needs and goals of your business to determine whether transitioning to GA4 is the right step for you.

By embracing GA4, businesses gain access to advanced machine learning capabilities, cross-device tracking, and enhanced data privacy features. Machine learning-powered insights can help businesses understand user intent and personalize experiences, while cross-device tracking provides a holistic view of customer journeys across devices. Additionally, GA4's focus on privacy addresses growing concerns surrounding data privacy, ensuring compliance with evolving regulations.

While the transition to GA4 may involve challenges, staying up-to-date with the latest analytics technologies is crucial in a fast-paced digital landscape. By proactively embracing and adapting to the new features and limitations of GA4, businesses can stay competitive and gain a deeper understanding of their customers.


Google Analytics 4 brings a suite of advanced features and capabilities to businesses, allowing them to gain valuable insights into user behavior. However, it’s important to acknowledge the drawbacks and limitations that come along with the new platform. By understanding and mitigating these challenges, businesses can effectively leverage GA4's potential and achieve data-driven success.