Using the Date Difference Calculated Column

This document outlines the purpose and uses of the "Date Difference" calculated column available in the "Manage Data -> Data Warehouse" page. Below is an explanation of what it does, followed by an example, and the mechanics of creating it. Please note: This is currently a beta feature.

Explanation

The "Date Difference" column type finds the time between two events belonging to a single record, based on the event timestamps. The raw value calculated in this column is in seconds, but it will auto-convert to minutes, hours, days and so on for display on reports. When used as a filter/group by, however, you will want to use the value in seconds.

A date difference calculated column could be used to create a metric which calculates the average or median time between two events, such as average time between customer registration and their first orders.

Example

id

timestamp_1

timestamp_2

Seconds between timestamp_2 and timestamp_1

A

2015-01-01 00:00:00

2015-01-01 12:30:00

45000

B

2015-01-01 08:00:00

2015-01-01 10:00:00

7200

In the above example, the "Date Difference" column is the "Seconds between timestamp_2 and timestamp_1" column. It performs the calculation "timestamp_2 minus timestamp_1".

Mechanics

Here are some instructions on creating a "Date Difference" column -

  1. Navigate to the "Manage Data -> Data Warehouse" page.
  2. Navigate to the table on which you want to create this column.
  3. Click "Create a Column" and configure your column as follows:
    • "Select Column Definition Type" => Same Table
    • "Select Column Definition Equation" => DATE_DIFF = (Ending DATETIME - Starting DATETIME)
    • "Select Ending DATETIME Column" => Choose the ending datetime field, which is typically the event that occurs later
    • "Select Starting DATETIME Column" => Choose the starting datetime field, which is typically the event that occurs earlier
  4. Provide a name to the column and hit "Save".
  5. The column will be available to use immediately.

As an example, the screenshot below is configured to calculate the "Seconds between order date and customer's creation date":

date_diff.png