Will GA4 Data Caps in Looker Studio Be a Problem?

Connecting Looker Studio with GA4 may have certain limitations, but is that a good reason to change it?

Video Transcript:

Tricia: My question is pretty much about GA4 and Looker, which was formerly Google Data Studio.

David: Right.

Tricia: So, I know we’ve talked a little bit about Looker Studio in GA4, about how their communication isn’t quite what Google Data Studio used to be with Universal. And basically, I want to hear your thoughts on that, if that should be a concern right now or…

David: Yeah. The way you phrased it in the question was, should we be looking for another alternative to Looker Studio if there are going to be data caps on using GA4 with Looker Studio?

Tricia: Yeah.

David: So, I had heard of this rumor, and I had to do a little research.

Tricia: Okay.

David: And I found this, which is the announcement hidden. Hey, look at all these wonderful things from Looker. Oh, by the way, in other news, reports visualize our subject to API quotas. Alright. So, now this, I think, is key: quota should only affect highly trafficked reports.

Tricia: Okay.

David: If you do experience related errors, there’s a troubleshooting guide. So, what does a highly trafficked report mean? Well, this is what a highly trafficked report means: 25,000 tokens a day.

Tricia: Okay.

Dave: Oh, per day.

David: I don’t know what a token means. They don’t define it on this page. So, I don’t know how this exactly will work out. But 25,000 a day? Is that how many times Looker Studio pulls it? Looker Studio isn’t pulling it every day. It’s only pulling when you view it.

Tricia: Yeah, when you do the report. Yeah.

David: So, if you’re using a daily report…

Tricia: Yeah.

David: I suggest for a lot of small clients…

Tricia: For small clients, it sounds to me like it’s not an issue. It’s only when you’re getting into higher-trafficked sites. Yeah.

David: And that is key. Because for my smaller clients, I use the Looker Studio report. But my bigger clients want much more in-depth and specific reporting. And so, Looker Studio just isn’t satisfactory for them. So, I have to go beyond it already. So, what this might affect is in Curious Ants, we’ve got the Troubleshooting report that we’re using every week to see if there are problems.

Tricia: Can you copy that URL for us in the chat?

David: Yeah. But according to the URL in the release, you will actually get an error message, and it’ll cut you off at exactly 25,000. So, all of a sudden, all your reports, or whatever 25,000 tokens are, will say you’ve exceeded your limit. I guess my advice is I wouldn’t worry about it until it comes up.

Tricia: Yeah, yeah. And I think, especially with me, my clients are local SEO clients. So, they’re all locally based, but they don’t have the huge traffic that possibly a business that has clients all over has unless there is something in the news that brings people to them. So, I guess that would be something to just be aware of.

David: Right. And frankly, what a wonderful problem to have.

Tricia: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

David: Still annoying.

Tricia: Yeah.

David: And ultimately, our goal would be to get a lot of data points. So, you know, I’m going to keep an eye on this. I do have this report running monthly for all my clients, no matter how big they are, not all my clients receive it, but I do have it running. So, I should be able to quickly identify the threshold. I’ve got a couple of clients that do a pretty good amount of traffic, and I’d be curious to see if they’re going to hit this.

Tricia: Yeah.

David: I have had a 360 client before, and that’s the Analytics 360 property where you have to upgrade to get past the limit. They wanted it for other reasons besides the traffic. So, I guess the summary is to keep an eye on it, but if you get a notice, then…

Tricia: Yeah.

David: But I think the real question, and this is probably because this is API kind of stuff, is that they don’t define here what a token would entail.

Tricia: Yeah. Okay.

David: So, that is the key. 25,000 daily visits to a website? Or 25,000… If I queried the traffic to an entire site, is that one token? Or is a token for each visitor?

Tricia: Yeah.

David: So, being that I’m not really familiar with using APIs with Google, I can’t weigh in. But we’re going to notice.

Tricia: Okay.

David: It should be active now because this report was from November.

Tricia:  November. Yeah.

David: The fact that I haven’t seen this in any reports yet suggests that even the bigger clients of mine aren’t having an issue with it. Yeah, but again, there will be an error. And you could go to Troubleshooting Guide. And this is what it’ll look like and what you can do about it.


Have a question about this process? Ask it here: