How Count of Sessions is calculated

Count of Sessions is displayed as a histogram in the Frequency and Recency report.

At a glance

Values for the Count of Sessions dimension are displayed in a histogram with a range from 1-60. This histogram appears in the Frequency & Recency report.

In depth

To understand how the Count of Sessions dimension works, it helps to first understand how sessions are counted in Analytics.

Each time a user initiates a session, a session counter increments for that user. For example, if User A comes to your site for the first time in January, that user's session count is 1. If the user returns in February, the session count is 2, and so on for each subsequent return.

If you view the Frequency & Recency report for the month of January, User A's session is included in the row for 1, indicating that there was 1 session from a first time user during the selected date range. If you view the Frequency & Recency report for the month of February, User A's session is included in the row for 2, indicating that there was 1 session during the selected date range from a 2nd-time user).

 

It's also possible that User A might initiate two sessions during the selected date range. In this case, the session is counted in each row that applies to the session count.

To illustrate this, look at this table that shows the session date and count for three users:

Date Users Counts
Jan User A
User B
1
2
 
Feb User B
User C
3
1
 
Mar User A
User B
User C
2
4
2

If these were the the total number of users in your data for February, you would see the sessions distributed across the histogram as follows:

  • 1 session: 1
  • 2 sessions: 0
  • 3 sessions: 1

If you viewed the same report for March, you would see the sessions distributed across the histogram as follows:

  • 1 session: 0
  • 2 sessions: 2
  • 3 sessions: 0
  • 4 sessions: 1

And if you viewed the same report for February and March, you would see the sessions distributed across the histogram as follows:

  • 1 session: 1
  • 2 sessions: 2
  • 3 sessions: 1
  • 4 sessions: 1

In this case, the total sessions are actually greater than the number of unique users because the Frequency & Recency report looks at sessions rather than unique users.

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