- Leverage existing integrations to migrate your data from GA4 and Adobe Analytics to Amplitude Analytics
- Tap into Amplitude Analytics’ powerful insights, identity resolution, and open API to get the most out of your data
- Recognize that while GA4 offers a proprietary Google Ads integration, it’s forcing users to stay within the Google ecosystem—which isn’t ideal when optimizing your Martech stack
- Make sure to set up your taxonomies correctly to avoid data inaccuracy and duplication
- Understand how data is organized in Amplitude before you start instrumenting your events to save time in your migration
There has been a shift in the analytics landscape. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is replacing Universal Analytics (UA). Partly in response to Amplitude Analytics, which has emerged as a powerful tool for data analysis, offering several advantages over GA4.
Adobe Analytics is also a key player in this battle for analytics supremacy. But Amplitude is the modern analytics tool that integrates with open tech stacks.
Switching from GA4 to Amplitude Analytics can seem daunting. However, with some planning, the transition can be relatively seamless. This post will outline the steps you need to take to make the switch and the number one mistake we see clients make repeatedly.
- 4 Steps for Migration Out of Google and Adobe Analytics into Amplitude
- Why Many Companies Have Chosen to Switch from UA to Amplitude Instead of to GA4
- Amplitude vs. GA4 vs. Adobe Analytics: Implementation, Pricing & Features2 Google Tag Manager – Tag Management System
- The One Brutal Mistake to Avoid When Switching to Amplitude Analytics
- Which Analytics Tool Is Best for You?
4 Steps for Migration Out of Google and Adobe Analytics into Amplitude
While you need to consider a few tools when moving data between to analytics platforms, with the right instructions — the process can be seamless.
Step #1: Set Up Your Taxonomy Tracking and Reporting
The first step in switching from Google and Adobe Analytics is setting up your taxonomy tracking and reporting. This process is often overlooked (more on that later) but is crucial to getting accurate data in Amplitude Analytics.
Here’s an example template we use to map taxonomies between tools:
To set up your taxonomy, you’ll need to:
- Review important goals, triggers and properties associated with your events, including custom dimensions
- Revisit your core company objectives together with the reports you frequently use in UA or Adobe Analytics
- List the additional dashboards and reports to create in Amplitude Analytics
- Build an Amplitude taxonomy that clearly defines all the events to be tracked, their tracking priority, the associated parameters, and the conversions
Based on the information gathered in this step, you can start tracking events in Amplitude Analytics that accurately reflects your business goals. This process will be helpful when configuring your Amplitude account to receive data from UA and Adobe Analytics.
Step #2: Build Your Digital Analytics Data Layer
Building a digital analytics data layer is essential for tracking website activity and migrating data between platforms. There are three elements to consider:
- SDKs (software development kits): Collect data from websites and mobile apps
- Data layers: Store the collected data
- Tag management systems: Manage the tags to track the collected data
Amplitude Analytics, GA4, and Adobe Analytics each plug into tag management systems that manage these elements. This common ground is exciting, especially for websites, as you can reuse most of your existing instrumentation work.
For instance, you can use Amplitude Analytics to pull data from GA4 and Adobe Analytics by creating a data layer. Data layers can also help you troubleshoot implementation issues and ensure that your information is accurate.
Data layers may seem daunting. However, it’s essential for any website that wants to maximize its analytics capabilities. Otherwise, you may end up with incorrect data, or worse, lose it.
Step #3: Configure Amplitude’s Google Tag Manager (GTM) Template or Use Adobe’s Launch Extension
The Amplitude Google Tag Management template is the best way to migrate from GA4 to Amplitude. The template includes client-side and server-side tags, making it easy to transfer all your data with just a few clicks.
The client-side tag uses the same measurement protocol as GA4, so there’s no need to change your code.
The server-side tag sends data directly to Amplitude, so you’ll get the most accurate and complete picture of your user’s behavior.
If you want to migrate from Adobe Analytics to Amplitude Analytics, the Adobe Launch Extension from Amplitude is the perfect tool.
To configure the extension, you’ll need to add your Amplitude API key to the extension’s general settings page.
Once you’ve added the API, the extension will automatically map all your Adobe Analytics events to their corresponding Amplitude events.
You can also use the extension to send custom events to Amplitude. Simply create a new event in the extension’s interface and specify the Amplitude event name, properties, and user ID.
Adobe’s Launch extension makes it easy to start with Amplitude and take advantage of its powerful event tracking capabilities.
Step #4: Import Your Historical Data
BigQuery is a powerful tool to help you migrate historical data from Google Analytics to Amplitude Analytics.
