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## Column Totals Appear Incorrect

Level 2

Hello! If someone could help answer this or provide any kind of insight, that would be amazing! There are basically two parts to my question.

The first item I do not understand it what the "column total" is displaying? I thought it was showing the sum of all the items in the column, but when adding those items up the total's do not come out the same (the sum of both items within each column comes out to 12,036 visits while the first column says the total is 11,816 visits and the second table says the total is 12,002 visits. Am I misunderstanding what these mean?

The second item I cannot explain has to do with segments. In this visual you can see that I have created two segments, one to display just organic search, and the other that displays all of the other marketing channels (all other marketing channels is defined as "marketing channel exists -and- "does not equal organic search"). As you can see, when I put just the dimension items in a table, the total shows up as 11,816 visits. However, when create a table using the segments, the total shows up as 12,002 visits? From what I've been told, all visits should be accounted for in marketing channels with the way they are setup, including those visits that don't have a marketing channel associated with them. Does anyone have any insights as to why this might be? Thank you!

1 Accepted Solution

Employee

@CRichwine -

It is the impact of deduplication in your reporting:

Question 1: Suppose in a visit a user first comes to your site through 'Paid Search' channel (Hit number: 1) and in the subsequent hits (say hit number: 12) again comes through an 'email' marketing channel.

Now the Visit would be counted for both these channels (Marketing Channel breakdown), however, the total count will take it as a single visit. Hence, if you are looking for visits from your marketing channels, most often you will see that the percentage against all of the channels add up to more than 100%.

Question 2: The column total-sum is the sum of visits qualifying for both these segments (6320+5682). On further breakdown Deduplication is playing it's part. The sum of all the Marketing Channels under 'Non-Organic Visits' is not equal to 6320 (You are simply looking at nested deduplication).

Summary: Every success event instance has exactly one First Touch channel and exactly one Last Touch channel. If you add up a given metric column for any success event, it always equals the total for the same time period. This total also equals the total number of events in the appropriate Site Metrics > Custom Events report. Non success event metrics, such as visits and visitors, do not match up 1:1, as multiple channels can fire in the same visit.

Hope this clarifies!

4 Replies

Employee

@CRichwine -

It is the impact of deduplication in your reporting:

Question 1: Suppose in a visit a user first comes to your site through 'Paid Search' channel (Hit number: 1) and in the subsequent hits (say hit number: 12) again comes through an 'email' marketing channel.

Now the Visit would be counted for both these channels (Marketing Channel breakdown), however, the total count will take it as a single visit. Hence, if you are looking for visits from your marketing channels, most often you will see that the percentage against all of the channels add up to more than 100%.

Question 2: The column total-sum is the sum of visits qualifying for both these segments (6320+5682). On further breakdown Deduplication is playing it's part. The sum of all the Marketing Channels under 'Non-Organic Visits' is not equal to 6320 (You are simply looking at nested deduplication).

Summary: Every success event instance has exactly one First Touch channel and exactly one Last Touch channel. If you add up a given metric column for any success event, it always equals the total for the same time period. This total also equals the total number of events in the appropriate Site Metrics > Custom Events report. Non success event metrics, such as visits and visitors, do not match up 1:1, as multiple channels can fire in the same visit.

Hope this clarifies!

Level 2

This most definitely helps! Thanks you for explaining it so well!

So the thing about Visits is that there is a 30 min timeout... IF a user comes to your site through say a Paid Search, then backs out and clicks on a Natural Search link, within the same visit they will have two different attributions....

The total of the column de-duplicates the same Visit...

However, in your second screenshot, since you have thrown a segment into the mix, Adobe does not de-duplicate between segments.. it literally adds the numbers up.

So in the second table, the one with the segments, your "total" visits is technically inflated (if you are trying to look across your actual "visits")... but if you are treating like leave and immediately come back through a different channel a new visit, then I suppose re-counting those is okay?

Level 2

This makes so much sense! Thank you for taking the time to explain.