As Google is now promoting Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as ready to take over as your primary analytics platform, many businesses will consider either transitioning from a Google Analytics 360 (GA360) Universal Analytics (UA) license to a new GA360 GA4 license, or establishing an initial GA360 license for GA4 – especially if they have significant ongoing digital property investments to manage. While our NDA with Google prevents us from publishing pricing information for a new GA360 GA4 license, we are able to detail other considerations.

Let iDimension source a Google Analytics 360 license for your GA4 property.


When should I sign a contract for GA360 GA4?

Good question. That really depends on when you think GA4 will be ready to be your primary analytics platform for actionable analysis. That timing depends on (i) when you think GA4 features will be ready (even though Google says it is ready, major additions & changes continue to be rolled out – see GA release notes), (ii) when you think your digital property’s GA4 configuration & tagging are ready (i.e., a best practices configuration recording accurately all valuable digital property user actions), and (iii) when your team is ready to start using GA4 to make decisions (GA4 is way different than GA UA).

Here are some additional considerations for current GA360 UA licensees that could influence such timing:

  1. You can early renew to GA360 GA4 in the middle of a existing 12-month commitment for a GA360 UA contract.
  2. GA360 GA4 pricing starts right away, but triggers the start of a new 12-month commitment.
  3. Existing GA360 UA properties will be downgraded to standard / free product versions 90 days after the new GA360 (GA4) contract is signed. Downgrade implications:
    • Properties exceeding the UA Standard hit limits will eventually have collection stopped.
    • GA360 UA SLAs no longer apply.
    • You cannot create configured entities (audiences, custom dimensions) beyond standard GA UA limits.
    • Premium GA360 UA integrations may break (e.g., the Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration).

Is GA4 ready for primetime?

Probably not. We think it may be closer to the start of 2022 Q4 when we’ll see more complete parity between GA UA and GA4 (fundamental differences between the platforms notwithstanding), and enough customer use for Google to work out remaining “unknown unknowns“.

Is your GA4 property configuration & tagging ready for primetime?

It is critical to define & start recording a full set of valuable user actions in your GA4 properties now — even if you are not anywhere near ready to switch to GA4 as your primary analytics platform, nor ready to engage a GA360 GA4 license. Why? So you have a full set of data to leverage if & when you do engage a GA360 GA4 license, and so you are not left in a lurch when your GA360 UA data is downgraded to the standard / free GA UA product.

Please contact us if you’d like help defining & measuring success with best practices in a GA4 property.

Is your team ready for GA4?

Using GA4 data to perform actionable analysis is very different than doing the same with GA UA. Is your team ready to do so? If not, time to train them up. Just when you finally feel comfortable doing analysis in GA UA, Google changes everything with GA4. 2022 will be a boon for GA4 training course purveyors.

If you are a LinkedIn Premium account holder, LinkedIn Learning offers a course titled “Migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)“. There is also a free Google Skillshop GA4 course titled “Discover the Next Generation of Google Analytics“.

Don’t forget plans / cost to get GA data into BigQuery

The ability to democratize data for your data science team by exposing GA4 data in BigQuery is huge. With this GA4 integration you can expose hit level data fully burdened with valuable customer attributes to facilitate deeper analysis that answers big picture questions to drive your business. 

You need to consider the possible BigQuery cost if you are planning to export GA360 UA data prior to transitioning to GA360 GA4, and also relative to any ongoing data pipeline you establish between your GA4 properties and BigQuery. The BigQuery integration is included in the license fee for GA360 UA and GA360 GA4, but there are costs for storage and queries of data in BigQuery. Costs as of 2021Q4 are:

  • Active storage – $0.020 per GB, with the first 10 GB per month free.
  • Long-term storage – $0.010 per GB, with the first 10 GB per month free.
  • Queries (on-demand) – $5.00 per TB, with the first 1 TB per month free.

GA4 paid vs. GA4 free vs. GA UA

A comparison of GA4 360 vs. the GA4 free version:
[GA4] Google Analytics 360 (Google Analytics 4 Properties)

A comparison of GA4 to UA:
[UA→GA4] Universal Analytics versus Google Analytics 4 data

Some GA4 nuances to underscore

  1. Event-driven data model measuring both app + web:  events (what happened), event parameters (more info about what happened) and user properties (who did it).
  2. Engagement time = for a mobile app this is the time that the app was in the foreground; for a website this is the time that the browser tab was active.
  3. Engaged session = > 10 seconds of engagement time, or have one or more conversion events, or have two or more views.  Replaces bounce rate from GA UA.
  4. An active user is someone who has had at least 1 engaged session during the date range that you’ve selected.
  5. In GA UA, a new campaign will start a new session regardless of activity; in GA4, a new campaign does not begin a new session. 
  6. GA4 processes events which arrive up to 72 hours late. GA4 batches event delivery client-side. Exceptions where events are sent right away include: conversion events, if a user leaves a page, if the the sendBeacon API is not supported.
  7. GA4 attribution.
Related: (i) Is your GA4 property ready to replace Universal Analytics?, (ii) Why is Google sunsetting GA Universal Analytics and promoting GA4?
License renewal considerations when transitioning from GA360 UA to GA360 GA4