Learning Center

Unlocking the Future of Data with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) | Arctic Leaf

By: Catie Moyer, Marketing Associate | Feb 9, 2023 | 3 Minute Read

This new year begins with a brand new entry in our discussion series - OnTap with Arctic Leaf!

With every OnTap discussion, we invite e-commerce merchants and industry leaders to have open, fun, and honest conversations. This series promises to deliver expert tips, tricks, and strategies around the most relevant industry topics from a panel of e-commerce heavyweights!

During our first discussion of 2023, attendees heard from host Josh Garellek, Co-Founder & CEO of Arctic Leaf, our internal GA4-certified specialist, Jason Hackenberry, Client Success Manager at Arctic Leaf, and marketing specialist, Glenn Schmelzle, Founder & Chief Data Analyst of Marketing What’s New. 

Those who joined us heard from analytics experts about the outlook of big data in a privacy-first, cookieless future and how it affects your business analytics. We discussed how Google Analytics 4 uses machine learning to impact big data collection and BigQuery integration from the Google cloud platform. Our unique panel of experts also covered:

bullet-point-1  How GA4 works. 
bullet-point-1  The differences between free and paid business analytics services.
bullet-point-1  The benefits of Google Analytics 4 for your organization.
bullet-point-1  And more...

If you want to gain important insights and hear interesting discoveries from the live attendee Q&A, watch the full discussion for yourself below! 


Here are the top 3 questions that were asked by attendees and the answers from our experts!

Question: Have you seen similarities between Universal Analytics' custom events and GA4’s event-based structure?

Answer: The data modeling between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 is completely different. Where UA records Users + Sessions + Hits and from there you can create a custom event, GA4 is entirely event-based and the big data will be much more granular. 


Question: Google has mentioned they’ve had issues with WordPress and that advanced tracking conversions can help, but it feels impossible to implement without a computer science degree. What should small businesses do?

Answer: The good news is you don't need a panel of data scientists to figure it out. Just know that GA4 is actively being updated, so there is still a level of complexity in order to accurately install and operate. The best thing is to reach out to a specialist (like us!) who can help you determine the best course of action. 


Question: We’ve used Universal Analytics to configure website goals and audiences for years. Is our only option to recreate those in GA4 manually?

Answer: What we used to call 'goals' are now called 'conversion events' in GA4. Google offers a migration tool to support this, but we've heard less than stellar reviews. It will only migrate 'destination' and 'event' goals. At this time, the best course of action is manually re-creating these events in GA4. Though this might be more work, it allows you to audit your current strategy and start with a clean slate.

Looking for GA4 implementation and strategy directly from our experts? Contact us here for a quote!

To learn a little bit more about our speakers, keep reading!


From the beginning, Josh Garellek has been passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and building strong partnerships. After starting an independent gaming studio, he fused his passions together in a merger that gave life to the full-service e-commerce agency Arctic Leaf is today. As a recipient of Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2019, and a finalist for Top Business Owner in the 2020 Ottawa Awards, Josh has found success through expert innovation, creative marketing, and sales strategies.


Jason Hackenberry Headshot - Background

With over 10 years of experience in e-commerce, visual merchandising, and operations, Jason Hackenberry is responsible for the strategic commitment to deliver qualitative and quantitative success to online merchants. With 700+ Arctic Leaf site launches and growing, Jason plays an integral role in analyzing growth data and certifying results.





Glenn Schmelzle spent two decades in B2B organizations watching them waste marketing dollars. He got in early on using the Internet for marketing and helped bring in more leads, but it still troubled Glenn to see other businesses struggle to fill their funnels. In 2013, he started the Marketing What’s New agency to help demand generation teams have a net-positive profit contribution.




Now that you're all caught up, we'd love for you to join us for future discussions! Simply click here and we'll make sure to add you to our early registration list.

As always, feel free to reach out to marketing@arcticleaf.io if you have any questions about anything we covered in this discussion. We hope to see you soon!