Marta García

Marta García

Data Analytics Consultant
Related topics: Analytics GA4 Subproperties

Sub-properties of GA4: what they are and when to use them

18 October 2022
2 min

One of the unique features recently released by Google Analytics 4 is sub-properties. This feature is unique to GA4 360. It allows organizations to break down data into more granular chunks, for example, into separate business units or brands. They are perfect for organizations that want to partition their data and assign highly customized permissions. However, there are several essential issues to consider before implementing sub-properties.

Why use sub-properties?

A sub-property is an advanced data management feature. Let’s say you work in a large and complex organization where data should not be shared beyond certain teams or work groups. This feature can ensure that people only see the data that is relevant to them. At the same time, you retain the ability to generate reports on a parent property.

We recommend analyzing each case to see if more granular data control is really needed. If it is, then it makes sense to invest in sub-properties. It’s important to note that sub-properties do not replace Views in Analytics.

How much do GA4 sub-properties cost?

Sub-properties are not a free feature. Even for businesses with 360 licenses, there is an additional data cost. That is, there is a cost per event equal to half the event cost of the source property. This is in accordance with the terms of your 360 contract.

So because they cost extra, you need to research and analyze where those sub-properties are really needed and where this feature may be frivolous.

Again: we do not recommend using it as the replacement for Views in Universal Analytics.

What alternatives are there to sub-properties?

If what you need to do is replace Views, there are two options:

  • Use filters and/or segments in GA4: An exploration using filters can be easily and quickly created to achieve the same goal as Views in UA. Also, if you want more detailed information you can use segments in addition to filters.
  • Google BigQuery: This is another option for cases in which filters and segmentation are not enough, and you need reports of more complex features. Since there is native integration of GA4 and BigQuery, you will get a variety of more advanced solutions that BigQuery offers, such as data set filtering, segmentations based on sequences or audiences, and data modeling.

Both alternatives will likely help you save on your GA4 costs, but that’s not to say you won’t ever use sub-properties. This is because it’s a feature most organizations will need to ensure proper access (or lack of access) to data by different teams.

Haven’t upgraded to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) yet? Our team of experts can help you in this generational change of Analytics so that your organization takes full advantage of its data’s potential while respecting its users’ privacy. We’re waiting for you! 🚀

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