The Path to Analyze Unexpected User Behavior

What is the journey most users take towards the site goal? What users do before and after seeing the daily promotion? What paths end with Churn? Such critical business questions can not be answered with a simple funnel analysis or any other analysis that relies on predefined assumptions. The best and probably the only way to reveal unpredictable behaviors and anomalies – is to perform deep, advanced behavioral path analysis, that goes beyond users flow maps, and designed to reveal unexpected behavioral patterns in the users’ journey across the app or website.

The Behavioral Path Analysis Tool Set

An event based, behavioral database is structured and empowered with functions that allow a refined and deep path analysis.
The ability to define the path scope helps to achieve a focused analysis. Most commonly you would use the session scope, but in some cases the user path scope would be the right one. The event property scope is the most revolutionary, because it facilitates a count by a specific event property, which expands path analysis to a whole new realm.

Other than defining the path scope, the path analysis wizard enables easy configuration of advanced path functions;  Path Type defines how the events or steps in the path would be displayed. You can choose between Full path presentation, Reduced or Clean that only shows unique steps without repetitions. Event Occurrence too affects the path display, be it by First or Last.
Path target defines how to aggregate the results, either by popularity with Most Popular or by length with Longest Duration or Shortest Duration.

Another unique setting that helps focus the analysis around strategic events, is the Ordered Events or Event Collection function followed by a specification of which events should be included in the path analysis. A typical definition would be Ordered to start with eventA, or alternatively Event Collection, that will show all the paths that include the specified events.  Many other essential order options are available in the path wizard, that helps to go deep with the path analysis.

Sunburst Path Visualization

path analysis Sunburst visualizationThe Sunburst is the optimal way to display multiple paths. The round Sunburst lets the most common paths shine, and behavioral anomalies stand out as spikes. Built as a dynamic report, it lets you select a path or step in the path, to get more detailed information.

This example shows the most traveled path of that website. As we can see, when this whole path selected, 43.6% of all sessions begin with the sequence of events that are detailed in the legend on the right. Clicking the first step shows that 75.2% of sessions follow the first step, and it goes down to 58.5% on the 3rd step.

The Dynamic path analysis

And you can go further with the analysis, to display the selected path as funnel visualization, showing clearly the drop off rate between the funnel steps.

Advanced_Path_analysis_with_Funnel

In every stage of the analysis, just as in any behavioral analysis,  you can enhance the query by adding segments and dimensions, and drill down to the granular data of the single user level.

The Golden Path Towards the Goal

Path Analysis SunburstAdvanced behavioral path analysis is often used to trace the optimal path users take towards the site goal. As it often happens with digital behavior, these paths are not always the obvious and expected ones.
As you can see in this example, that displays all the paths taken towards the User_Deposit end goal, the most common path most users followed towards the winning goal stands out. But the less traveled paths, seen as “spikes” are the ones worth analyzing, as they often reveal those unique behaviors and yield the most actionable insights.

Revealing The Road Not Taken

Online user behavior is often surprising and that’s what makes analyzing it so exciting. The behavioral path analysis that relies on events big data, and easily configured, is a very powerful tool that highlights deviations and turns users take from the expected paths, and  reveal behavioral anomalies.

This becomes highly valuable when planning the next marketing campaign, and a very practical tool to use as part of the endless optimization cycle.

Want to learn more about behavioral path analysis? Schedule your private demo.

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