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Cohort analysis - column totals

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# 1
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I've just started with cohort analysis and I'm having trouble understanding something. Here goes: 

Screenshot - 270716 - 10_15_25.png

 

What I don't understand are the totals at the top of the column. If you look at weeks 5 and 6 for example, the total is below the average retention rate for that week.

 

Does the total count each blank cell as 0%? If so, I don't understand how that can be useful; the cell is blank because the user hasn't been acquired at this point. Am I right in thinking I should ignore the total?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
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I don't like to "up" but... anyone have an idea about this, or have I posted in the wrong place?

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Rising Star
# 3
Rising Star
I have struggled with GA cohorts report since it was introduced. Here is information I have come across and saved but still I struggle:

Looking at the data by Rows:
The first row shows the total metric value for all cohorts for each column. For example, if the metric is Pageviews and the columns are daily data, then the first row shows the total pageviews for the day. The other rows show the values for the individual cohorts.

Looking the data by Columns:
The first column identifies the cohorts and the number of users in each cohort. For example, if the dimension by which you characterize the cohorts is Acquisition Date, this column lists the acquisition date for each cohort, and the number of users you acquired during that time frame (day, week, month). The rest of the columns reflect the time increments you choose for Cohort Size. For example, if you select by day, then each column includes one day of data. There are 13 time-increment columns, 0-12.

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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Thanks Brian. So the totals row shows the average for all cohorts, not the cohorts in the report?

The totals still seem a little low for that, but because you can only go so far back in time in the report it's impossible to judge if that's right. But I guess that's a high possibility!

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star
Thats how I read and understand it.

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I think this is simply a bug. I reported the same thing a couple months ago. The overall retention % in the top column *should* reflect only cohorts that were active for that week, but instead it reflect all cohorts in the report, even those that didn't exist at the time.

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
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Thanks Kyle. Do you have a URL to link to so anyone else searching for this can see the G response?

Re: Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
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there was no google response, my reply above it just what I have inferred from looking at the numbers
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Dan G
February 2017

Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I took another look at the cohort analysis for our site today.  It looks like this has been fixed.

Cohort analysis - column totals

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
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Yep, I agree. Thanks for pointing that out.