What is Google Analytics 360 (GA360) for GA4?
Google Analytics 360 (GA360) is worth knowing about, especially if you’re using Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to report on a business that gets a lot of daily traffic; has multiple analytics projects dependent on the BigQuery extract; operates on a lot of different sites and/or apps or has a particularly large number of users all utilising the same GA4 Property.
If you’re really pressed for time, the nutshell summary is that GA360 is a paid-for upgrade to GA4 that has far higher data limit caps (and GTM360 bundled in too).
When I was asked to write a blog post about GA360 my first thought was “Sure! GA360 is absolutely worth knowing about!” and my second thought was “I’ll get ChatGPT to write it for me!”
So that’s what I did, and the GA360 blog ChatGPT wrote was… fine. All I really needed to add was corrections to all the parts it got wrong, details about the parts it vaguely referenced without important context, and some “I’m a human and I’ve actually done this for real” examples.
You know, editorial stuff.
What is GA4 360?
GA360 is the enterprise version of Google Analytics 4. It is designed for large businesses that need more advanced analytics capabilities than what the standard version of GA4 offers. With GA360, businesses can track user behaviour across multiple devices and platforms, create custom reports, and access advanced insights and data analysis tools.ChatGPT
This is true, I suppose. But is it just me, or does the way it’s all worded imply that these features are exclusively in GA360, not in the free version of GA4? That’s not the case.
If you had the UA’s flavour of GA360 back in the days of Universal Analytics, you’ll have an idea what to expect with GA360 – GA360 is effectively the same service as GA4, with the exact same UI and functionality (despite what ChatGPT implied) but with far less quotas, less data caps, and less limitations.
Those exact differences in the higher amount of data you’re permitted to collect/report on/retain in GA360 are the key to understanding whether GA360 is right for your business.
If you’re currently on GA4 and considering the move to GA360, I’d recommend familiarising yourself with the scale of the data you currently process in GA4 and comparing it to the details on this page.
But I’m getting ahead of myself! Perhaps ChatGPT was about to say exactly the same thing…
How does GA360 differ from regular GA4?
GA4 360 offers several additional features that are not available in the standard version of GA4. Some of the key differences include:
Data limits: GA360 offers higher data limits, which makes it ideal for businesses that generate a large amount of data.ChatGPT
No arguments from me on that one! The elephant in the room (which ChatGPT misses) is the BigQuery export; in regular GA4, you’re limited to 1 million events in your daily exports. In GA360, that number becomes “billions”.
Many of our largest clients at Measurelab depend upon the BigQuery export. If your business has a large, dedicated analytics team familiar with SQL or BigQuery; or a large data lake into which you want an unfiltered feed of web & app data from GA4; or you have a BigQuery connection that likely to capture (or already hitting) more than 1 million events a day, then GA360 and the gigantic amount of “room” it affords your BigQuery export may be the solution for you.
Data modeling: GA360 includes advanced machine learning capabilities that allow businesses to analyze their data more effectively and gain deeper insights into user behavior.
Ok, I’ve crossed that one out because it’s quite misleading.
The way in which GA360 models user data is exactly the same as GA4. If you’re using Consent Mode, GA360 does use machine learning to enrich that user data, but the same is also true of regular GA4. There’s just more data available in GA360 before you hit quota limits.
In GA4 you can categorise users with up to 25 user-scoped custom dimensions per property; in GA360 that number becomes 100.
In GA4 you can only define 100 audiences; in GA360 that number becomes 400.
Those higher data-capture thresholds absolutely will allow for more nuanced, granular audience definitions which, in turn, open up the possibility of some really cool and detailed user behaviour insights. If I was feeling generous I’d give ChatGPT the benefit of the doubt and say that’s what it was going for.
But once more to be clear; there’s no secret “extra” machine learning paywalled behind GA360. At the risk of being a broken record; GA360 is more about lifting the caps and limitations of regular GA4 for larger businesses.
Integration with other Google products: GA360 integrates seamlessly with other Google products such as Google Ads, allowing businesses to create more effective marketing campaigns.ChatGPT
True, but again we’re choosing an odd point to focus on; GA4 also integrates with Google Ads. It’d be weird, from a business perspective for Google, if it didn’t, right?
Far more interesting is that GA360 comes bundled with Google Tag Manager 360 (GTM360). GTM360 is an advanced version of Google Tag Manager that is designed to work seamlessly with GA4 360. It includes additional features that make it easier to manage and deploy tags, and it is included with the purchase of GA360.
How much does GA4 360 cost?
The cost of GA360 varies depending on the size of the business and the level of analytics support required. However, it is typically more expensive than the standard version of GA4.ChatGPT
Both of these points are correct; GA360’s cost does scale to the size of your business, but you can expect that price to start from a baseline of at least $50k per year.
Regular GA4 is free, so… I guess I agree with ChatGPT’s summary that GA360 is “typically more expensive”
How to ascertain whether you need GA4 360 or not?
If you’re a small business with a relatively simple online presence, the standard version of GA4 should be sufficient. However, if you’re a large business with multiple websites or platforms, or if you need more advanced analytics capabilities, GA360 may be a better option.ChatGPT
At the end of the day, it’s important to assess for yourself whether your business needs GA360.
Large businesses with high traffic volumes, multiple sites or the need for an unfiltered BigQuery export should look into it as soon as possible.
But there’s plenty of other reasons you might want to have those higher caps.
- Does your site or app have an above-average amount of interactivity, or is your event-tracking detailed and granular enough that your users tend to hit more than 500 events per day? With regular GA4, 500 events per day per user is the absolute limit; in GA360 you can track 2000.
- Does the 14 month data retention period within the GA4 UI not give you enough historical data to benchmark against, or are your traffic volumes large enough that the Google SLA’s have defined your business as Large/XL and capped that retention at 2 months? With GA360 you could potentially store up to 50 months… unless you’re an “XL” business in which case it remains 2 months.
- Event Parameters don’t currently pull in through the Looker Studio Connector for GA4, unless you map them (again) to an event-scope Custom Dimension; do this a few times, and you’ll quickly run out of the 50 event-scope custom dimensions you’re allowed in regular GA4. In GA360, that number becomes 125.
The list of “other” reasons a business might want the higher caps of GA360 could go on infinitely – oftentimes, either an investigation or a conversation bespoke to your particular business is the only reliable way to make the decision whether GA360 is right for you. If you’re curious we’d recommend that you familiarise yourself with Google’s documentation on the differences, and/or drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just maybe don’t ask ChatGPT for advice quite yet.