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GA4 Data Import Feature Enhancement Clarified

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Last week GA4 announced the enhancement of the Data Import feature in GA4. However, GA4 did not provide details on the impact of this feature. In this post, I will share what I saw based on my test.

But before we see the impact of this feature, let’s take a quick look at the Data Import Feature in GA4. Note: I am not going into the details of setting up an import. But if you want to learn more about this feature, reply to his email.

The data Import Feature in GA4 allows you to import Data from external sources such as your CRM system, and append it to analytics data collected by GA4.

Suppose you have a GA4 Audience called “Leads” based on a user property called user_role with a value of “leads”. This user property gets assigned when a user fills out a lead form on your site. From the day you create that audience group, you will start adding users to that group when they fill out a form.

However, if you had users in your database who had filled out the forms before the creation of that audience group then you will need to import the data about those users to include them in the audience group.

Previously even after the data import, the users were only added to the audience group after they visited the site/app and did some activity.

Now, with the last GA4 enhancement, when you upload the users that match the criteria of an audience then they are immediately added to the GA4 audience. You don’t need to wait for them to become active on the website or app to be added to the audience group.

So in this case, if you import a user with the user property of “user_role” with a value of "lead” then that user is immediately added to the audience called “Leads”.

But how does it impact your reports? This is something that the GA4 release did not clarify, So below is what I observed.

1. Users do get assigned to appropriate audience groups immediately. so you will see audience membership increase in GA4 reports. See the spike that happened when I imported the data.

2. You can’t analyze historical behavioral data in GA4 using the audience for these users, who were added to the audience based on imported data. The data is only available going forward, which means the user has to come back to the site and engage in some activity for you to use the data for analysis.

3. You will have these newly added used in Google Ads for targeting but they are not immediately available. They are available within the next 24-48 hours.

I would love to hear what you found out about this feature.

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