The new GA4 has revolutionized working with user data, introducing more flexibility, metrics, and capabilities. So is it okay to say that marketers are doomed to succeed with the new version of GA? — Rather, not everything is so unambiguous. Much depends on the scale and needs of the business, which is why Google has developed two versions of the Google Analytics 4 product: the standard free GA4 and the advanced paid GA4 360 one, which is adapted more for businesses.
But probably not all business owners will be in a hurry to switch to paid Google Analytics 4 360 because the standard free version has mostly the same features. The difference between the paid version and the standard Google Analytics 4 – is mainly in the available data processing limits. But is everything so simple? — In this article, we will take a closer look at the difference between these two products, and talk about which purposes the GA4 360 is better suited for.
What is GA4?
Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of the famous web analytics tool by Google today, which revolutionizes how data is collected simultaneously from web pages and applications. Offering the flexibility of cross-platform and continuous data collection, GA4 eclipses GA3’s Universal Analytics (UA). By applying an event-based, rather than session-based, data model, GA4 provides a fine-grained, accurate, and comprehensive view of user behavior. In addition, GA4 boasts advanced privacy controls such as cookie-less measurement and predictive capabilities that offer intuitive guidance without complex models.
What is Google Analytics 4 360?
Google Analytics 4 360 (GA4 360) is the enterprise-paid version of Google Analytics 4. It has advanced features and higher usage limits than the free GA4 version. Additionally, GA4 360 is part of the Google Marketing Platform, which includes other Google marketing products such as Google Tag Manager 360, Search Ads 360, and Display & Video 360.
The main advantage of this version is that it allows you to collect more data before reaching the sampling limits, which provides better and more complete statistics for web analytics. It also provides more flexibility in data collection with advanced options for custom metrics, event parameters, and more.
Key differences between GA4 and Google Analytics 4 360
The most obvious difference between the GA4 360 and the regular GA4 is its cost. However, at this price, there are many technical advantages. Let’s first give a short list of differences between GA4 and GA4 360 with a brief description of each, and then we will reveal them in detail for those who know what web analytics is from A to Z.
- Data collection. Web analytics is the collection, measurement, analysis, and interpretation of data about visitors to a website or application, and GA4 360 can perform better web analytics because it can collect more data than GA4 and provides increased flexibility in collecting this data.
- Data integration and activation. Both GA4 360 and GA4 integrate easily with the entire Google stack, however, if you want to scale these integrations, the free version has significant limitations.
- Account administration and management. Because GA4 360 has “aggregated” properties and “sub-properties”, you can effectively segment your data and manage it in greater detail.
- Service Level Agreements or SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Although the free product does not come with any SLAs, the GA4 360 product offers several guarantees.
- Reporting and analysis functions. GA4 360 offers enhanced reporting and analysis capabilities that enable users to gain a deeper understanding and improve data interpretation.
- Extended data retention. The free version of GA4 only retains data for 14 months, while GA4 4,360 offers up to 50 months of data retention.
A more detailed comparison of GA4 and GA4 360 technologies
Let’s touch on the above technological differences between GA4 and GA4 360 in more detail to make the difference between the two versions of Google Analytics even clearer:
Quality analytics — what is it? Firstly, it should be based on quality data collection. Overall, the GA4 360 offers the advantage of collecting significantly more data than the GA4 before running into data sampling limitations.
GA4 360 also provides increased data collection flexibility with advanced options such as custom options, metrics, event options, and more. This provides a more comprehensive approach to data analysis than other methods of web analytics.
More details about data collection features in both versions of Google Analytics are provided in the table below:
|Data sampling threshold (relates to Explorations only)||10 million of events||1 billion of events|
|Data freshness||4-8 hours||< 4 hours|
|API quotes||25 thousands/day||250 thousands/day|
|Explorations||200 per customer/ 500 common per ownership||200 per customer/ 1000 common per ownership|
Data integration and activation
To achieve the goal in business, it is necessary to conduct data analytics from time to time. The ultimate goal for marketers is to activate data across multiple customer touchpoints. This is where GA4’s integration with Google Marketing Platform tools comes in handy. Both GA4 360 and GA4 integrate easily with these tools, however, if you want to scale these integrations, the free version can cost you significant limitations.
In the table below, you will find more details about the activation and integration of data within these two versions of Google Analytics:
|Google Ads||Yes (limited)||Yes (multiplied per 4 synchronization of all audiences)|
|Search Ads 360 (SA360)||Yes (30 conversions, 100 audiences)||Yes (50 conversions, 400 audiences)|
|Display & Video 360||Yes (30 conversions, 100 audiences)||Yes (50 conversions, 400 audiences)|
|Campaign Manager 360 (CM360)||Yes||Yes|
|Ads Manager||Yes (limited)||Yes (higher data limits)|
|Big Query||Yes||Yes (up to 20 billion events per day)|
Account administration and management
The administration and account management features in GA4 and GA4 360 are also significantly different. GA4 360 provides a greater level of flexibility in the architecture of your Google Analytics account. Thanks to “aggregated” resources and “sub-resources”, you can effectively segment your data and individually configure its management. These features not only improve the structure of your GA account but also allow you to gain additional important information and better control over your data.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Quality web analytics services require the availability of service-level guarantees in data collection and processing tools. One of the significant differences between GA4 360 and the free product is the inclusion of Service Level Agreements. Although the free product lacks this level of warranty, the GA4 360 offers several such warranties:
|Service level agreements||GA4||GA4 360|
|Collection of data||N/A||99.9% of working time|
|Data freshness||N/A||less than 4 hours in 98% of cases|
|Minimal time of service||N/A||Depending on the data volume|
Reporting and analysis functions:
GA4 360 offers overall better reporting and data analysis capabilities than other analytics systems, website analysis programs, and standard GA4 in particular. This benefit comes from features like data-driven attribution, advanced segmentation, and customizable sequences that empower users to gain a deeper understanding and refine data interpretation.
Extended data retention
Although Google offers Big Query and Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) to meet this need, Google Analytics users still have a desire to receive full annual reports. The free version of GA4 only stores data for 14 months, limiting retrospective analysis of reports to just over a year as well.
Instead, GA4 360 resources offer extended data retention — up to 50 months. This means that four years of valuable historical data can be accessed for both previously generated and current reports.
There are a few more significant differences between the GA4 and the GA4 360 that are also worth mentioning:
|Export to BigQuery||Yes (1 million events per day)||Так (20 billion events per day)|
|Data retention time||14 months||50 months|
Efficiency and sustainability
Unlike the GA4 360, you can’t rely on the standard GA4 for high-precision processing of large volumes of data. This is because the GA4 360 subscription has higher data collection and processing limits than standard GA4. Therefore, if your site receives a lot of traffic, for example, more than 1 million visitors per month, you should choose GA4 360.
Which version is right for you?
Choosing between GA4 and GA4 360 depends on a variety of factors, such as business size, budget considerations, and your specific data collection and analysis needs. For small and medium-sized companies, the standard GA4 feature set may be sufficient. However, if you are a large company with millions of site visits per day, or if your business requires real-time data, you will most likely need advanced data collection and processing capabilities. So GA4 360 would be the most suitable version of Google Analytics in that case.