Paths Overview

Overview

Paths help you discover what users are doing before or after using a specific Page, Feature, or Track Event. A path is the sequence of actions that users took before or after a target event shown as steps on the path. Each step shows the other pages, features, or track events users in the segment used before or after the one you selected. The actions users performed at each step are grouped together and represented with the total percentage of clicks and number of visitors who did that action relative to the previous step. Each action can be followed by any other user behavior in the app. As user behavior diverges each step includes more and more actions with a smaller share of total actions taken. To help make sense of this diverging behavior, the actions with the highest percentage of clicks are sorted to the top of the step, while staying inline with actions in other steps that they preceded or followed. The most common sequence of user actions is sorted to the top of the path.

A Path allows you to pull the common behavior patterns out of all of your usage data and see how users are using your app. This can be used to discover how users naturally navigate your UI. With segments, it can measure if users at an account are following recommended workflows or if they've diverted to other behavior. If you're thinking about deprecating a page or feature, a path can show all the ways users are accessing it currently. You can place targeted guides in those areas notifying users of the change.

Save your Path to your Saved Reports, where it's kept with saved Data Explorer reports and Funnels. Share your Path with everyone in your subscription. Download a CSV containing all Visitor IDs and performance data for the current step.

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Create a Path

Navigate to Paths in the Behavior section to open a new blank path. Saved paths are in Saved Reports.

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1. Build the Path query by selecting the path direction and target Page, Feature, or Track Event.

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2. Select if the path is Start from or Leading to the selected action.

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  • Start from - Shows all actions after the selected action
  • Leading to - Shows all actions before the selection action

3. Select the target Page, Feature, or Track Event. This is the action that you want to measure behavior to or from. If you have a multi-app subscription, select the app that contains the action you want to target.

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4. Select if the path tracks user behavior between apps if you have a multi-app subscription. This will show sequential behavior in apps other than the app used by the target action.

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5. Select the Date Range. This restricts the path to events that occurred within the date range.

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6. Select a Segment. Search your existing segments, edit a segment, or create a new segment. New segments will be visible for anyone in the subscription. Changes to existing segments will impact any reports or guides using that segment.

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7. Configure Advanced Options. Paths collapse repeating steps and use a 10-step limit by default.

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  • Show Pages, Features, or Track Events - The path only shows select event types and events that aren't selected are ignored
  • Collapse Repeating Steps - Combine repeated actions into a single step instead of counting each sequential click as a new step. This can reduce the length and complexity of a path by removing redundant actions or misclicks
    • User behavior: Page A > Page B > Page B > Page C
    • Collapsed path: Page A > Page B > Page C
  • Remove Duplicate Visitor Paths - If a user performs the exact same sequence of actions multiple times, any duplicates are removed and only a single occurrence is shown on the path

          User behavior

    • Page A > Page B > Page C
    • Page A > Page B > Page C
    • Page A > Page B > Page D
    • Page A > Page B > Page E

          Unique paths shown after the duplicate [A>B>C] is removed

    • Page A > Page B > Page C
    • Page A > Page B > Page D
    • Page A > Page B > Page E
  • Maximum Path Length - Limits the number of steps in a path. Longer paths may show more detail but can get unnecessarily complex and increase loading times with large data sets

8. Save & Run to name the path, select visibility, and save it to Saved Reports. Click Save Report to run the report.

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9. Click Run to rerun a report. If any changes are made to the query, the button will change to Save & Run and changes are saved to the existing report when the report reprocesses.

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View a Path

The Path chart shows all of the actions starting with or leading to the target action. These actions are grouped into steps and each step is further divided into the groups of actions that correspond to the actions before and after it. The example shows a path leading to the Add New - Accounts page. Every action in Step 1 occurred immediately before a user viewed the Add New - Accounts page. Step 2 adds additional branching. For example, the Added New Opportunity Feature in Step 1 has its own group of actions in Step 2 that occurred immediately prior to that feature being clicked. This pattern continues at every step until the maximum number of steps has been reached or there is no user action, indicated by "No Previous Step."

If pages and features have overlapping tagging rules, all matching pages and features will be shown concurrently. In the example, we see that in Step 1 the feature Added Any New Object overlaps with Added New Opportunity and Added New Account and is annotated with each of them. They each have the same feature rule but Added Any New Object is set for all pages while the other rules are set for specific pages. The more specific features tied to tagged pages are prioritized when creating the path.

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Percentages

Each group of actions within each step is sorted by the percentage of clicks or views it got relative to the other actions in its group. In Step 1, there is only one group since all actions occurred prior to viewing Add New - Accounts. The total percentage for Step 1 is 100%. Step 2 shows the actions that preceded the actions in Step 1. There are 4 actions in Step 2 that preceded Added New Opportunity in Step 1. Each action is sorted by the percentage of clicks it received prior to the user clicking Added New Opportunity. All actions in this group add up to 100%. Added New Account in Step 1 is a separate branch. A different group of actions occurred prior to Visitors clicking Added New Account. This group is also sorted by percentage of clicks and adds up to 100%. Added New Contact is another branch in Step 1. The total percentage for Step 2 will be 300% since the percentage is relative to the actions before and after it, not the path as a whole.