The process is to export your Google Analytics data into BigQuery, then use Amplitude’s built-in migration tool to import the data into your new Amplitude account.
You can complete this process in just a few minutes, and it’ll give you access to all of Amplitude’s powerful features.
Amplitude’s Adobe Analytics integration makes it easy to import your Adobe Analytics data into Amplitude Analytics without any engineering work.
To start, connect your Adobe Analytics account to Amplitude and select the data you want to import. Amplitude will then automatically create a mapping of the data types between the two platforms, ensuring that all of your historical information is accurate.
The entire process can be completed in just a few minutes, making it easy to get up and running with Amplitude without starting from scratch.
Why Many Companies Have Chosen to Switch from UA to Amplitude Instead of to GA4
The Main Differences Between Amplitude Analytics and GA4Below we’ll compare and contrast Amplitude Analytics and GA4 in approach, identity resolution, advertising attribution, insights, and integrations.
Product Analytics vs. Marketing AnalyticsAt its core, Amplitude is a product analytics platform known for tracking user engagement, conversions and providing insights into how users interact with your product. GA4, on the other hand, is an evolution of UA that has roots in marketing analytics and has only recently entered into the product analytics space. As expected, GA4 offers more marketing-centric features like campaign measurement and attribution. However, Amplitude is ahead of GA4 in custom funnel reporting, user activation and retention analysis. Amplitude is also closing the gap between product and marketing analytics by offering some features specifically for marketing teams, such as attribution and campaign management. Amplitude is known for product analytics, while GA4 focuses on marketing analytics. As a result, Amplitude Analytics is better at tracking user engagement, conversions and providing insights into how users interact with your product. For these reasons, Amplitude is quickly becoming the go-to platform for product and marketing data analysis.
Identity ResolutionGA4 is leveraging Google’s superior browser strength and logged-in users in Google accounts like Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Photos. In contrast, Amplitude uses a proprietary ID system to track activity across devices and browsers. This makes it much easier to create a complete picture of customer behavior. With Amplitudes’ user profiling, you sometimes forget you’re in an analytics tool, not a CRM—and it’s one of the main drawing cards for our clients switching over from GA.
Unsurprisingly, Google Ads integrates more seamlessly with GA4 than Amplitude Analytics. Google also limits access to Google Ads data to third-party tools. Consequently, you can get a more detailed picture of how your ads perform and impact your business.
There are some workarounds to pull Google Ads data into Amplitude Analytics, like setting up UTMs and leveraging Amplitude Analytics event stream. Still, it’s not as straightforward (and as powerful) as it is with GA4.
Amplitude Analytics is a more effective tool for data insights. It provides greater detail and the ability to drill down into the data to see precisely what’s happening.
GA4, on the other hand, is more focused on providing high-level overviews, which can help you get a general idea of what’s going on. Still, it doesn’t offer the same level of depth as Amplitude Analytics.
Additionally, Amplitude’s reporting is easier to use and understand, providing more information to help make decisions.
One of the biggest problems with GA4 is that it doesn’t play nicely with other platforms, which is a challenge if you want to get comprehensive data out of multiple tools.
Unlike GA4, Amplitude works beautifully with third-party vendors and offers more open-source capabilities.
For instance, Amplitude Analytics has an open API, making it easy to build custom integrations. GA4, in contrast, is a closed platform, which is a pain to get the data you need when using non-Google services.
3 Reasons Google Is Making the Switch to GA4 (and Why It’s Worse)
UA has a loyal customer base, so it’s no surprise that many folks hesitated when Google announced GA4, its replacement.
Below we’ll explore three reasons that may have led to Google making the switch, as well as some of the problems that have arisen since GA4’s release.
GA has come under fire in recent years for its privacy implications. As of writing this post, GA4 still isn’t GDPR compliant. It’s pretty crazy that a big company like Alphabet can’t get its act together regarding something as important as data privacy.
In response, Google is moving to an event-based tracking system in GA4 that’ll make it more difficult for website owners to track individual users.
Response to Competition
Tools like Amplitude and Mixpanel offer more granular results-focused product analytics, taking valuable market share from Google.
GA4 is a response to the shift in customer preferences. But in doing so, Google is neglecting its existing user base, who have become accustomed to web-based tracking methods.
Users will be forced deeper into Google’s walled garden with GA4. You must use BigQuery, Google’s cloud-based data warehouse, to access your data. This is a challenge, especially if you’re unfamiliar with BigQuery or don’t have easy access.
