Moving event to inactive is having no effect - help please!

  • 7 January 2022
  • 15 replies
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Hi everyone!

We recently realized that our DAU (active users) numbers were spiking weirdly and figured out it was due to an event we made to related to push notifications.

Following amplitude’s advice, we made the event inactive. According to documentation, “When you change an event's activity status from active to inactive, Amplitude will apply that change immediately and retroactively, so you should expect to see changes in your historical data.”

However, it’s been several hours and nothing has changed - the event still appears in user paths still show this event and the charts still have the spikes.  I have confirmed the event is truly marked as inactive.

When we have made events inactive or blocked in the past, they truly have been “purged” immediately. This time not…

Has anyone had this experience? Is there now some sort of time queue that makes such a change to be NOT immediate?  

Thanks!!

Sara at Pao App


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Userlevel 4
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Hello @saraz happy to help!

I peaked at the Production project in Amplitude and noticed that none of the events are marked an inactive. Is this the project in question?

As mentioned in the documentation, here, inactive events will still appear in Amplitude charts unless Active Events are being queried only such as using Any Active Event in an Event Segmentation chart. 

Hope this helps!

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Hi Eddie!

I’m not sure what you saw, but in our production project we DEFINITELY have the events in question marked as inactive. I’m attaching an image.  The first ones with “onesignal” in them have been marked inactive for over a month (successfully working!) but the last one with “allow push” is the one that doesn’t seem to be populating / effective.  And yes, we tested with various uses of “any active event” and so forth…  Very weird. 

If you have any other suggestions we would love to receive your help!

 

Userlevel 4
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Hey @saraz thank you for the screenshot!

Perhaps you can elaborate on the behavior you are seeing with the inactive event. What does populating.effective mean? I was able to create a chart with “Any Active Event” and the event, notifications - allow push notifications” does not populate as expected.

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Hi again @eddie.gaona !

So, a few things. When I go to Govern/events and hit the dropdown that says “live” and select inactive, I can see what you probably saw - it appears we have no inactive events. However, I can find them by searching - I think this is because we also “blocked” the events too and therefore it doesn’t appear in the overall dropdown filter.

 

That said, my understanding is making an event inactive will remove it from metrics counting activity. However, we originally found the issue with this event by looking at activity measures- any chart that used “any active event” and DAU for example.  When I chart event=any active event and then look at the user paths associated, I still see many counting sessions that include the specific event that we made inactive.  See this screenshot below.  The inactive event is “notifications - allow push notifications” as per the previous screenshot. Note how it appears in the second and third row of the user paths screenshot for the “any active event” chart. 

 

We thought by marking it inactive this would disappear altogether - the user is not doing anything active and we wouldn’t want this session to appear toward active user count and yet we have 705 users with this path.  In addition I also see 778 users with “start session” followed by “end session” and that also is something we don’t want to be included in active sessions.  We are unsure what is triggering this to happen!  But ideally neither of these would come up in a “any active event” chart as the user isn’t doing anything.  They both are thus polluting the DAU etc charts if amplitude classifies these users as active even though that is the only “event” that user does that day (along with start and end session events). I mention both as I think they may be related.

In terms of the source of the issues, we think some have to do with the way we are measuring notification pushes and actions related to sending notifications (TBD). We are in the midst of reviewing. However we hoped that making them inactive would purge this excess activity data from the system…

 

Thanks for your continued help!

 

 

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@saraz Thank you for the information! I can definitely see where you are coming from.

The Pathfinder Users chart will still show inactive events in the paths shown. If you want to remove events from this chart you can go into your Govern page, use the Hide option for the event and select “Pathfinder Results”. Once this is completed the event will not appear in the screenshot view you provided above.

 

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Thanks Eddie.  I understand the hide function, but I’m more concerned with the underlying data (overstating user activity).  Ideally, by making these events invisible I would want any session that contains merely that inactive event to not contribute to the total unique active users that Amplitude is showing on the chart.  

As it is, it appears that these are all included, along with MANY user paths that show only “start session” and “end session.”  These type make it appear we have over double the daily active users (erroneously).

