Google Analytics 4 Today’s Data or Real-time reporting: that’s possible! 

With Universal Analytics, you could check your website today’s stats. Google kindly asked you to migrate to Google Analytics 4. You migrated and arrived at the situation that Google Analytics 4 doesn’t show today’s stats, or even if the default reports show some stats, they don’t represent the actual situation. Moreover, the GA4 Explore feature allows us to see the data until yesterday. 

If everything sounds familiar to you, you are on the right article. I dedicated this article to talking about how to get today’s stats.

If it’s not and you are searching for an article about the Realtime report accessible in Google Analytics 4, you can read my article about “GA4 Realtime report”. 

Problem: GA4 Today’s Data isn’t accessible.

As I mentioned above, you see that GA4 doesn’t show accurate data that represents today’s situation. The main reason is GA4 data freshness. It’s not a bug with your code installation. 

If the GA4 Realtime report requires 1 minute to process your website data, it shows the data about the last 30 minutes.  Other default reports can require up to 48 hours, which is often the case. For instance, I can see my full yesterday’s data only at 3-5 pm, which means that I can’t check weekly metrics on Monday because, on Monday morning, GA4 doesn’t process last week’s data yet. 

That makes us feel that Google Analytics 4 is not the right tool for us. However, there is a solution. Let me present it to you. 

Solution: How to see today’s GA4 data

The primary solution is to integrate Google Analytics 4 with BigQuery. When you set up the integration, you should select the streaming frequency. 

Enable BigQuery Streaming Integration in GA4

You will incur additional BigQuery costs for using streaming export at the rate of $0.05 per gigabyte of data. 1 gigabyte equates to approximately 600,000 Google Analytics events, though that number will vary depending on event size. You can learn more about the costs here.

Your website data will arrive in BigQuery within 5 minutes after it’s received by Google Analytics 4, and you can build real-time reports and adjust your marketing activity based on that.

There is a thing, though, that you should keep in mind. Information about acquisition channels such as source, medium, and campaign won’t be available. You will need to wait 24+ hours. The main reason is that Google accumulates data from multiple sources to attribute traffic correctly.

All in all, this integration will allow you to build reports in Google Data Studio (Looker Studio) and track if your website works well. 

Wrapping Up

GA4 doesn’t show the total amount of today’s data due to data freshness. If you want to see this data, you can integrate GA4 with BigQuery and use the streaming method. This way, you will be able to enjoy real-time reporting. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get today’s data from Google Analytics 4?

To see today’s data in GA4, you should integrate it with BigQuery and use the streaming frequency method. After that, you can build reports using Looker Studio. 

Why do I not see today’s data in Google Analytics 4?

You can see it due to GA4 data freshness policy. To see today’s data in GA4, you should integrate it with BigQuery and use the streaming frequency method.

3 Replies to “Google Analytics 4 Today’s Data or Real-time reporting: that’s possible! ”

  1. Hi Ihar, thanks for the post. The odd/frustrating thing is that I’m still seeing all ‘Today’ data when I toggle back to previous GA version (which thankfully is still available), but NOT seeing ‘Today’ data in GA4. But I am seeing ‘Realtime’ data in GA4 which implies GA4 is operating in realtime. Also ‘Today’ has appeared on misc days in GA4, then disappears. Do you know if this is just bugginess in GA4 that may resolve itself? Or are you saying that in this new GA4 era, BigQuery is required if you want real-time ‘Today’ data?

    1. Hi Julian,

      Thank you for the question!
      You can’t see the full today’s data in GA4, and it’s how GA4 works. It requires up to 24 hours to process the data (website or app) successfully.

      Of course, most companies and people migrating from UA to GA4 don’t like it. There are two solutions to overcome this:
      1. Link GA4 with BigQuery and enable “Streaming” frequency
      2. Use GA4 Real Time Reporting API and store data somewhere (BigQuery, Google Sheets, etc.)

      I recommend the first solution because BigQuery data is updated automatically with the final data after GA4 processes the data successfully and doesn’t require so much technical knowledge as the second one.

      Best regards,

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