This article is about Google Analytics 4 properties. If you're using a Universal Analytics property, refer to the Universal Analytics section of this help center.

[GA4] Structure your Analytics account

This article is for website and/or app owners who want to learn how to organize properties and data streams in their account.
In this article:

Small setups

For a business with one website, set up an Analytics account that contains a Google Analytics 4 property with

  • 1 web data stream

For a business with one mobile-app game, set up an Analytics account that contains a Google Analytics 4 property with

  • 1 app data stream for the Android game
  • 1 app data stream for the iOS game
  • 1 web data stream for the supporting website if there is one (e.g., marketing site)

Larger setups

To decide on the account structure for a larger business (e.g., multi-national, multi-brand), it's helpful to ask the following questions.

Account

Think of an account as a collection of properties whose data is owned by a single legal entity and is governed by region-specific terms of service.

Is it important that the data from each region is owned by a distinct legal entity within that region?

  • Yes. Create multiple accounts, one for each region.
  • No. Create one account in the region that houses your company headquarters.

Property

A property represents the data for one logical user base (e.g., users of a single cross-platform application), and is the most granular level at which Analytics processes data. A property is also the level of the Analytics account hierarchy at which you create integrations with other products (e.g., Google Ads).

Is the data you collect related to a single logical user base? When you link Analytics to other products, do you want to share that entire body of data with each product?

  • Yes. Create one property.
  • No. Create a separate property for each logical user base.

Data stream

A data stream is the source of data from an app or website. A data stream is also the level at which you can control data-collection features via the Firebase SDK or the global site tag.

  • App data stream: You can have one data stream for each combination of app-package name and platform.
  • Web data stream: In most cases, you should use a single web data stream to measure the web user journey. To ensure consistent user and session reporting for web journeys that span domains, use a single web data stream combined with cross domain measurement.

Data filters and roll-ups

Do you need to filter data so that you can restrict specific data to specific members of your organization? Do you need to roll up data from multiple properties into a single property?

  • Yes. Google Analytics 4 properties do not currently support reporting views or Roll-Up Properties.
  • No. You're all set.

Examples

Geographically distributed ecommerce retailer selling products via web and app

 

This umbrella corporation has multiple geographic regions and each region is its own business entity. Each region has its own website, marketing team, and Google Ads account. The umbrella corporation also has an app (available for iOS and Android).

Business requirements

The account structure needs to address the following requirements:

  • The umbrella corporation needs to have a global view of data from all business entities.
  • There is no need for each business entity to have legal ownership of its data.
  • Each business entity wants to understand how the user journey moves across the website and app.
  • Each business entity needs to compartmentalize its data.
  • The marketing team for each business entity uses the Google Ads - Analytics link to create and share audiences, and uses the audiences for bidding in Google Ads.

Account structure

Principles applied
  • Account: One account. Data is owned by a single legal entity.
  • Property: One property for a single logical user base.
  • Data streams: One data stream for the website. One data stream for each version of the app.
Structure Rationale

One Analytics account.

If there's an existing Analytics account, there's no need to create a new one.

The umbrella corporation has legal ownership of the data for all business entities.

One Google Analytics 4 property.

A single property with data streams for each website and each app implementation makes all the data available for inclusion in the same reports. You can combine data for sites and apps as necessary to see how users journey between the two. The umbrella corporation has a unified view of all data, and can compare data between different business entities.

One data stream combining all regional business entity websites.

Use one web data stream for multiple domains.

One Firebase project for the Android and iOS implementations of the app. The Firebase project is linked to the Google Analytics 4 property.

One data stream each for the iOS and Android version of the app (i.e., two data streams).

A separate data stream for each app implementation makes it possible to isolate iOS vs Android data.

 

Each Google Ads account is linked to the property.

With each Google Ads account linked to the single  property, audiences from the property are available to each Google Ads account for bidding.

 

Global game developer with multiple games in Play Store and App Store

 

This business has one global brand website and a separate marketing site for each game title. It sells multiple game titles in the Play Store and App Store.

Business requirements

The account structure needs to address the following requirements:

  • Collect first-party data from websites and apps to create audiences and inform media buying.
  • A separate environment for development, staging, and production of each game.

Account structure

Principles applied
  • Account: One account. Data is owned by a single legal entity.
  • Property: One property for each logical user base (global-brand site; each game title's marketing site and app).
  • Data streams: One data stream for the global-brand website. One data stream for each marketing site, and one for each corresponding version of the app.
Structure Rationale

One Analytics account.

If there's an existing Analytics account, there's no need to create a new one.

Unifies properties under a single account owned by a single legal entity.

One Google Analytics 4 property for the global brand site, with one (web) data stream.

Separate measurement of the global brand site.

One Google Analytics 4 property for each game title’s marketing site and app. Each property has one (web) data stream, one iOS (app) data stream, and one Android (app) data stream.

Data from each marketing site and related app is collected in the same property.

