Pathfinder shows all of the events (nodes) and sequences of events (paths) that users take within your product during a specified time, measured by event totals.
Pathfinder charts can be used to explore aggregated user flows within your product. We recommend utilizing this chart to see the top common paths users can take to conversion. You can then also use this information to build out your Funnel Chart.
Some capabilities include:
- Measuring the top common paths users take in your product
- Comparing properties of events in the paths
- Understanding the top paths before or after a specific event
What you will learn in this article
This article will go through the main components of the Pathfinder chart - the Events module (left module), the Metrics module (bottom module), and Chart Interpretation on the path built in the Events and Metrics modules.
- Pathfinder is only available on the Enterprise, Growth, and Scholarship plans currently.
- A completed instrumentation is necessary to have events appear in the all Amplitude charts.
- All paths in Pathfinder are tracked within individual sessions. This means if you are sending us events from our HTTP API or through another pipeline, you must send a session property ('Session ID' or a custom session property) with the event in order to accurately view the event flows of your product.
Table of Contents
You can view both outgoing and incoming paths to a specified event, and Pathfinder will show you paths of up to fifteen steps in depth.
Outgoing: To view the actions or events users take after a given event, select “starting with” in the dropdown menu and then select your starting event.
Incoming: To view the events users take before a given event, select “ending with” and then select your ending event.
Chart Control Panel
The left module of the chart control panel allows you to pick and choose which event you want to start or end your Pathfinder report with. The default selection is '[Amplitude] Start Session', which will show you all the possible paths coming from the start of a session.
You can also narrow down your paths by segmenting the data by user properties or cohorts by using the right module. You can click on the "Users" dropdown to utilize our account-level reporting feature or use the "+where" clause to segment your users.
You can set a threshold for the minimum size of all rendered nodes. This can be done by changing the “Zoom” percentage in the top right of the chart.
Once nodes are rendered, every path between those nodes is displayed. By default, the threshold is set to 5% and is also the maximum limit. You can set the threshold to as low as 0.1%. Using the default threshold would mean two things:
- If an event node is less than 5%, that node and any paths that would have followed are collapsed or hidden. In the below image, the boxed area has no outgoing paths because there are no immediately following nodes that are greater than 5%.
- The "Other" node is the aggregate of nodes that fall below the threshold you've set. Lower the threshold to show more individual nodes.
Adding more paths for a deeper analysis
Pathfinder has the ability to go 15 steps deep to understand your users' behaviors. In order to add more steps, adjust the settings and click "+" to continue to add up to 15.
Expand events by property
In addition, you can expand any number of events by their properties to see the exact paths that are relevant for your analysis.
Note: expanding a property does not apply to the root node thus if you expand an event, the event becomes the expanded version. The event selected for the expansion is no longer a valid choice in the Steps as you can't filter on the event and also expand it.
Hide Noisy Events
You can hide certain events from appearing in a Pathfinder chart. If you do this, the path will simply collapse and exclude those steps. For example, suppose we have the path:
- Event A -> Event B -> Event C
If you were to hide Event B, the path will collapse to:
- Event A -> Event C
This can be done one of two ways: specific to a single chart or globally.
Specific to a chart
You can exclude events by clicking on the 'Choose Events To Exclude' button under 'Hide Noisy Events'. In the Hide Noisy Event drop-down, there are two options: Choose Events to Exclude and Collapse Repeated Steps.
Choose Events to Exclude
Opens an event selector where you can select one or any number of events to hide. Simply review the list of events, select those that are not relevant to your analysis and select "Apply".
You can also click on the red minus sign in the bottom right corner of the event directly in the chart.
Collapse Repeated Steps
This toggle allows you to consolidate event that users fire many times in succession. For example, let's say you want to know what users do after the 'Search Song or Video' event. However, users commonly search many songs in a row, and so the Pathfinder report will not tell you much.
If you select the "Collapse Repeated Steps" option, then the Pathfinder report will collapse all repeated nodes into one. The resulting report will show you what comes after the collapsed nodes.
We can see here that most users now fire the 'Select Song' event after searching a song.
You can specify events to be excluded from Pathfinder charts by editing the event 'Visibility' in the Settings page.
Pathfinder Totals is a great tool to show you how users are using your product by showing all the paths that start with, or end with a specific event during a time period.
There are two important visualizations within Pathfinder: the flowing sankey diagram towards the bottom, and the funnel towards the top.
Once you select an event, we will generate all the incoming paths of (up to 15) event nodes that meet the following conditions:
- If the event node is an [Amplitude] Start Session, which depends on if you are looking at incoming paths.
- If the node is greater than or equal to the threshold and if the node has an incoming path.
If you click on a particular node, Pathfinder will only highlight paths that lead into and out of that particular node. Additionally, the black section of a node denotes all paths where the next event was '[Amplitude] End Session'. The "Other" node is the aggregate of nodes that fall below the threshold you've set. Lower the threshold to show more individual nodes.
The sankey diagram (the flow diagram) is used to show you all the paths that start with or end with a specific event. Each step of the paths is labeled. The label tells you the event performed at that step in the sequence and the percentage of events at that step that were that event. For example, in the sequence shown below (Start Session --> Main Landing Screen --> Step 3), 41.18% of events at Step 3 in the sequence were “Edit Profile”.
Each step in the sequence is uniquely colored. The colored pathways show you the flow of events between two nodes. To measure the total number of conversions through a selected sequence, use the funnel visualization at the top.
If you are using our default 'session_id' to group events into sessions, events in a given session will ordered by event_id. If you are using a custom session property to group events into sessions, events in a given session will be ordered by 'event_time'.
Analyze Total Sequences for Steps
Above the Pathfinder sankey diagram sits a funnel that measures the total number of times a selected sequence of events has been completed. Unlike a traditional Funnels report, the funnel in Pathfinder measures total sequences, rather than unique users.
To construct a sequence, simply select the events in the sankey diagram. As you select, the conversion rate for the funnel will be calculated.
The conversion rate shown, shows you the percentage of all sequences that were that specific path. In the example above 41.1% of all sequences were Start Session → Main Landing Screen → Edit Profile.
Just like most other Funnel charts in Amplitude, you can use Microscope to click on the dropped-off or converted segments to create a behavioral cohort, or download the list of Users as a CSV.
Note: Because the funnel query is showing TOTAL conversion, and is NOT counting unique conversions like a typical Funnel chart, Users may appear in both the converted or dropped-off segments. Because users can be considered both converted and not converted, these cohorts may be more useful for continuing your analysis to understand more about these specific users rather than targeting them for in-product experiences.
You can also use the date picker to choose a more specific time range to analyze your data within and can switch between "Last", "Between", and "Since".
Saving the Report
To save the Pathfinder chart click the "Save" icon in the top right-hand corner above the chart.
There is also a possibility to add the chart to a dashboard. When showing the Pathfinder chart on the dashboard, there are two possible visualizations that can be controlled from the chart on the dashboard. Top Events shows the top events at Step 2 of all paths. If you've saved the chart with a selected path, Total Sequences will show the total number of conversions through the selected sequence.