Along with your existing Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA) data, you are now able to pull in data from Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as a separate connection in your NinjaCat reports and dashboards. The NinjaCat Google Analytics Network gives you access to the two currently available data collection options provided, the original Analytics platform labeled Universal Analytics and the latest version; Google Analytics 4. This article will lead you through the steps to create a new Google Analytics Network connection, and through connecting the network to your advertiser accounts, selecting the specific desired version for your reporting needs.
NinjaNote: As stated above, the Google Analytics Network is the umbrella Network for the two Google Analytics versions currently available. We have slightly different setup instructions based on which version of Google Analytics you plan on using.
NinjaNote: This GA4 integration is considered an early access integration. This means that the integration is ready to be used, but will undergo some fine-tuning based on Google’s continued evolution of GA4 and the API, as well as our learnings from how NinjaCat users interact with the data. Any changes will be communicated and documented in our Knowledge Base.
Google Analytics 4 Update
GA4 is a new property designed for the future of measurement, and will eventually completely replace UA. Starting July 1, 2023, new data will no longer be processed through a UA property. However, your already processed data will still be available to you in your Google Analytics account for at least 6 months after this date.
Major changes that come with GA4
- Better ways to track the customer journey by collecting both App + Web data
- Completely event-based instead of session-based
To view the comparisons between GA4 and UA at length, visit Google’s support article.
Adding the Integration Data Network
1. Go to the Setup Settings
2. Follow the instructions in the article How to Connect a Direct Data Network Connection to begin the process of making the Network connection and select Google Analytics as the desired data provider
3. As in step "7" in the above, linked article you will be presented with a pop-up window to authenticate with the required credentials and also allow the appropriate permissions
NinjaNote: In some cases, there are programmatic ways to find the requested credentials. Ultimately you may have to contact the data source provider to obtain the credentials. We try to advise or help direct you to the credentials when we can.
Click the "Add Network" button near the bottom right
NinjaNote: For existing GA networks… in order to get Google Analytics 4 connected, users will need to revoke their token at the agency level, and re-add their token
- ***Important: When doing this step, must be careful that the user uses the same credentials as before or creds that have the same level of access to the GA accounts you wish to report on. This ensures that the existing advertiser-level UA data source connections will remain intact.
- ***If you are uncertain about what credentials you have used for your existing networks and need this info to reconnect, please reach out to our Customer Advocacy Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Connecting Advertiser-Specific Integration Data to a NinjaCat Account
1. Follow the instructions in the article How To Add a Single Data Connection to a NinjaCat Account to begin the process of making the client-specific data connection
2. In step 4 in the above, linked article there will be two options to pick from provided by Google Analytics
3. Click on the desired Google Analytics option from the list
4. Follow the provided instructions in the help text on each Google Analytics product connection page to obtain and submit the right credentials for the right Google Analytics product
5. Click "Connect" near the bottom right
NinjaNote: Sub-properties are supported for customers using Google Analytics 360 and leveraging sub-properties (a property that gets its data from one other property). These sub-properties will be selectable in the Property dropdown for Google Analytics Advertiser Connections.
NinjaNote: If you need to connect multiple instances of the same data source to one account follow the steps in the article How To Add Multiple Instances of a Single Data Source
Universal Analytics and GA4 in the Template Builder
- Both UA and GA4 are able to be pulled into the same NinjaCat template, and for some segments, the same widgets. However, be careful with the metric overlap as some metrics are calculated much differently between UA and GA4. A few examples are Users, Sessions, and Bounce Rate. For more information, review this Google Support article which explains the extent to which you can and cannot compare metrics between UA and GA4.
- “Google Analytics 4” data source is available as a separate option in the template builder to add to your widgets
NinjaNote: Based on Google API limitations, the max number of dimensions that can be pulled into a widget is 9, and the max number of metrics is 10
- Below is a list of capabilities that are not yet supported by the built integration that is currently in consideration. After we continue learning more from Google as well as how users interact with the data from GA4, these are potential areas to be built on in the future:
- Send calls from NinjaTrack to GA4
- Custom Dimensions and Metrics
- Segment Filter Concept
Using Universal Analytics Segment Filters
"Segment Filter Value" advertiser data source connection field - If this field remains blank, then it is ignored. If it contains a value and it matches exactly to a segment filter that exists in that agency’s GA network, then we will segment the data within the template builder widget to reflect that for that particular advertiser’s GA data, if the user identifies within the widget that the segment filter should be followed (see below).
If there are multiple Google Analytics data source connections applied to one account, and a value exists for each connection, then the template builder widget filters accordingly to each given filter per connection/mapping.
The “Segment Filter” dropdown menu - includes the following options:
“Do Not Use”: This is the default of the dropdown menu. When selected, there is no segment filter value applied to the widget, regardless if there is a value that exists at the advertiser-network level.
“Use Widget Only”: Even if there is a value set for the Segment Filter Value at the advertiser level. the widget will respect the value in the widget-level segment filter value only. If it is blank, it will be ignored and the data of the widget will remain as-is without a filter applied.
“Use Advertiser Only”: Even if there is a value set for the Segment Filter Value at the widget level. The widget will respect the value in the advertiser-level segment filter value only. If it is blank for any of the GA data source connections, it will be ignored and the data of the widget will remain as-is without a filter applied.
“Use Widget Unless Advertiser Override”: If this option is selected for the widget, the following logic is applied: If there is a widget-level Segment Filter Value given, the widget will respect that UNLESS there is a Segment Filter Value given for a data source connection at the Advertiser level for that advertiser. The widget would then respect that advertiser-level filter. If neither exists, the data in the widget remains as-is without a filter applied.
“Segment Filter Value” Template Builder field - Appears if GA exists as a data source in the widget. Allows the application of a GA Segment Filter at the widget level in the template builder.
- Check out the following article for a complete list of Google Analytics Dimensions and Metrics
View a Google Analytics Report Template example.