Featured image showing GA360 vs. GA4 logos

GA360 vs GA4: Key Differences and Challenges


While the standard Universal Analytics (UA) was sunset for free users in July 2023, Google Analytics 360 (GA360) users could postpone the switch to GA4 for another 12 months. But time is running out. As July is rapidly approaching, GA360 customers need to prepare for the switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) or another solution. 

This comparison post will help you understand the differences between GA360 vs. GA4. We’ll dive beneath the surface, examining each solution’s privacy implications and their usability, features, new metrics and measurement methods.

What is Google Analytics 4 (Standard)?

GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, succeeding Universal Analytics. It was designed to address privacy issues with Universal Analytics, which made compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR difficult.

It completely replaced Universal Analytics for free users in July 2023. GA4 Standard features many differences from the original UA, including:

  • Tracking and analysis are now events-based.
  • Insights are primarily powered by machine learning. (There are fewer reports and manual analysis tools).
  • Many users find the user interface to be too complex compared to Universal Analytics.

The new tracking, reports and metrics already make GA4 feel like a completely different web analytics platform. The user interface itself also includes notable changes in navigation and implementation. These changes make the transition hard for experienced analysts and digital marketers alike. 

For a more in-depth look at the differences, read our comparison of Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics.

What is Google Analytics 360

Google Analytics 360 is a paid version of Google Analytics, mostly aimed at enterprises that need to analyse a large amount of data.

It significantly increases standard limits on data collection, sampling and processing. It also improves data granularity with more custom events and dimensions.

Transitioning from Universal Analytics 360 to GA4 360

You may still use the Universal Analytics tag and interface if you’ve been a Google Analytics 360 customer for multiple years. However, access to Universal Analytics 360 will be discontinued on July 1, 2024. Unlike the initial UA sunset (free version), you won’t be able to access the interface or your data after that, so it will be deleted.

That means you will have to adapt to the new GA4 user interface, reports and metrics before the sunset or find an alternative solution.

What is the difference between GA4 360 and free GA4?

The key differences between GA4 360 and free GA4 are higher data limits, enterprise support, uptime guarantees and more robust administrative controls.

Diagram of the key differences between GA360 and GA4

GA4 offers most of the same features across the paid and free versions, but there are certain limits on data sampling, data processing and integrations. With the free version, you also can’t define as detailed events using event parameters as you can with GA4 360.

Higher data collection, accuracy, storage and processing limits

The biggest difference that GA4 360 brings to the table is more oomph in data collection, accuracy and analysis.

You can collect more specific data (with 100 event parameters instead of 25 for custom metrics). GA4 360 lets you divide users using more custom dimensions based on events or user characteristics. Instead of 50 per property, you get up to 125 per property.

And with up to 400 custom audiences, 360 is better for companies that heavily segment their users. More audiences, events and metrics per property mean more detailed insights.

Sampling limits are also of a completely different scale. The max sample size in GA4 360 is 100x the free version of GA4, with up to 1 billion events per query. This makes analysis a lot more accurate for high-volume users. A slice of 10 million events is hardly representative if you have 200 million monthly events.

Finally, GA4 360 lets you store all of that data for longer (up to 50 months vs up to 14 months). While new privacy regulations demand that you store user data only for the shortest time possible, website analytics data is often used for year-over-year analysis.

Enterprise-grade support and uptime guarantees

Because GA360 users are generally enterprises, Google offers service-level agreements for uptime and technical support response times.

  • Tracking: 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Reporting: 99% uptime guarantee
  • Data processing: within 4 hours at a 98% uptime guarantee

The free version of GA4 includes no such guarantees and limited access to professional support in the first place.


GA4 360 increases limits for BigQuery and Google Ads Manager exports.

Table showing integration differences between GA4 and Analytics 360

The standard limits in the free version are 1 million events per day to BigQuery. In GA4 360, this is increased to billions of events per day. You also get up to 400 audiences for Search Ads 360 instead of the 100 limit in standard GA4.

Roll-up analytics for agencies and enterprises

If you manage a wide range of digital properties, checking each one separately isn’t very effective. You can export the data into a tool like Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio), but this requires extra work.

With GA360, you can create “roll-up properties” to analyse data from multiple properties in the same space. It’s the best way to analyse larger trends and patterns across sites and apps.

Administration and user access controls

Beyond roll-up reporting, the other unique “advanced features” found in GA360 are related to administration and user access controls.

Table Showing administrative feature differences between GA4 and Analytics 360

First, GA360 lets you create custom user roles, giving different access levels to different properties. Sub-properties and roll-up properties are also useful tools for data governance purposes. They make it easier to limit access for specific analysts to the area they’re directly working on.

You can also design custom reports for specific roles and employees based on their access levels.


