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Intro to Sessions


A Session is a sequence of consecutive events associated with a single actor. A session is typically identified in one of these ways:

  • All events that occur during a period of activity bounded by periods of inactivity
  • All events that occur between a “begin session” event

The biggest use case and benefit of our sessions is that they are read time calculations, which allows you to do retroactive session creation and analysis. This means you don't need to generate a session ID during event collection, although you certainly can still do that. You can create different session definitions per platform or create a single session across platforms. Interana allows you to specify the end of a session based on two criteria: inactivity and restart events.  Inactivity is required and restart events are optional. Here is an example of a session:

Like all other named expression builders, you can also apply arbitrary filters. 

Session metrics

When you create a session, Interana automatically generates four metrics that you can use for analysis:

  • Session ID (Natalie's Session): this is a unique identifier per session.
  • Session Duration (Natalie's Session.duration): the time elapsed in each session, from start to end.
  • Session Events Count (Natalie's Session.event_count): a count of events per session (equivalent to creating a per-session metric of Count Events).
  • Time in Session (username.time_in_session.Natalie's Session): the sum of time elapsed in each session per user (or actor).

By default, metrics will be computed for all sessions (session duration, and session event count). In addition, you can create custom, per-session metrics to measure specific activity during each session.

Custom session metrics

Custom session metrics are metrics you can create to apply to events which occur during a particular session. 

For example:

  • Number of purchases users made within their first login session.
  • Unique webpages users went to in sessions which last more than 1 hour.
  • How many error messages the user saw during their second attempted registration session.

Interana displays session metrics as  session  <metric name> in lists.

Automatic per-session metrics

Per-session metrics are a way to measure how may times an actor did a thing within one session.

Interana automatically creates two metrics for every session: a duration metric and an event_count metric. The duration metric is session_name.duration, and the event_count metric session_name.event_count

Interana displays auto session metrics as   session  <session_name>.duration and  session  <session_name>.event_count  in lists. 

Per-session metrics are an extremely powerful feature that allows you to treat your newly created Sessions as actors in our system. This means you can ask questions about what happens during these sessions, and calculate things on a per-session basis. Here is an example of a session metric:

Similar to the auto-generated session metrics, these per-session metrics also become available to query in Interana.

Based on the example above, you could select the per-session metric Natalie's Session.Unique Queries Per Session when building a query:

Working with sessions

See Sessions in the Live Demo Guide and Working with sessions for examples of using sessions in Interana.

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