Flows identifies the most frequent paths taken by users to or from any event. Use Flows to understand how your users sequentially perform events in your product, and analyze drop-offs or unsuccessful behavior.
Sample Questions you can Answer in Flows
Imagine your product is a B2B messaging application. You might use Flows to answer these sample questions:
- What did users do immediately after signing up?
- What are the most common sets of actions taken after opening the app?
- What actions lead up to creating a channel?
- How do users navigate between account creation and sending their first message?
Building your First Report
Building a report in Flows takes just a few clicks, and results arrive in seconds. Let's build a simple report together. Continuing the B2B messaging example, imagine you wanted to answer the following question:
What are the top paths leading Chrome users from Landing Page to Sign Up?
Step 1: Choose Events
Events are the basic building block of a Flow. In this case, since we want to know how users navigated from the landing page, to signing up, we would add two events, "Landing Page" and "Sign Up" within the "Steps" section. At this point, your query should look like this:
Step 2: Choose Steps Before/After Events
Above and below your selected events, you can choose how many steps to show before and after each event, respectively. In this case, we're curious to see at least 3 steps after our first selected event, so we input "3" below "Landing Page." At this point, your query should look like this:
Step 3: Choose Filters
Filters exclude unwanted data. In this case, we only care about events performed by Chrome users. Therefore, add a "Browser" filter, where Browser equals "Chrome". At this point, your query should look like this:
Step 4 (optional): Choose Breakdowns
Breakdowns segment data into groups. In this case, we don't need to apply a breakdown since we already have the query in place to answer our question. However, if we wanted to see how the flow varies by city, we could add a "City" breakdown.
Congratulations, you've constructed your first Flows query! Now, it's time to examine the results.
Flows features two visualizations to help you view the results of your query in the clearest chart type. By default, Flows displays the User Flows chart, which uses a Sankey diagram to visually display multiple paths on the same chart. This visualization excels when trying to identify different variants of a similar path, or following one particular trail.
Another way to visualize your user flows is by "Top Paths", which condenses the flows down to unique paths on each row. This visualization is great for understanding the most common paths users take, though they may not be similar. In this case, since we want to understand the most common paths, choose Top Paths. Your report should look like this:
Now that you've constructed the query and chosen the ideal chart type, you can easily answer the original question. Finally, save the report for later via the controls at the top right of the report.
Flows in Dashboards
The User Flows visualization can now be added to dashboards, enabling you to monitor a Flows report at a glance, just like Insights, Funnels, and Retention.
There are two ways to add a Flows report to your dashboard:
- From the report itself, first save the report, then click the "Add to Dashboard" button at the top right of the page. In the resulting dropdown, select the desired destination dashboard.
- From the dashboard, click "Add Report" at the top right of the page, then search and choose from among the reports in the list.
While this article covers the basics of the Flows report, you can learn more about its capabilities in the following additional articles:
- Flows Overview Video - see the Flows report in live action
- Build a Flows Report - learn to use the more advanced features of your Flows report
- Interpret a Flows Report - learn how to read the results of your Flows report
Have you ever wished to apply some more targeted Funnel Criteria to a Flow? Examples of this could be:
- Time to Convert Window- i.e What are the event flows of users for only the first 7 minutes after Signing up?
- Holding a Property Constant- i.e What are the event flows in between Song Play and Add to Playlist but only if it's for the same song?
- Exclusion Steps- i.e What are the event flows between Add to Cart and Checkout, but only if the user does not Abandon their Cart in between?
- Sessions specifications- i.e What are the event flows for only a single session from Signing up? Only the first 3 sessions?
If these are questions you have been looking to answer, check out our Conversion and Drop-off Flows beta!