Retention Analytics


Retention is used to answer the fundamental questions: “Are people using my product over time?” or “Are they coming back to my platform?” Retention helps you analyze how your product has grown over time and what is making your customers come back to your platform.

To access this in Pendo, navigate to the Retention analytics section.

Chart Interpretation

Choose how you would like your data to be filtered with the following options:

  • Source: Choose which activity and app you want to include in your data set.
    • Activity: Choose the type of activity that you want to check the retention for - pages, features or track events. The default setting is all activity. 
    • App: This dropdown allows you to filter to a specific group (all web or all mobile apps) or single application.
    • Activity Selector: If you select pages, features or track events in the main Activity dropdown, then this dropdown appears so you can choose the particular page, feature or track event that you want to measure.
  • Cohort Type: Review your results in visitors or accounts.
  • Cohort Size: Choose if you want to divide your user base by "Month" or "Week" based on their first visit date. In retention analytics, a month is defined as 30 days and a week is defined as 7 days.
  • Segment: The default segment selected will be for everyone who visited your product or application. You will be able to choose your desired target group as needed.
  • Date Range: Based on the selected cohort size, data is displayed for the last 6, 9, 12 months/weeks.

The default view will show you all of your unique visitors in the last 6 months using a “1 Month” cohort size for any activity across all your applications.


Each row is referred to a “cohort” which is why “retention analytics” is also known as “cohort analytics.”



Note: In each cohort, Pendo only displays all the unique & identified visitors in the default view. Once you update your filter options, your data will adjust accordingly.


To help illustrate the chart interpretation, use the following assumptions while interpreting the sample retention cohort:

  • Today’s date is October 15th 2018
  • User A’s first visit recorded by Pendo is on April 15th 2018
  • User B’s first visit recorded by Pendo is April 30th 2018

Both Users A and B will be included in the April 2018 cohort since their first visit date is in April.


Note: In the retention analytics chart, a month is defined as 30 days and a week is defined as 7 days.


This means each individual visitor or account will have it’s own 30-day or 7-day timeframe that will roll up into a cohort. Using the example assumption above, learn how to interpret parts of the chart:


Here is how each user’s time frame is calculated when using a “1 Month” cohort size (30-day increments):


Similarly, here is how each user’s time frame is calculated when using a “1 Week” cohort size (7-day increments):



Within a row, each cell will tell you the retention of the cohort - meaning how many users came back to your product or application after time (months/weeks) has passed.


For example, in May 2018 you had a total of 1,521 visitors. For Month 1, 93% of your users returned. This means about 1,414 visitors out of 1,521 visitors used your product or application again within a 30-day period.


All cells are independent of each other, so there might be times when you notice an increase in percentage meaning more people visited your application in that time frame.



Tip: When you see an increase, figure out if you can identify why. Find the reason for this spike and keep doing it! For example, did you publish a Pendo Guide for in-app guidance to prevent users from leaving your product prematurely? Or, did your support team resolve more issues that kept users from going into your application?


Cells with Asterisk

You might see an * symbol next to the percentage. This means that the number is subject to change because there is still time remaining for the month (30-day increment) for that cohort.

Using the previous example users, if you continued the individual timeframe breakdown, Month 5 and Month 6 are still incomplete for both Users A and B. Future timeframes are highlighted in pink to illustrate why Month 5 and Month 6 will have an asterisk in the cohort:


So your chart might look like this:


Color Legend

The shade of color in the chart is based on the following percentages:


Interacting with the chart

If you click on a cell within the chart, a panel on the right-hand side will open and display the list of the visitors that are included in the calculation. The list will display the total number of users forming that particular cohort percentage and up to 250 Visitor IDs (this number may increase in the future). Clicking on a Visitor IDs will take you to that visitor’s detail page.


Similarly, you can click on the "Dropped Visitors" tab to see everyone (up to 250 visitors) who was present in the previous period but have not returned in this period.


Towards the bottom of the list, you will see an Export .csv button. Click on the option to download all the Visitor or Account IDs from the selected cohort with any additional metadata values you wish to include in your .csv.


Segments & Activity Retention

Choosing a feature in the Activity filter is different than choosing a segment option:

  • Using a segment filter: You're measuring the retention of the segment of users who have used the feature ever. The retention percentage still increases if they have used anything in the application. 
  • Using the Source Activity filter by feature: Unlike the segment filter, retention percentage increases only when the users interact with that particular page or feature. This way, you can measure the retention of a Page, Feature or Track Event for any segment (eg. retention of the NPS page for the NPS promoters)

Choosing All Activity and Visitor Cohort Type with an Account Based Segment could pull in different or more visitors than when using the Everyone Filter: 

  • Using Everyone filter: You're measuring the retention of the first visit date of a visitor attached to any Account Id
  • Using a Segment with an Account level based rule (e.g. Account Id = Acme Org): You're measuring the retention of visitors first visit date under an account that fits the segment rule.
    • For example: Retention Chart is set for All Activity, Cohort Type Visitors, 1 Week, for last 6 Weeks(April 1st - May 13th, 2019). 
      • Visitor A whose first visit date was March 1st, 2018 would not show up in the report if the Segment was set to Everyone. 
      • Visitor A would show up in the report if the Segment was set to Account Id = Acme Org, and the first event that had Visitor A attached to Account Acme Org was May 1st. 

Weekly Cohort Size - Default Date Ranges

When using a Cohort Size of 1 Week, the default Date Ranges of Last 6 Weeks, Last 9 Weeks, and Last 12 Weeks are adjusted to ensure the cohorts include an entire week of data and each weekly cohort starts on a Sunday. See the below example.

If today's date is Wednesday, May 6 then for a Cohort Size of 1 Week and a Date Range of Last 6 Weeks, the Retention chart will show data for the following 6 weekly cohorts:

  1. Sunday, Mar 22 to Saturday, Mar 28
  2. Sunday, Mar 29 to Saturday, Apr 4
  3. Sunday, Apr 5 to Saturday, Apr 11
  4. Sunday, Apr 12 to Saturday, Apr 18
  5. Sunday, Apr 19 to Saturday, Apr 25
  6. Sunday, Apr 26 to Saturday, May 2

Sunday May 3rd through Wednesday May 6th will not be included in this default Last 6 Weeks Date Range as those dates would only create a partial week.