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What is a CoolaData Session?

In CoolaData, a session starts when a user accesses your website/app and ends after that user has not performed any event for a specified amount of time – by default, 30 minutes.

Some CoolaData properties are collected per session, such as session duration, session_event_counter, session_path, (sequence of event names in this session) and so on.

GSSC 1To see how to define the timespan of a session. It is important to define a session timespan that is long enough to ensure that various CoolaData visualizations that the represent user behavior analytics include all relevant events.

Session Table

CoolaData maintains an aggregated table of session information called the Session Table. This is the source from which CoolaData extracts behavioral analytics, meaning analysis and reporting of the sequence of user events. For example, in Funnel and Cohort reports.

GSSC 1To read more Behavioral Analytics.

Some reports extract data from this Session Table instead of from the Events Table. Extraction from the Session Table is typically faster than extracting from the Events Table. However, the Session Table does not maintain information about the properties of an event.

Session ID

CoolaData automatically assigns a unique identifier (Session ID) to each session.

You can specify your own session ID by including the session_id property in the event sent to CoolaData. If you send your own session ID, then this information is stored as a property called customer_session_ID. CoolaData still maintains its own CoolaData session ID in addition. You can then query using either customer_session_ID or CoolaData’s session_ID.

Note – Properties that are calculated per session are based on CoolaData’s session ID (session_id), and not on your session ID (customer_session_ID).

Session Properties

In CoolaData, a session starts when a user accesses your website/app and ends after that user has not performed any event for a specified amount of time – by default, 30 minutes.

Some CoolaData properties are collected per session, such as –

  • session_duration – The duration of the session, in milliseconds.
  • session_path – A session path is a sequence of event names (funnel) in a session. CoolaData provides various visualization options showing the path of events in a user session, such as a Funnel report, Cohort report or Path report.

When you define a new event, leave the Include in Path option on (which is the default) to specify that that event is shown in the CoolaData behavioral analytics visualizations.
GSSC 1Click here for a description of ending a session.

  • path_countThe number of events in the session.
  • session_id – A unique ID assigned to a specific user for the duration of that user’s visit (session).

GSSC 1For more information about session ID.

Ending a Session

CoolaData automatically stores the events of a session when it ends. Therefore, it is important to ensure that a session ends.

CoolaData automatically ends a session after no events have been sent for that user for a specified amount of time – by default, 30 minutes. If a session does not end within six hours, then CoolaData automatically ends it and stores its data. Therefore, if a session is still getting events, then it may take a while until you are able to query that data.

Best Practices –

  • For a website session, we recommend a timeout of 30 minutes.
  • For an app session, we recommend a timeout of 5 minutes.

But there are some exceptions. For example – If your website has videos that include advertisements (that are sent as events), then we recommend using the 30-minute timeout. However, if the advertisements are not sent as events, then you should lengthen the session timeout, because the video might run more than an hour before sending an event in the middle.

To change the amount of time after which CoolaData automatically ends a session, contact your CoolaData customer success representative or write to support@CoolaData.com.

The Include in Path Setting and Ending a Session

Each event that you define in CoolaData has an Include in Path setting that specifies whether an event is shown in the CoolaData behavior analytics visualizations (Funnel, Cohort and Path Analysis reports) or not.

The Include in Path field should be off for certain types of repetitive events that are not needed for a session analysis.

Note – In any case CoolaData ends each session automatically after six hours.

For example, a keep_alive event that is generated when the device periodically verifies that it is still connected.

Because keep_alive and page_load events  are sent repeatedly, the session will only end after six hours unless you turn the Include in Path option off because CoolaData will continue to leave the session active for 30 minutes (default) after each event.

Note – Regardless of the value selected in the Include in Path field (meaning even if it is off), the event still affects the session_duration (which is the duration of the session, in milliseconds) and is still counted in the session_event_counter (which is the number of events in the session).

Session ID

CoolaData automatically assigns a unique identifier (Session ID) to each session and assigns this session ID to each event in that session.

You can specify your own session ID by including the session_id property in the event sent to CoolaData. If you send your own session ID, then CoolaData stores it as a property named customer_session_id.

GSSC 1To read about CoolaData’s Session Table.

Session Table

CoolaData maintains an aggregated table of session information named the Session Table. This is the source from which CoolaData extracts behavioral analytics, meaning analysis and reporting of the sequence of user events.

GSSC 1To read more Behavioral Analytics.

Some reports (such as Funnel reports and Cohort reports) extract data from this Session Table instead of from the Events Table. Extraction from the Session Table is typically faster than extracting from the Events Table. The Session Table does not maintain information about the properties of an event is and is therefore not used for reports that require the detail of event properties.

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