Related site and app data is used to create audiences and inform media buying.

One Firebase project for each game. Each project is linked to the related property. Each Firebase project includes the development, staging, and production versions of the game.

A separate Firebase project for each game creates a separate environment for development, staging, and production of each game.

Optional: A separate Firebase project for each version of the game or for some combination of versions; for example one project for the development version, and another project for the staging and production versions.

You can further subdivide individual game environments by project, but this requires more properties if you want to measure the game version associated with that project.

 

National insurance company with multiple independent subsidiaries (life, health, homeowners, auto)

 

This business has one corporate website to provide information to clients and to generate leads that require offline interaction to finalize contracts (e.g., phone, mail, point-of-sale). Each subsidiary has its own website, a separate marketing team, and its own Google Ads account.

One subsidiary (auto) also has an app.

Business requirements

The account structure need to address the following requirements:

  • Data is owned by a single business entity in one location.
  • Data from the corporate site needs to be available for analysis to improve lead generation and content optimization.
  • Each subsidiary needs to compartmentalize its data in order for the related marketing team to create audiences, and track conversions associated with a single Google Ads account.

Account structure

Principles applied
  • Account: One account. Data is owned by a single legal entity.
  • Property: One property for each logical user base (corporate site; each subsidiary's site and app).
  • Data streams: One data stream for the corporate website. One data stream for each subsidiary site, and one for each corresponding version of the app.
Structure Rationale

One Analytics account.

If there's an existing Analytics account, there's no need to create a new one.

Data is owned by a single business entity in one location.

One Google Analytics 4 property with one (web) data stream for the corporate website.

A single property and data stream for the corporate website makes that data available for analysis to improve lead generation and content optimization.

For each subsidiary website:

One Google Analytics 4 property with one (web) data stream.

The auto-insurance subsidiary property also needs an (Android app) data stream.

A single property and data stream for each subsidiary site keeps each site's data separate from the others.

The auto-insurance subsidiary’s app and web data will be available in the same property.

One Firebase project for the auto-insurance subsidiary's Android app.

The Firebase project is linked to the auto-insurance subsidiary's property.

A Firebase project for the auto-insurance app creates a separate environment for app development.

Linking the Firebase project to the auto-insurance property makes the app and web data available in the same property.

The corresponding Google Ads accounts and subsidiary properties are linked.

With the Google Ads account for each subsidiary linked to the corresponding property, audiences from the properties are available in the relevant Google Ads accounts, and conversion data from the Google Ads accounts is available in the relevant Google Analytics 4 properties.

 

Educational institution/business

 

This organization has one website and one Google Ads account.

Business requirements

The account structure needs to address the following requirements:

  • Students review course offerings, register for courses, and perform and manage course work online.
  • The marketing team needs to be able to create audiences for remarketing and prospecting.
  • Analysts want to understand cross-device usage and whether there's a need for a mobile site or app.

Account structure

Principles applied
  • Account: One account. Data is owned by a single legal entity.
  • Property: One property for each logical user base (institutional site).
  • Data streams: One data stream for the institutional website.
Structure Rationale

One Analytics account.

If there's an existing Analytics account, there's no need to create a new one.

Data is owned by a single entity in one location.

One Google Analytics 4 property with one (web) data stream.

A single property makes the data for each aspect of the site available in one place.

The marketing team can create audiences from any cross section of site data.

Analysts can understand cross-device usage, and whether there's a need for a mobile site or app.

One Google Ads account linked to the Google Analytics 4 property.

The marketing team can export audiences to Google Ads for remarketing and prospecting.

 

Travel company with multiple brands operating in multiple countries

 

This company has multiple brands, each with a desktop website, a mobile site, and an app. Each brand has its own marketing team and advertising accounts.

Business requirements

The account structure needs to address the following requirements:

  • Data needs to be analyzed by country.
  • Each marketing team needs to build its own audiences and attribute conversions to its linked advertising accounts.

Account structure

Principles applied
  • Account: One account. Data is owned by a single legal entity.
  • Property: One property for each logical user base (corporate site; each brand's site and app).
  • Data streams: One data stream for the corporate website. One data stream for each brand site, and one for each corresponding version of the app.
Structure Rationale

One Analytics account.

If there's an existing Analytics account, there's no need to create a new one.

Data is owned by a single business entity.

One Google Analytics 4 property per brand, each with:

  • One (web) data stream for the brand’s website
  • One (app) data stream for each version of the brand’s app (Android, iOS)

One property per brand allows for:

  • Analysis by brand and country
  • Building audiences from a brand-specific and country-specific user base
  • Attributing conversions to the linked advertising accounts

Individual data streams for each platform allow for all-inclusive, comparative, or individual analysis of data, and for building platform-centric audiences.

The brand-specific Google Ads, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360 accounts are linked to the relevant properties.

Each marketing team needs to build its own audiences and attribute conversions to linked ads accounts.

 

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