Segmentation issues

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This article provides guidance and troubleshooting tips for when segments in Pendo aren’t working as expected. 

Product area: People > Segments (web, mobile)

Missing or incomplete data

You might find that you have missing or incomplete data when your segment criteria are too specific or your segment rules are not properly applied. Review your segment logic and rules to ensure you're capturing all the necessary data points.

Analytics don't match what I expected

Inconsistent results and or results that don't match your expectations typically emerge due to the way the segment rules were defined. Below are some common issues.

Account versus visitor data

A common cause of unexpected results is confusion between account and visitor data. Accounts and visitors represent different sources of data. Accounts represent groups of associated users, typically the company they belong to. Visitors represent individual users of your application and typically belong to an account.

Accounts and visitors can have parallel fields when you add segment rules, like First Visit and Last Visit. When creating a segment, check that you're selecting a field under the desired data type (Account Data or Visitor Data).


Using multiple "does not contain" rules with "OR"

Using multiple "does not contain" rules with "OR" can cause visitors to be excluded from the segment that you didn't intend to exclude. If you want to show a guide to most users except those from specific accounts, you must use AND rather than OR.

For example, if you wanted to exclude all Visitor IDs that contained either "Apples" or "Oranges", the following parameters wouldn't segment out either Apples or Oranges:

Visitor ID does not contain Apples 
This statement is saying to display the guide to everyone other than Apples, including Oranges.


Visitor ID does not contain Oranges
This statement is saying to display the guide to everyone other than Oranges, including Apples.

In the above example, Visitor IDs that contain "Apples" are allowed through because they don't contain "Oranges" and Visitor IDs that contain "Oranges" are allowed through because they don't contain "Apples".

To exclude both Visitor IDs containing Apples and Oranges, use AND instead:

Visitor ID does not contain Apples
Visitor ID does not contain Oranges

Visit the Pendo Academy for a video on Segment Logic (And, Or, Not). 

Segmenting by a boolean metadata field

Visitors who don't have a value for the metadata field are included in the "false" group for segments that evaluate metadata with the boolean datatype. If you see inconsistent or unexpected results, ensure that the boolean metadata field is consistently applied to all users and events that should be included in the segment.

Number of Eligible Visitors is different from what I expected

You can target a large number of known Visitor or Account IDs by uploading a .csv file containing the Visitor or Account IDs that you want to include or exclude from the segment. For more information, see the Segments article.

After you upload the file, Pendo shows the list of Eligible Visitors.


If the number of Eligible Visitors is different than expected, check that the format of the Visitor or Account IDs in the CSV file match the IDs in Pendo. Any formatting discrepancy (spacing, punctuation, or capitalization) can make a difference. If parent accounts are enabled for your subscription, check that the Account ID format in the CSV file matches the Account IDs in Pendo. For more information, see Managing multiple level accounts.

Additionally, only Visitor IDs with activity are included in the Eligible Visitors count. If you're pulling the IDs from another system, like Salesforce, Pendo might not have a record of them yet. This is especially likely with a new installation. When those users are identified by Pendo, they are added (or excluded) from the segment you've defined.

Filters are showing as "Unknown Segment"

If your filters are showing as "Unknown Segment", someone has deleted the segment currently set in Filters. This is indicated with the Unknown Segment label. Change the segment to update the page to show data as expected.

CSV failed to upload

The two most common causes for a CSV failing to upload are as follows:

  • Double underscores. The presence of a double underscore at the beginning of a value, for example, "__username", generates an error upon upload. Ensure none of the values in your CSV file use this naming convention.
  • Incorrect file type. CSV is the only supported file format. Ensure your file is saved as .csv.

My CSV segment is showing 0 eligible visitors when I apply it to a guide

Typically, this is due to the processing time associated with a CSV upload. The segment can be saved and used while Pendo processes the CSV and generates the eligible visitor total.

Sometimes this is due to Visitor IDs in the CSV not being known to Pendo. A visitor must use your app and generate a Pendo event for the Visitor ID to show up in your Pendo data. Pendo can't count unidentified visitors.

When those unidentified visitors sign in for the first time, Pendo receives the Visitor ID and the guide segment targets them as expected. The Eligible Visitor number on the guide updates to include the newly identified visitor.

For more information about segment issues, please see the following articles, Segment using Account ID returns Visitors from other Accounts, Segment of Eligible Visitors differs when applied to Guide, and video tutorial on Segments and Segments for Guide targeting.

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