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Most Used Path

The actions with the most clicks are always sorted to the top of the path. This sorting method automatically shows the most common path across the top of the chart.

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Zoom

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Click on an action to zoom in and focus the path onto that action. This shows all of the subsequent steps in greater detail and reveals additional steps and statistics that are not visible in an expanded view.

Click on additional steps to zoom in further or click on the step hidden in the margin to zoom out to that step.

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Click on the Zoom Out button in the top-left corner of the Path to zoom out all the way and view the entire path.

 

Table

The table underneath the chart shows the data for the currently selected action, indicated by being the largest action in the path on the far right or left side depending on the direction of the path. The currently displayed table can be downloaded as a CSV. Click into a different action in the path to change the data in the table. The entire path can be downloaded as a CSV from the action bar at the top of the page.

The table shows

  • Visitor ID
  • Previous step
  • Time it took to advance from the previous step to the current step
  • Date and time of the event

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Delete, Copy, Share, Download CSV, and Save Changes

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The action bar at the top of the page provides access to several features used to manage your path. You can delete, duplicate, change visibility, download as a CSV, or save changes to the current path.

Delete Path

PathDelete.png Click the Delete button and confirm in the warning prompt to permanently delete the Path from the subscription for all users.

Copy Path

PathCopy.png Click the Copy button to create a new duplicate path, identical to the current path, with the name "Copy of [Path Name]." This can be helpful for editing or experimenting with an existing path without changing the original query, particularly if the path is visible to everyone.

Share

PathShare.png Click the Share button to toggle visibility between Only Me and Everyone. Paths shared with everyone are visible to all users in the Pendo subscription.

Download CSV

PathDownloadCSV.png Click the Download CSV button to download a CSV of all data in the path. This is the same data that appears in the table but for all actions in the path, not just the selected action. The CSV has a 10,000 row limit.

Save Changes

PathSaveChanges.png Click the Save Changes button to save the current query to the report. This button only appears when there are unsaved changes in the report. The report must be saved to run again and any changes will also change the Run button to Save & Run.

 

Saved Paths

Saved Paths are added to the Saved reports section with saved Funnels and Data Explorer reports.

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Click on Saved Reports to open a list of all saved reports. The page shows all saved reports from Data Explorer, Funnels, and Paths with filter options to select specific report types and visibility. 

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There is a Create Report button to create a new report directly from this page if you can't find the report you're looking for.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time can a user take between steps?

A user's path will time out after 60 minutes of inactivity. Inactivity is defined as no raw events being collected with that visitor ID. When the user becomes active again the new events could start a new path.
For example, if you create a path starting from an Add New Account button you may expect to see page and feature usage for the Add New Account form that follows. If a user clicked on the button and entered the path, then worked in a different application, attended a meeting, and went to lunch, before finally returning to finish the form, the new activity would not be tracked as a continuation of the path. In the chart it would appear that that user had dropped off. If they clicked the Add New Account button again, they would restart the path and it would track usage as expected.

This scenario is a normal anomaly when analyzing large amounts of user data. It is unlikely to be noticeable or statistically significant given the large volume of data in most paths. Noticing this behavior typically only occurs when viewing paths with an extremely small sample size.

Why don't the number of clicks and views on the path match my tagged Features and Pages?

Paths have additional logic that removes duplication and filters out events that are not part of the defined path. The path is intended to visualize sequences of user behavior, not give gross totals for usage. Total usage of a feature, page, or track event without filters or conditional logic is displayed on their respective details pages.

  • Collapsing repeating steps and removing duplicate visitor paths in Advanced Options can also filter out events from the displayed totals
  • Back-to-back actions are deduplicated and only one event appears in the path
  • Paths recognize repeat clicks on the same feature, views of the same page, or triggering the same track event during the workflow as both the end of a path and beginning of a new path since the Visitor ended their previous workflow by starting it over again

How this appears in the path is dependent on the design of your application and how you have tagged your features. 

 

The numbers on my current path don't match a previous version of the path I ran earlier.

There are many settings that can influence the data used to generate a path. The parameters in the query and Advanced Options significantly influence the values in the path and how data is visualized. Verify that all settings are exactly the same with special emphasis on date range and Advanced Options.

If the previous or current version of the path included data from "Today", expect that data to be dynamic as users are continuing to use your app and Pendo is receiving and processing new usage data.

Paths are generated by querying all of your Feature, Page, and Track Event usage data filtered by a Segment that looks at all of your Visitor and Account data. Any changes to tags, metadata, or identified users can change the associated usage. Since the path is looking at patterns of sequential usage behavior any changes to underlying data will have a noticeable impact on the path.

Changing a feature tag will identify different raw events with different dates, times, and visitors tied to them. Changing visitor or account metadata can identify a different Segment of users who performed the actions. Pendo's retroactive analytics allow you to query all of your usage data since the time of install but that also means adding, removing, and changing tagged Features, Pages, and Track Events can influence the results of a sensitive, dynamic report like Paths.

The results of a path were accurate at the time it ran, but with any report it can only be as consistent as the data used to generate it. Please monitor and maintain your Pendo tags as you change your application to ensure clean, consistent data for reporting.