Interpret a Flows Report

Flows identifies the most frequent paths taken by users from or to any event. Use Flows to understand how your users sequentially perform events in your product, and analyze drop-offs or unsuccessful behavior. This article explains how to interpret a Flows report. To learn about the basics of the Flows report click here, and to build a Flows report here.

Breakdown and Compare by Cohorts

Beside the Filter button, select the Breakdown button to select one or more cohorts from the drop-down list. You will be shown both users in and not in the cohort.


If you have selected multiple cohorts, the chart below will be broken down by those cohorts. Cohorts will appear in the chart in different colors, making it easy to follow the paths the cohorts took in your flows.

In the following example, the cohorts “Android User” and “iPhone User” are being compared. As shown in the Legend on the left of the chart, “iPhone Users” are indicated in dark blue, “Android Users” in light blue.


To see the percentage breakdowns of these cohorts in more detail, click on a node to highlight the strongest path to that node. The box that pops up shows the percentage of each cohort that followed that path.

In the following example, of the users that reached this Ad Impression event, 51.5% of users are iPhone users, 48.5% of users are Android users.


Hide Events

You can choose to hide events from the flows report to simplify and clarify the results. This is useful if you have common events that add noise because they are not relevant to the workflow you are examining.

Click the Hide Events button at the top of the chart and check any events you want to hide from the query, then click Apply.


You can also choose to hide a specific event from the flow by right clicking on it in the Flows chart. 


Analyzing User Flows

User Flows displays a Sankey diagram in which the width of the lines is proportional to the flow quantity.


In the above example, more users moved from the A event “Watch Video” to “Like” than any other path. This is graphically signified by the width of the line.

Hover over a stage of the diagram to highlight it and see details of that section. This includes the total number of unique users who moved between those two steps on that path, as well as the percentage.


Select any blue node representing an event on the Sankey chart to highlight the most popular paths that led to or from that node. The selected node is indicated in a lighter blue.


Unlimited Steps Control

You can choose to add more steps to a flows report in order to see the complete path your users take through your product. Click + steps to add steps to your report.

Use the "+" on the right of the visualization to add steps after your events of interest to see what paths your users took following these key events.


The "+" on the left of the visualization will add steps before the events you've added in the query builder. This will allow you to see what paths your users took that led up to these events of interest.


You can add multiple steps in the query builder. 


This allows you to examine flows between targeted events. The "+" on the left of the breakpoint line (marked with ≈) will show you the events that happened directly after the first anchored event.

In the following example, Flows is showing the event that happened right after Watch Video before the user purchased. 


Use the "+" on the right of the breakpoint line (marked with ≈) will show you the events that happened right before the later anchored event.

For example, below Flows is showing the event that happened directly before a Purchase, but only after the user watched a video. 


You can also choose to click on a specific step header to remove it from the flow.


"Other Events" & "Drop-Offs" in User Flows

Mixpanel shows only the top 3 events ordered by the number of users who did that event, while the rest are grouped into a node called “Other events”. This represents the sum of all the users who did events which were not in the top 3.

“Drop-off” represent users who did not do any events in the next step during the time period specified in the report, and therefore dropped out of the flow.

Analyzing Top Paths

In the top bar of the visualization, you will see the option to toggle between User Flows and Top Paths.


Top paths will show the 50 most common event sequences of up to the number of steps you had selected in the User Flow sankey visualization. 


The total percentage of users who reached the ultimate destination of a flow is indicated on the top left, while the total users that reached a given step and the percentage of users who converted from the previous step are indicated on the bottom of each step.


Beta Capabilities

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!

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