Also, remember that GA4 is a relatively new product, so it’s still missing essential functions. This feature gap puts pressure on Google to get everything right before officially sunsetting Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023, which will leave users with no choice but to switch to GA4.
Amplitude vs. GA4 vs. Adobe Analytics: Implementation, Pricing & Features
While many analytics tools exist, Amplitude, GA4, and Adobe Analytics are three of the most popular. They all offer a wide range of features but have unique strengths and weaknesses.
GA4 is the easiest of the three to implement through GTM or tracking code. Amplitude and Adobe Analytics are slightly more challenging to implement, but they offer more control over data collection.
To implement Amplitude, you must add a code snippet to your website or app. But you need to invest significant time into configuring your events.
With Adobe Analytics, you must use the Experience Cloud Identity Service (ECID) or Dynamic Tag Management (DTM). And like Amplitude, configuration for Adobe Analytics is very involved.
In summary, GA4 is a good choice if you’re dabbling into analytics, as it doesn’t require a lot of configuration. Amplitude Analytics and Adobe Analytics are better suited if you want top-notch insights and more control over your data.
Amplitude has a free plan that allows businesses to track up to 10 million monthly events. The Growth package is $995/month for up to 100 million monthly events. Enterprise pricing is available on request for 10 billion+ monthly events.
GA4 is free for everyone, but if you want to use GA4 with Google Ads, you’ll need to be on one of the enterprise plans, which are all quite expensive.
Adobe Analytics’ free starter plan is generous and allows users to run extensive analytics work, including event segmentation, funnel analysis, and retention analysis. However, if you want more features, you’ll need to sign up for a priced plan, which is only available in enterprise packages.
If you’re committing to the Adobe ecosystem, then Adobe Analytics can be a valuable tool. However, the yearly cost may not justify the benefits if you don’t use other Adobe products frequently.
On the surface, GA4 is the most affordable option for small businesses, starting with web analytics. However, Amplitude and Adobe Analytics pricing are comparable (and sometimes cheaper) to running the GA360 suite when you get to the mid and high-tier levels.
Amplitude Analytics has excellent self-service capabilities. It focuses on user behavior and engagement, making it ideal for businesses to improve conversion rates. Amplitude also provides an accurate, complete view of the multi-device customer journey, treating visitors as people, not cookies, with user profiles.
GA4’s direct integration with Google Ads lets you optimize your marketing and lead gen activities. And while GA4 and UA are different products, there are some similarities in the UI, making it more approachable to existing GA users.
Adobe Analytics is known for its comprehensive feature set. It offers all the features you’d expect from a web analytics tool and some unique features like predictive analytics and advanced segmentation. Adobe Analytics is a good choice for businesses that want a tool to do it all.
Overall, Amplitude Analytics, GA4, and Adobe Analytics are excellent choices for businesses of all sizes. After consulting on analytics tools for decades, our top pick is Amplitude for its slick UI and laser beam focus on user behavior and engagement—which is invaluable for improving funnels and increasing retention.
The One Brutal Mistake to Avoid When Switching to Amplitude Analytics
If you’re planning on migrating from Google Analytics to Amplitude, the number one mistake you can make is failing to set up your taxonomies correctly.
Taxonomies help to organize and categorize your data, making it easy to find and interpret. If you don’t set up your taxonomies correctly from the beginning, getting your data instrumentation right will be complicated, costing you time and resources.
We see this time and time again, and we can’t stress how important this step is to keep your analytics data air-tight and transferable. Poor taxonomy structure leads to data that’s inaccurate, duplicated, hard to find, and challenging to translate.
To avoid this mistake, take the time to understand how data is organized in Amplitude before you start instrumenting your events. By doing so, you can set up your taxonomies correctly from the start and save yourself many headaches. For example:
- If you’re tracking ecommerce data, make sure you clearly understand how products are organized in your store so that you can map them correctly to Amplitude’s product IDs.
- If you’re tracking mobile app usage, determine how users interact with your app so that you can sync your events to the correct Amplitude screens.
Mapping data between different platforms is rarely easy and even tougher when dealing with something as complex as analytics. So take the time to structure your taxonomies. You’ll be glad you did.
Which Analytics Tool Is Best for You?
If you’re looking for a tool that offers robust reporting capabilities, a focus on user behavior, and advanced features, Amplitude Analytics is the best choice.
GA4 is great for businesses that want to leverage Google Ads, and Adobe Analytics is a good option for businesses that need a comprehensive tool that can do it all.
If you’re not sure which tool is right for you, our team of web analytics experts can help you choose the best tool for your business.
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