With the impending Universal Analytics sunset and valuable historical data on the line, now is the time to upgrade to GA4. But which GA4 version is right for you? This post considers the two versions of GA4 available, GA4 standard and GA4 360, and explains why, given a new pricing model and more, upgrading to GA4 360 might be your best bet.
GA4 vs GA4 360: Reasons to upgrade, factoring in limits, features, pricing and more
Many companies have likely considered upgrading to the premium—or 360—version of Google Analytics for both the enterprise-level features and support. However, for many, the cost of a 360 license has historically outweighed the benefits.
Now, however, as we’ll discuss in this post, it may be worth taking another look at upgrading to the New Google Analytics 360 (sometimes referred to as new Analytics 360, GA4360, or New GA360), the paid version of GA4.
Note: If you haven’t migrated to GA4 or the 360 version yet, check out our free assessment to help you understand the unique benefits and challenges your business might face when migrating, plus receive a detailed road-map for frictionless migration based on your responses.
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Following are the top 5 reasons to consider upgrading to New Google Analytics 360:
1. (Much) Higher BigQuery export limits for New GA360
One of the most talked about features of GA4 is the daily export of event-level data to BigQuery, available for both the free and paid versions. This opens up numerous possibilities, such as combining with first-party data and tapping into Google Cloud Platform (GCP) machine learning models. Less talked about is the limit of 1 million events per day for users of free GA4. This limit grows dramatically to 20 billion events per day for New Google Analytics 360 subscribers.
2. Analysis sampling limit is much higher for GA4 360
This is a huge factor when considering upgrading to a GA4 360 property! GA4 360 custom reports (Explorations) can return up to 1B events at a time without being sampled. The limit is just 10M for standard properties. This allows enterprise GA4 users to perform large, sophisticated queries directly in the interface. This also makes it possible to take full advantage of the much longer data retention time for a GA4 360 property (up to 50 months vs. just 14 for standard)
Additionally, once the sampling limit is reached, a GA4 360 property user can request an unsampled report, up to 50B events per day per property, a feature not available for standard properties.
3. New Google Analytics 360 offers increased data retention
Another example of a stark increase in capabilities for GA4 properties is how long data is retained, which directly impacts the ability to pull historical data directly from the interface. While Google is clearly pushing customers to rely on Big Query and Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) for historical data pulls, pulling full year over year reporting will remain a common need. However, with the free version of GA4, only 14 months of data can be retained, which will limit reporting lookbacks to just over a year.
Data retention for New Google Analytics 360 properties can be set for up to 50 months, which supports over four years of historical data for pre-built and custom reporting.
4. Higher feature limits offered for GA4 360 properties
One of the more visible differences, already existing between paid and free versions of Google Analytics, is increased limits on a number of customized reporting features and capabilities. These increases have carried over with New Google Analytics 360 properties. The following table illustrates these varying limits:
When integrating GA4 with other products, you will also see limits increase for GA360 users. Here’s a quick summary of the GA4 integrations available and how they change when you upgrade to 360:
5. Pricing: More dynamic and (typically) more affordable cost structure!
While the decision to upgrade to New GA4 360 should be based on the business value gained from the above and more, Google has effectively lowered the barrier to entry in terms of the cost structure.
NOTE: To purchase New GA 360, you will work with a certified reseller such as Search Discovery. Each reseller will have a slightly different pricing model, but the numbers below will be generally true for all of them.
Old GA360: The price for the prior version of GA360 (for Universal Analytics) started at about $150,000 per year and allowed you to capture up to 500 million hits per month before the price started to increase.
New GA360: Now, with New GA360, the price starts at about $50,000 per year for up to 25 million events (you can have multiple “events” in a single “hit,” so you are likely to have a slightly higher number of events than hits).
When you exceed the minimum, a dynamic pricing structure kicks in just like it did before, but with New GA360 you will get bigger discounts at high volume levels.
Here’s how you are likely to be impacted by the new pricing model:
More differences between the free and paid versions of GA4
Sub-properties & Roll-up properties: Effectively the replacement for Views in Universal Analytics properties, sub-properties allow the administrator to limit reporting to specific sections of a website or sub-set of mobile apps. Roll-up properties, already a feature of GA360 properties, combine reporting from multiple properties into one integrated reporting property.
Service-Level Agreements (SLAs): For paid agreements, these SLAs cover guaranteed availability for data collection, processing and reporting, as well as on-going support. The full details are available here.
Bottom Line: Now is a great time to upgrade to the New Google Analytics 360
It’s fair to say that the features and price structure of the New Google Analytics 360 present a more compelling and affordable rationale to upgrade to the paid version of GA4.
As discussed in this article, New Google Analytics 360 offers significant business benefits, including higher limits ranging from the BigQuery export to reporting granularity elements such as custom dimensions and metrics, improved speed and accuracy for high-volume reporting, and even significantly increased year-over-year reporting capabilities.
If the improved features and functionality are attractive to your business, then the price may well be the enticement that helps drive the decision forward, as it will be less expensive than before for most small- to medium-sized organizations.
Need help deciding whether to upgrade? Talk to a GA4 expert at Search Discovery today to discuss options to migrate to GA4 and potentially upgrade to the New Google Analytics 360!