The Cohorts view presents the attention period your users have and how quickly or slowly they lose interest in your application. Cohorts page is situated under the Engagement section in left hand side navigation menu.
A cohort is a group of people that share a characteristic. In this particular case by cohort we mean a group of people that have accessed your application for first time on certain date (or date-range). I.e. the cohort for June 2015 is the group of people that have accessed your application on June 2015 for first time.
A cohort by itself brings some useful information. But tracking the cohort over time brings even greater value. Doing that you could see how the users in a particular group actually behave over time. Do they continue to use your application or not?
In Analytics we calculate and show a set of cohorts. In the image above you can see that each row represent a separate cohort. Each cohort is observed for several periods that show how the cohort behaves in the following months or weeks. We say that these are the periods of the cohort and are displayed as columns in the grid.
So a monthly cohort for 12 months will have 12 periods each with a duration of 1 month. The first period will be the starting period of the cohort when the users first registered in the system. We also say that the size of the cohort is the number of registered users during that first / starting period.
You should note that the periods are relative to the start of the cohort. I.e. second period for cohort of July 2015 will be August but second period for cohort of August 2015 will be September.
Cohorts closer to the period end date will have fewer periods. This is the reason why the grid will have values only above its diagonal and chart series will be shorter.
Cohorts are presented in two sections, a chart and a grid. Both have their pros and cons and are intended to be used complementary to each other. In order to provide better control and flexibility there are few options one could set.
Base Unit - Month, Week or Day
You can chose the cohort to be monthly, weekly or daily (i.e. the base unit or granularity of the cohort). Monthly cohorts are useful to see the bigger picture and often used in cases with more data and longer periods of time. In contrast daily cohorts are used when you want to see the details at low level.
Choosing the duration actually determines how long the interval you observe you users is. For monthly cohorts the duration is set in months. For weekly / daily cohorts the duration is set in weeks / days.
By default the cohort start date is automatically determined by previous two settings for base unit and duration. However one is free to select specific date in the past and this date will be used as a starting date.
Relative or Absolute
You can choose between two modes to view the data in: absolute values or relative values.
- Absolute values present the numbers as they are. This mode is useful when you want to see the size of every given cohort and its periods.
- Relative values present cohort periods relative to the starting period of the cohort. This mode is useful when you want to see what is the change or behavior of the cohort during its periods.
When analytics monitor is integrated into your application, all the required information to generate the user retention cohort is automatically collected and an entry is going to be created in our system. Those entries are then processed and digested in order to generate the cohorts view. No additional efforts are required to view the cohorts, just start the monitor.