While GA4 is free, Google Analytics 360 is priced based on your traffic volume. 

With the introduction of GA4, Google implemented a revised pricing model. For GA4 360, pricing typically begins at USD $50,000/year which covers up to 25 million events per month. Beyond this limit, costs increase based on data usage, scaling accordingly.

What’s not different: the interface, metrics, reports and basic features

GA4 360 is the same analytics tool as the free version of GA4, with higher usage limits and a few enterprise features. You get more advanced tracking capabilities and more accurate analysis in the same GA4 packaging.

If you already use and love GA4 but need to process more data, that’s great news. But if you’re using UA 360 and are hesitant to switch to the new interface, not so much. 

Making the transition from UA to GA4 isn’t easy. Transferring the data means you need to figure out how to work with the API or use Google BigQuery.

Plus, you have to deal with new metrics, reports and a new interface. For example, you don’t get to keep your custom funnel reports. You need to use “funnel explorations.”

Going from UA to GA4 can feel like starting from scratch in a completely new web analytics tool.

Which version of Google Analytics 4 is right for you?

Standard GA4 is a cost-effective web analytics option, but it’s not without its problems:

  • If you’re used to the UA interface, it feels clunky and difficult to analyse.
  • Data sampling is prevalent in the free version, leading to inaccuracies that can negatively affect decision-making and performance.

And that’s just scratching the surface of common GA4 issues.

Google Analytics 4 360 is a more reliable web analytics solution for enterprises. However, it suffers from many issues that made the GA4 transition painful for many free UA users last year.

  • You need to rebuild reports and adjust to the new complex interface.
  • To transfer historical data, you must use spreadsheets, the API, or BigQuery.

You will still lose some of the data due to changes to the metrics and reporting.

What if neither option is right for you? Key considerations for choosing a Google Analytics alternative

Despite what Google would like you to think, GA4 isn’t the only option for website analytics in 2024 — far from it. For companies that are used to UA 360, the right alternative can offer unique benefits to your company.

Privacy regulations and future-proofing your analytics and marketing

Although less flagrant than UA, GA4 is still in murky waters regarding compliance with GDPR and other privacy regulations. 

And the issue isn’t just that you can get fined (which is bad enough). As part of a ruling, you may be ordered to change your analytics platform and protocol, which can completely disrupt your marketing workflow.

When most marketing teams rely on web analytics to judge the ROI of their campaigns, this can be catastrophic. You may even have to pause campaigns as your team makes the adjustments.

Avoid this risk completely by going with a privacy-friendly alternative.

Features beyond basic web analytics

To understand your users, you need to look at more than just events and conversions.

That’s why some web analytics solutions have built-in behavioural analytics tools. Features like heatmaps (a visual pattern of popular clicks, scrolling and cursor movement) can help you understand how users interact with specific pages.

Matomo's heatmaps feature

Matomo allows you to consolidate behavioural analytics and regular web analytics into a single platform. You don’t need separate tools and subscriptions for heatmaps, session recordings, from analytics, media analytics and A/B testing. You can do all of this with Matomo.

With insights about visits, sales, conversions, and usability in the same place, it’s a lot easier to improve your website.

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Usability and familiar metrics

The move to event tracking means new metrics, reports and tools. So, if you’re used to Universal Analytics, it can be tricky to transition to GA4. 

But there’s no need to start from zero, learning to work with a brand-new interface. Many competing web analytics platforms offer familiar reports and metrics — ones your team has gotten used to. This will help you speed up the time to value with a shorter learning curve.

Why Matomo is a better option than GA4 360 for UA 360 users

Matomo offers privacy-friendly tracking, built from the ground up to comply with regulations — including IP anonymisation and DoNotTrack settings. You also get 100% ownership of the data, which means we will never use your data for our own profit (unlike Google and other data giants).

This is a big deal, as breaking GDPR rules can lead to fines of up to 4% of your annual revenue. At the same time, you’ll also future-proof your marketing workflow by choosing a web analytics provider built with privacy regulations in mind.

Plus, for legacy UA 360 users, the Matomo interface will also feel a lot more intuitive and familiar. Matomo also provides marketing attribution models you know, like first click, which GA4 has removed.

Finally, you can access various behavioural analytics tools in a single platform — heatmaps, session recordings, form analytics, A/B testing and more. That means you don’t need to pay for separate solutions for conversion rate optimisation efforts.

And the transition is smooth. Matomo lets you import Universal Analytics data and offers ready-made Google Ads integration and Looker Studio Connector.

Join over 1 million websites that choose Matomo as their web analytics solution. Try it free for a 21-days. No credit card required.

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A powerful web analytics platform that gives you and your business 100% data ownership and user privacy protection.

No credit card required.

Free forever.