3 similar methods of filtering the funnel give 3 different results

  • 14 August 2019
  • 3 replies


Hi, everyone!

I've faced a misconception that interfers me to analyze my funnel. I've noticed 3 methods of filtering the funnel:

1) By filtering every event separetly.

2) By filtering only the first event of the funnel(if I filter another event instead of the first, the results would be as weird as possible) + setting "holding [Property name] constant".

3) By filtering all events in one time, using UI button "Filter" underneath the events and above the chart.

All these methods give me different results. I would like to know what each of those ways actually do and which of them is the most consistent to me and the most relavant to use it in funnel analysis?

3 replies

Userlevel 2

Hi @Volodymyr,

Before going into your question, I felt like it might be valuable to take a few steps back and give some added background on Funnels. What makes a Funnels report a Funnels report is the $distinct_id that is sent to Mixpanel with each event.

The $distinct_id field is used to identify a single user and follow them from step 1, into step 2, into step 3 etc. When a report is calculated, Mixpanel takes a snapshot of unique $distinct_id values that triggered the first event, and from that list they see which $distinct_ids made it to the second step, etc — A $distinct_id that triggered event 2 without triggering event 1 will not show up in the funnel. Then, Mixpanel follows that pool of ids through the subsequent events, calculating the drop off as they go.

With this in mind, the set up of your Funnel should be according to the metrics you are most interested in. I would suggest taking a look at a couple of help articles to help you get more familiar with Funnels. I have listed a few that have been very helpful for me below.

  • Funnels Overview - helped me better understanding overall usage of funnels and set up like filters.
  • Conversion Details in Funnels - helped understand what the "holding a property constant" means, also the difference between counting uniques vs totals.
  • Use Case for Funnels - helped decide if Funnels was the right report to use for seeing metrics like drop off.

Mixpanel has released more amped features to their Funnels report so getting familiar with the tools and power of them is definitely crucial! There is a lot more resources here on Funnels. However, I hope my picks help answer the questions you are looking for - they definitely helped me when I first started playing around with it!


Hi @james

It's quite a good explanation from your side to understand this feature. I could understand it in the case of "Unique" options, but how will it work in case of "Total" ?

In case of "Total" it is going to treat each event separately, then how does it work in this case.

Example case :

  • Step -1 has 4 unique users with total 13 events.
  • Step - 2 has 5 unique users (including 4 above from Step-1). Total events = 12, out of which 11 from users from Step -1

My expectation was funnel will show 13 -> 11 (with 2 drop off),

But final result shown was 11-> 11

Can you please help me to understand this scenario ?


Amit Suthar

@amit-suthar  You might want to check the following link which explains the issue in a very simple way: