People usually think about users in terms of groups based on their shared attributes or according to the particular actions they’ve performed. For example, a certain set of attributes may define an “Active User, ”while “High Churn Risk” users might perform a separate sequence of events. The Cohorts tool allows you to define these groups and compare them to one another so that you can improve conversion, engagement, and retention.
A cohort is a group of users who share a certain set of properties or have performed a particular combination or frequency of events. Once a cohort is created in your project, you can use it group and filter data in the Insights or Retention reports.
Creating a Cohort
Creating a cohort involves targeting a group of users based on criteria you set. You can choose to build a cohort based on events the users have performed, properties they have, or even another cohort they are in. You can also create a cohort that combines multiple existing cohorts.
To create a cohort, open the Cohorts manager in your project and click + Create new.
First, select an event, people property, or cohort from the first drop-down list.
You can add as many of these targeting filters as you like, in order to create target groups.
Add more filters by clicking the + button.
You can then select whether you want to target customers that match all or only some of the filters you chose.
Circular logic in cohorts creates an error. Here are a couple examples of circularity that break a cohort:
- Cohort A = Power Users
Cohort B = Churn Risk Users
Cohort C = High-Paying Users
Cohort D = Cohort C OR Cohort A
Then change Cohort A = Cohort D
This will result in “Power Users = Power Users OR High-Paying Users”.
- Cohort B = Users NOT IN Cohort A
Cohort A = Cohort B
This will result in “Cohort B = Users NOT IN Cohort B”.
Filtering by Events
If you select an event, you can choose when or how frequently that event is performed or not performed by the users you are targeting.
Filter deeper by event or people property by clicking the + Filter button.
You can also add conditions to this targeting event by clicking the + Condition button in the top right of the group. This serves as a second event target.
You can then select whether you want your targeting users to do both the targeting event and the condition, either or, or to perform the targeting event and then the condition.
Filtering by Property
If you select a people property, you can choose the specifics of that property, depending on the property type (date, string, list, etc.). For example, “First App Open” is a date property, so you can choose when “First App Open” occurred.
You can select people property filters by clicking the + Filter button.
You can also add one or more conditions to the property filter by clicking the + Condition button at the top right of the group. This serves as a second property filter.
You can then select whether you want your targeted users to have both the targeting property and the condition, or one or the other.
Filtering by Cohort
If you select a cohort, you can select whether you want to target users in or not in the cohort.
You can select additional people property filters for that cohort by clicking the + Filter button.
This can be used to build cohorts from pre-existing cohorts. Note that if you do so, you will not be able to delete the dependency cohort until you have deleted the original cohort.
For example, you can create a new cohort A, which combines cohorts B and C and some event properties, but you will not be able to delete cohorts B or C.
Learn more about deleting cohorts here.
Updating a Cohort
You can update cohorts and any changes you make to your base cohort will reflect in other cohorts that depend on it. For example if a Churn Risk Users cohort (A) is defined as “users who have not done any event in the last 30 days”, you can create a dependent cohort called Churn Risk Users in San Francisco (B), which is “Users in Churn Risk cohort AND have the property ‘City’ = ‘San Francisco’”.
Now, if you make any changes to Cohort A, such as changing the date range to “users who have not done anything in the last 60 days”, then Cohort B will automatically update to use the new definition of Cohort A.
Use Cohorts to Group Data
Once the cohort is saved, it can be applied in the Insights or Retention reports as a filter or grouping condition.
Cohorts are real-time -- a user may qualify or disqualify for the cohort at any time, depending on whether or not they satisfy the logic saved in the Cohorts manager at the time the cohort is applied. This means that a report that incorporates a cohort may change each time the report is loaded, because it will check for users who qualify for the cohort at that moment.
Video Demo of Cohorts
Note: Cohorts is available on Enterprise plans. Visit the pricing page for more details about Mixpanel’s billing plans.