Sessions appearing and disappearing

  • 5 January 2023
  • 2 replies


Hi there folks!

I’m running into an odd issues while doing some sessions queries, and I’m thinking it might be because I’m misunderstanding how Heap stores data.

Let’s say I have a simple query like so: Count - Session + Filter: “_email” equals “” + Date Range: Nov 20 to Nov 27 grouped by Week.

This gives me the total number of sessions for that specific user on that specific week. Now the odd thing is that, when I ran this on Dec 7 the total count was 6, and if I run it today on Jan 5, the total count is 8.


This happens for multiple users, a very small amount will have sessions either disappear or appear a while after they were created. I was trying to find a pattern but came up empty-handed.


I’m now thinking, is this a bug, or is it just normal because of the way Heap handles data on the backend?


Thanks for your help!


Best answer by danielle 6 January 2023, 22:37

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Hi @mmoreau,


Thanks for reaching out! While it’s hard to know exactly what might be happening here without specific examples and an investigation, there are certainly reasons why a user’s historical session count might increase, the chief reason being user records merging due to users being identified.


Using your example, say our test user visited the site on their computer 6 times on Nov 20 and during these sessions, they were identified. Then they visited the site on their phone 2 times on Nov 25 and weren’t identified. If this user came back to the site on their phone and was identified after you ran the report on Dec 7, then their two phone sessions on Nov 25 would now be linked to the same user record as the computer sessions on Nov 20 and the report would now show this user had 8 sessions during this timeframe.


Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any additional questions!




Badge +1


Following up to this old thread, I’d like to ask a couple of things:

  1. How does the user identification process work?
  2. Why would a user be identified on there computer but not on their phone the first time?

For context, I think I am encountering the same issue where a few extra sessions showed up for the same exact period I pulled the data for. The two data pulls were run ~1 week apart.

Thank you in advance,