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Example: Show actor paths using flows

A flow represents the path of actions taken by your actors. You can view the discovery paths of all actors simultaneously, and study the events of an individual path. You can also analyze a sequence of events for a particular actor at a granular level. Flows let you track trends and project user behaviors over time.

Goal

This article demonstrates how to create a flow showing users who completed a set of steps over a specified period of time. This article then shows how to use the flow to show actor paths and determine:

  • the events leading up to success,
  • the events leading up to failure, and
  • the steps completed by a single segment.

Creating a flow

Among their many uses, flows help you analyze actor engagement, conversion, and path discovery. This section demonstrates how to create a flow that shows the paths for users who purchased a movie. 

To create a basic flow, do the following:
  1. In the Interana UI, click Data in the left navigation bar.
  2. Click the Flows tab.
    navigate_to_flows.png
  3. Choose a dataset from the dropdown list at the top of the window. We chose the movies dataset for our example. The options available to you will reflect your data.
  4. In the top right corner of the window, click +New Flow.
  5. Enter a name for the flow at the top of the page.
  6. In the Definition tab, select an Actor from the drop-down list. We chose user for our example.
  7. Enter a descriptive name for Step 1 and select a filter from the drop-down menu. We entered Anything for the name and accepted the default filter all events

Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 1.26.37 PM.png

  1. Enter a descriptive name for Step 2 and select the appropriate filter options from the dropdown lists. We entered Purchase Movie and click on all events to select events with action that matches purchase_movie. See Understand flow definition conditions in the User's Guide for more information.

Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 10.55.44 AM.png

  1. Optional: Add another step, entering a name, and selecting filter options.
  2. To end the flow, click the minus sign next to the last, empty step, and scroll down to Global Rules.
    1. Select end flow from inactivity and enter or select a time interval.
      Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 1.58.15 PM.png
    2. Enter or select an end flow for max total time option. The selections for our example are shown in the following screenshot.
      Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 2.02.32 PM.png
  3. Specify Filtered to values or accept all events as we did for our example.
  4. Click GO to generate the flow. The results appear in the window on the right. We received the following results for our flow.
    unsplit_flow.png
    Note that the gray segment denotes the population that dropped off. These are flow instances that satisfied one of the flow end conditions (inactivity of 30 minutes or max total time of 1 week) before they were able to reach the "Purchase movie" step. It follows that only the smaller line on the bottom denotes the population that purchased a movie.
  5. Optional: Split by an additional quantity to compare user paths leading to a movie purchase. In the results pane, next to Split by Flow Path, click + to access the dropdown. In our example, we select action.
    split_by_flow_path_and_action.png

Showing actor paths

Prerequisite: Successfully create a flow to generate results.

To analyze flow results, do the following:

  1. Navigate to a flow visualization. In Create a flow, we generated the following Sankey diagram based on a flow.

split_by_flow_path_and_action.png

  1. Hover the cursor over a path to view its details in a tooltip. 

2.1_Flow-PathAnalysis2.png

  1. Hover the cursor over a vertical bar for a step, to view the details for that step.

2.1_FlowResults_StepHover2.png
The dropoff for a step (that is, the population of flow instances that did not reach the step) is indicated by a gray bar. The population that did reach the step is indicated by a colored bar. The smaller population, whether unsuccessful or successful at reaching the step, is displayed on the bottom.

This example demonstrates how to drill into a flow and analyze user engagement that ends with conversion, or navigating away from the site. Our example measures actors who complete a purchase.

Prerequisite: Successfully create a flow to generate results.

Modifying a flow

  1. For a granular view of events occurring after a movie purchase, open the flow in Explore as follows:
    1. Click Explore in the left menu bar.
    2. In the first line of the query, click events and select the flow from the dropdown menu. If you don't see the flow in the data dropdown, check that the correct data table is selected at the top left of the page.
      open_flow_in_explore.png
    3. Make sure that the Sankey view icon at the top center of the page is selected.
    4. Reapply any additional split by parameters to the default split by Flow Path. In our example, we also split by action.
    5. Click GO.
  2. Click on a successful step (marked by a colored vertical bar) in the flow diagram and choose See events immediately after this state from the list. For the example of our movie purchase flow, performing this action lets us see the five events that happen immediately after each user's first purchase_movie within the flow.
    select_events_after.png
    The diagram filters to the events after this state and splits by flow path. We received the following results for our example flow.
    events_after.png
  3. Hover the cursor over a flow path to view details for that specific path.
    highligh_path.png

 

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