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CONTENTdm release notes, December 2022


Release Date: December 15, 2022


This release of CONTENTdm adds support for Google Analytics 4.

Google has announced its next generation of analytics, Google Analytics 4; and the end of life of its predecessor Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. CONTENTdm has been supporting Universal Analytics (UA) and will continue to support it until its EOL date. This release adds support for Google Analytics 4 (GA4). So you can use either or both UA and GA4 to track your website activities until July 2023, and then only GA4 after that.

Google Analytics 4

How to add to your site?

After the installation, it’ll be possible to track with either or both Universal Analytics (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). You can include Tracker IDs of one or both Google Analytics versions in your Website Configuration Tool to do so.

You'll need to first create a property in your Google Analytics account (create a property if you already have UA, create a property if you don't have UA) and have the Tracking ID ready (called "measurement ID" in GA4, and starts with the letter "G-". Note that it's not the property ID, but the tracking ID/measurement ID.)

  1. Sign in to the CONTENTdm Website Configuration Tool.
  2. Go to Global Settings > Analytics & SEO > Google Analytics. 
  3. If you are already tracking your site activities in UA, the Google Analytics Tracker ID field should contain a Tracker ID starting with “UA-”:
  4. To track in both UA and GA4, you add your GA4 Tracker ID (starts with “G-“) with a comma to separate them (no space in between):
  5. Or if you only want to track in GA4, you can add a single GA4 Tracker ID:
  6. Click "Save" and then "Publish". 

You should see Realtime data soon after; but according to Google, some reports can take 24-48 hours to show up.

Advanced features

GA4 collects both website and app data and uses event-based data instead of session-based. Once you add GA4 tracking to your website, you can start to use the Realtime data and some of the standard reports to view/analyze your data; but you can also set up custom dimensions to track additional data CONTENTdm supports so that you can make more sense out of the data collected.

For example, to understand how the "Download" function is used, only track how often the "Download" button is clicked doesn't help much. Instead, knowing which items users are downloading will be much better. In GA4, the "download" clicking event has event parameters attached to it, such as collection_id, item_id, and download label, which will tell you more information about the downloads. You need to set up these event parameters with the specific events to create custom dimensions. After that, you can use these custom dimensions to generate custom reports to help you visualize your analytics data.

Additional resources

To read more about how to use Google Analytics 4 with CONTENTdm, please see Use Google Analytics 4 in CONTENTdm.

To see a brief introduction and demo for GA4 support in CONTENTdm, watch the December CONTENTdm Office Hours recording here: