Core Events: Account Retention by Usage Widget

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The Core Events: Account Retention by Usage widget shows the impact early core event usage has on account retention compared to average account retention. Core events are the actions and events that demonstrate customers are using your app in a meaningful way. Customers who use core events should realize the value of your product and maintain account activity over time. The goal is to measure which product areas produce above average account retention and drive users to those product areas.

If early usage of a core event doesn't show above average account retention, indicated by beating the control line, it's likely that you selected the wrong core event and that retained accounts are using a different feature. You can use this data to validate your core event selection and any assumptions you've made about your key product areas. These findings are a starting point for additional research and decision making. Why aren't users being retained when they use the features you think are important? How do you direct more users to the features used by active retained accounts? How do you improve those features to convert users into enthusiastic promoters of your product?


Learn more about Using Core Events

Learn more about the Dashboard



  • Pendo Admin users can set up core events
  • Any Pendo user can use the Account Retention by Usage widget
  • Account IDs must be collected in the Pendo installation

Learn how to Setup Core Events

Learn about installing with account IDs in Planning your Pendo Installation


Understanding the Data

The chart in the Account Retention by Usage widget shows a trend line for the percentage of accounts who are active and used a core event in their first 30 days versus all accounts who used the core event in the first 30 days. An account is considered active if it has any activity during a frequency interval. No activity during a frequency interval indicates an account who has potentially churned. Ideally the trend line should be flat as the majority of accounts stay active and are retained over time.

Inclusion Criteria

Accounts that do not meet all of these criteria are not included in the numerator or denominator of the retention calculation.

  • Core event used in the first 30 days after the account start date by any visitor with that account ID
  • Account start date within the date range
  • Old enough to have data during a frequency interval

If an account isn't old enough to have usage data for a frequency interval it's removed from the calculation to prevent it from incorrectly negatively impacting the retention percentage as an inactive account. This causes the number of eligible accounts to drop at later frequency intervals. Each core event at each frequency interval may have a unique number of accounts that it measures due to the inclusion criteria. 

Retention Charts and Activity over Time

A retention chart shows account activity relative to the age of the account to visualize if accounts are finding value and continuing to use the app over time. To do this, account activity is plotted against the age of the account, which is broken into frequency intervals, instead of date ranges on a calendar, which would only show utilization in the moment.

All eligible accounts have their start date plotted at month 0 and their activity is displayed concurrently. Subsequent months represent the age of the account and not a specific date range on the calendar. The frequency interval is the time period during which account activity is measured and aggregated to calculate retention. If the frequency interval is set to weeks, the report looks for any events in a week to determine if the account was active during that Interval. The limits of the entire report are set with the account retention date range. The date range is the selected number of weeks or months from the current day beginning on the first day of the week or month. Weeks begin on Sunday and months begin on the 1st.


Control Line

The control line shows the account retention trend for all accounts that have any event usage and are included in the segment set for the widget. The control line ignores the core event usage requirement but respects the other inclusion criteria. The control line is a dotted line that appears in addition to the solid core event trend lines. The control line matches the data in the top row of the Retention report in the Behavior section. Core event retention should be higher than the control. If a selected core event is not producing above average retention, you should consider selecting a different core event or evaluating the usage and adoption of that feature.



Helpful Definitions

  • Active Account - An account with any events during a frequency interval
  • Eligible Account - An account that meets all three inclusion criteria
  • Account Retention - Any activity by any visitor with that account ID during a frequency interval
  • Account Start Date - The first day the account ID is passed to Pendo by your installation
  • First 30 Days - The 30 day range that begins on the account start date
  • Frequency Interval - The whole week or month interval used to aggregate activity data during the account retention date range
  • Account Retention Date Range - The widget displays account retention data within this time period from the current month. The date range begins on the first day of the week or month.
  • Month 0 - The account start date for all eligible accounts
  • Month X - The account age for an account to remain eligible for retention calculations
  • Changed from Previous Month - The accounts who are still eligible but didn't have any activity compared to the previous interval or had activity after having no activity during the previous interval

Hover over the trend line to see detailed retention data for each core event at each frequency interval. This includes the number and percentage of accounts retained versus the number of eligible accounts and the change in retained accounts compared to the previous frequency interval. The number of total eligible accounts in the denominator may change from month to month. Accounts that are not old enough to have activity data are no longer eligible and are removed. These accounts do not appear in the Changed from Previous Month calculation since they didn't churn.



The widget displays the core events setup for the selected app. If the core events for an app are changed the widget reflects those changes the next time it is loaded, either by adding or updating the widget, navigating to the Dashboard, or refreshing the browser.

Tip: It may be helpful to look at each frequency interval of the retention chart as an individual cohort. The inclusion criteria for the widget look for core event usage in the first 30 days and an account start date during the date range. Each frequency interval adjusts the date range for an eligible account start date farther from the current day. For example, in a 6-month retention chart, each month 0 - 6 is calculated individually. To be eligible in month 1, an account would need an account start date at least 1 month ago, but not more than 6 months ago, to have more than one month of activity data and be eligible for month 1 retention calculations. Month 2 looks at accounts with a start date at least 2 months ago but not more than 6 months ago. Accounts started within the last 2 months couldn't possibly have more than 2 months of usage data and are excluded from the month 2 and later intervals.


Add the Widget to the Dashboard

1. Click + Add Widget in the top right corner of the Dashboard.



2. Select the Core Events: Account Retention by Usage widget from the list of available widgets.



3. Edit the widget to select the Name, measurement Frequency, Account Retention Date Range, Segment, and App you want to query.

  • Name - Display name on the Dashboard
  • Core Event First Use Period - Core event was used within this time period of the account start date
    • Default fixed at first 30 Days.
  • Frequency - Week or month interval that retention data is measured and grouped by
  • Account Retention Date Range - Date range during which retention is measured
  • Segment - Accounts queried for usage data
    • Larger segments will have less volatility in the data
  • App - App queried for core event selection and product usage data



4. Save Widget to add the widget to your Dashboard.



Edit or Remove the Widget

The widget can be edited or removed from the Dashboard.

Click More on the top right corner of the widget.


Edit Widget opens the Edit Widget module where you can change all the widget parameters.

Remove Widget permanently removes the widget from the Dashboard.

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