Why Are GA4 Reports Delayed?

As most people know, switching from Universal Analytics to GA4 has caused a lot of changes, including how to look at data.

One reason for this is because of the way GA4 collects and processes data. Their new method causes a delay in reporting and can be a reason why your data isn’t matching up, or why you may need to wait a few days after the month ends to really see how your performed.

In this post, we are going to review various ways as the why there is a delay in reporting, and how you can work around these changes.

Why Delays are Happening in GA4

Currently, the data delay is between 12 and 48 hours, and Google said that this change is due to “data freshness” and it takes longer for Google to process an event. Google provided different intervals of data freshness for the following standard properties:

  • Realtime
  • 360 intraday
  • Standard intraday
  • Daily

Because of the data freshness, data may not be in sync when looking at explorations and reporting.

Another reason for these occurring delays in GA4 is the increased volume of data that’s being collected. Since GA4 was designed to collect larger amounts of data on user behavior, this leads to longer processing time, making reports delayed.

The Impact of GA4’s Data Delay

Mostly, the delays website owners and marketers experience with GA4 delays are centered around interpreting data. When looking at collected data, it’s important to keep in mind that the current data you’re looking at may be inaccurate or collected differently than it was in the past, making it hard to compare past data in UA.

The delay has also caused real-time data to be inaccurate. So while most businesses are used to receiving accurate data almost immediately in Google Analytics, now users are not receiving results unlike before.

How to Manage the GA4 Delays

While learning how to use GA4, being prepared for delays with data and adapting to new changes can help your business process run smoother. It’s also crucial to stay up to date on Google’s updates and changes so you can understand better how GA4 works. Other best practices you can follow to improve your experience with GA4 include:

  • Adjusting data sampling
  • Verifying that you’re collecting relevant data
  • Customizing reports
  • Using filters and segments wisely
  • Reaching out to Google Analytics support or the community forum.

Other Helpful Posts on GA4

Read some of our other blog posts about Google Analytics that can help:

Caroline Vahue

About the Author

Caroline Vahue

Caroline is an Online Marketing Specialist at Sixth City Marketing and is originally from upstate New York. Her role is to execute online marketing strategies with our content marketing team and staying on top of the latest industry trends.

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