Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
The current central University of Edinburgh (UoE) solution for web analytics uses a single Universal Google Analytics property to collect all data. This allows for visibility of user engagement across the wider web estate however also introduces heavy sampling to the data provided. This property is used widely across the university web estate, Website and Communications (WAC) team have also previously provided basic training and support for the Google Analytics platform for all University staff.
As Universal Analytics comes to End of Life, StormID were contracted to provide consultation on the best approach in implementing the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) product for our estate.
StormID have provided a Site Tracking and Analytics Guidelines (STAG) document with GA4 configuration recommendations, this document will be made available to UoE employees looking to implement GA4 within their own property.
Following the consultancy with StormID it has been decided that the UoE web estate shall be split across multiple GA4 properties, providing more accurate data for individual websites and services. The new GA4 product also introduces new account configurations and limits which have contributed towards this decision.
StormID have recommended an individual GA4 property be created for every website. WAC have considered this recommendation and decided that an individual property per service is sufficient for day one implementation.
|EdWeb Base Tracking||Existing||Continue to collect data for the current EdWeb platform.
This property will be configured with base settings as recommended by StormID
This Property will be closed when the EdWeb migration project is complete.
|EdWeb 2 Base Tracking||New||Collecting all data from the EdWeb2 service only.
This will be a new property created specifically for the use of EdWeb2configured with base settings as recommended by StormID + any additional custom configurations.
|Marketing||New||This will be a new property created specifically to be managed by CAM but for wider uni marketing purpose.
CAM will define which sites are to initially be tracked in this property and shall be required to make a request to site owners for tracking to be installed onto individual website. Installation may vary depending on the website set up and use or lack of Google Tag Manager (GTM).
This property will be configured with base settings as recommended by StormID + any additional custom configurations and shall track all sites created on EdWeb and EdWeb 2 platforms.
|Non EdWeb Base Tracking||New||This property will be configured with base settings as recommended by StormID. GTM details shall be made available to any University website who wishes to use the base GA4 integration to gather analytics.
Users must be aware that there will be no custom configuration available within this GA4 property and/or GTM container.
Where any goals / conversions or custom configuration is required users will be required to create a unique GA4 property and/or GTM container. The STAG document created by StormID will be available to support property and container creation, however a base level of knowledge will be required by the site maintenance team
|MyEd||New||Collecting all data from the MyEd service only.
This will be a new property created specifically for the use of MyEd configured with base settings as recommended by StormID + any additional custom configurations.
Due to resourcing within the team, WAC can commit to the following.
- Update to the existing GA4 property to ensure a base level tracking for EdWeb
- Creation and configuration of new GTM container and new GA4 property for EdWeb2
- Creation and configuration of current GTM container and new GA4 property for MyEd
- Creation of new GTM container and new GA4 property for CAM
- CAM will be responsible for implementation of recommendations outlined in the STAG document supplied by StormID
- Creation and base configuration of new GTM container and new GA4 property for Non Edweb use
- Creation of instructions to integrate with website, this will refer to Googles documentation. No further support will be offered for integration by WAC
Site Owner Responsibilities
GA4 provides default reports as standard. Users of the EdWeb and Non EdWeb GA4 property will be given view access to these reports.
Where these default reports do not provide the data required it is possible to create further custom explorations. Creation of these reports will require
- An individual property to be created for the website – access to create these within the central EdWeb accounts will not be granted.
- A working knowledge of the new GA4 platform – WAC will not provide support in creation of explorations
- Depending on the volume of data being processed a BigQuery (Paid for Google service) account may be required.
Web Analytics Training will no longer be supplied by WAC.
The new GA4 platform is significantly different from the Universal GA platform and will require extensive user training. Additionally, experience with Google’s platforms highlights significant change over time, which makes adapting a training plan in parallel an impossible task. Site owners are responsible for upskilling themselves and team members in the new GA4 platform.
To be able to view the analytics data gathered for your site you will need to apply to the property owner for view access as detailed in the next section.
Although WAC have agreed to take on the initial base configuration of the GA4 properties and GTM containers listed above WAC will not provide ongoing support for these services. Any customisations and or configurations will be the responsibility of the site owner. Where required site owners may wish to engage a Digital Marketing Agency to support extended tracking.
The University of Edinburgh makes use of the Scottish Government’s procurement framework for marketing services, those looking to engage a Digital Marketing Agency to support extended tracking should refer to “Lot 3 Digital Marketing Services”, for further support please contact Finance.Helpline@ed.ac.uk.
Admin access to the GA4 properties listed above and the corresponding GTM containers would be restricted to owners of the properties, and granted by WAC. Record shall be kept of all access requests.
User access shall be granted to the corresponding GTM Containers and Properties via WAC. Record shall be kept of all access requests.
UoE users shall be required to supply a @ed.ac.uk email address in order to gain access. View access shall be provided by default unless a use case is provided for elevated permissions.
External agencies will require authorisation to gain access and will be given restricted access based on user needs.