So I guess I have two questions - 

  1. whether I hide or not, does making the event inactive not “delete” it in terms of contributing / creating active sessions on amplitude? The support documents suggest it shouldn’t be there contributing any longer though the path analysis shows it is
  2. related, do you know why amplitude would possibly be measuring so many unique active sessions with no activity except “start session” and “end session”?  and how to get rid of these in terms of contributing to counting users as active?
Userlevel 4
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Hello @saraz happy to help!

 

  1. Marking the event as inactive removes the event from charts that use active events. The screenshot you are showing is actually considered a Pathfinder Users chart which would be a separate chart from the one you are looking at. This is why I suggested hiding the event. More information about a Pathfinder Users chart can be found here.
  2. One main reason could be that users didn’t perform an event that you are recording when opening your app and then closing it. I would recommend hiding these events using the Hide feature.
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Just to confirm, I clicked “view user paths” on a given day, within the active user chart.  So despite sourcing it here, I want to confirm that the chart itself (and aggregate numbers for the day) would NOT register users that show this path (containing start session - the inactive event - end session)?  It loads the Pathfinder analysis independently of the chart I’m clicking to find the paths in?

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Hello @saraz happy to help!

 

  1. Marking the event as inactive removes the event from charts that use active events. The screenshot you are showing is actually considered a Pathfinder Users chart which would be a separate chart from the one you are looking at. This is why I suggested hiding the event. More information about a Pathfinder Users chart can be found here.
  2. One main reason could be that users didn’t perform an event that you are recording when opening your app and then closing it. I would recommend hiding these events using the Hide feature.

Hi Eddie!

Eric here, also part of the Pao team. 

Just to help put more context here, one or more events, should have been tagged as “out of session” but sadly, where not.

https://help.amplitude.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002323627-Track-sessions-in-Amplitude#h_e0307573-ebb5-4712-ad6b-0bb4c8cc6966

We will do so in the next release of our iOS app, but historical data seems to be counting a session for that user, despite having them marked as inactive or hidden.

On the 1st of Jan, we should have far less users appear as active, but some events are messing with that data, and other than the elaborate task of downloading all the event data, purging it and re-uploading it all, we can’t find a fix for removing this towards counting as a session for that user.

Userlevel 4
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Hello @ericosg , @saraz appreciate the context!

It is the case that marking the event either to be inactive or hidden will not remove, “notifications - allow push notifications” from the Pathfinder Users chart that @saraz provided above in a screenshot.

You would need to reupload all the data with these events being outofsession if you don’t want them to appear in the sessions charts.

On the Growth/Enterprise plans you are able to remove events from Pathfinder as I showed in a screenshot above but that’s not the case in the Starter plan at the moment.

Hope this helps!

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What seems to be a “bug” however is that the Inactive does not seem to have the desired effect when considering the impact on the session.

This is the documentation:

Setting an event's activity status to inactive will remove that event from any dashboard metrics counting active users and active events. Users who only fire inactive events will not be counted as active users for that day, though they will count towards our new user definitions.

NOTE: When you change an event's activity status from active to inactive, Amplitude will apply that change immediately and retroactively, so you should expect to see changes in your historical data. Inactive events will still count against your event volume.

 

What we are experiencing, is that despite marking these events as Inactive, they still count towards the active users for that day.

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What seems to be a “bug” however is that the Inactive does not seem to have the desired effect when considering the impact on the session.

This is the documentation:

Setting an event's activity status to inactive will remove that event from any dashboard metrics counting active users and active events. Users who only fire inactive events will not be counted as active users for that day, though they will count towards our new user definitions.

NOTE: When you change an event's activity status from active to inactive, Amplitude will apply that change immediately and retroactively, so you should expect to see changes in your historical data. Inactive events will still count against your event volume.

 

What we are experiencing, is that despite marking these events as Inactive, they still count towards the active users for that day.

@eddie.gaona :eyes:

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Hi @eddie.gaona 

Wanted to know if you and your team had a chance to consider the above.

Thanks! 

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Hi @saraz Thanks for starting this thread. Were you able to make progress here? Please let me know if you need any additional support. Thank you! 😃

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I’m running into a similar issue where inactive events seem to be appearing in charts that are tracking “Active Events”. Curious if a solution was found, or if what I running into is different:
 

 

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