Have you ever noticed that the data generated from your website, such as the number of transactions or leads, does not always match when you view it in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) reports compared to reports from the backend system of your application?
This discrepancy is a common problem in the world of web analytics, and understanding its causes and how to address them is essential to making informed decisions.
Understanding the fundamental difference
To understand why data differs between GA4 and the backend, it is essential to recognize the fundamental difference in the goals and methodologies of these two tools. GA4 is an analytics and projections platform, while the backend is the system that records each and every transaction and event without exception. This fundamental distinction creates the basis for the discrepancies we often encounter.
Variation within an acceptable range
It is important to note that not all differences are cause for alarm. In many cases, a variance of GA4 data compared to the backend that is within the range of 1% to 10% is considered normal and should not cause much concern. This variability can be attributed to various technical and user behavioral reasons, and is still within an acceptable range for analysis and projections.
Discrepancy scenarios and their solutions
- Changes to the conversion path
- Hit limit per session in GA4
- Blocking of cookies by users
- Interrupts before GA4 tag is triggered
- Data sampling in GA4
Data discrepancy between GA4 and the backend is a reality that many digital marketing professionals and data analysts must address. Understanding the potential causes of these discrepancies and taking proactive steps to resolve them is critical to gaining an accurate view of online activities and making decisions based on solid data. By implementing the solutions mentioned above and constantly monitoring data quality, you can minimize differences and trust the insights you get from both sources of information.