Why Does Your Company Need To Do Cohort Analysis?

Cohort analysis is an asset that gives you a deeper understanding of the customer data. It helps you comprehend trends and statistical data, which further assists you in making decisions for your organization.

This is highly beneficial to estimate the customer lifetime value – LTV, customer churn rate, customer retention rate, and lots more. Bruno Estrella, a well-known growth practitioner, says that cohort analysis is one of the best ways to identify insights from customer/user behavior in a specific timeframe.

It helps you identify the behavior and mentality of the customers, which helps you organize and segregate them accordingly. Instead of using assumptions, you will be able to take accurate and valuable business decisions based on cohort analysis, which is applied to each customer. Customers are an imperative part of SaaS and subscription business, so the analysis helps in building the same.

The Relevance of Cohort Analysis?

A cohort is well-defined as a group of people with a shared characteristic. For example, in SaaS, a cohort could be referred to as a bunch of consumers who have a common denominator, which could be geographical location, acquisition date, or a recently launched pricing plan.

Then SaaS benchmarks are established, and cohorts are tracked and compared as to the set standards. This helps you gauge the performance of your organization, business, or product. This will further support you to identify the flaws and benefits of your current regime, and you can make changes accordingly based on the Cohort Analysis.

Why is Cohort Analysis Useful?

Cohort Analysis is extremely important for organizations as it helps you find answers to targeted questions, gives you specificity of customer data, and further, it can help you with the following:

1. Identify Data Points

Cohort analysis helps you identify the action taken or not taken by a dedicated set of customers based on business metrics like retention and acquisition. These data points have a strong influence on the business.

2. Conversion Funnel

Cohort Analysis helps in augmenting the conversion funnel. It helps to identify the user experience throughout the funnel of digital marketing and consider customer engagement in various ways with the sales procedure. It helps in identifying valuable prospects and users.

3. Consumer Engagement

It generates efficiency in consumer engagement and communication. This analysis helps to analyze how cohorts engage with your SaaS website, company, or your product, and you can motivate them to take relevant actions.

4. Customer Churn

It is a hypothesis to understand customer churn. Cohort Analysis studies data and customer actions and how each attribute affects other customer attributes. For example, a company recently introducing sign-ups, so cohort analysis helps to identify how it may affect the customer churn.

5. Customer’s Lifetime Value

You can analyze the company’s customer lifetime value by determining facts related to cohorts. You can group them according to size, segment and time and assess them with the appropriate acquisition channels. This cohort analysis helps in analyzing cohorts as per the acquisition period and in identifying how these customers are lucrative for the company.

Different Types of Cohorts

Cohorts can be classified into countless combinations that can be further sub-grouped based on a common denominator. Bruno Estrella, a well-known growth manager, helps you identify cohorts and establish their relevance to your business.

Some of the most common cohorts are:

1. Acquisition Date and how the timeline and seasonality impact business

2. Acquisition Source, which means the platform from where the leads are generated, for example, social media, email, referrals, events, paid ads, events, etc.

3. Device Source incorporates the technological device that the consumer was using, for example, a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

4. Geographical Regions and their impact on customer engagement.

5. Customer Size and analyzing the performance of the product in the case of individuals and large enterprises.

6. Pricing Plans and the impact of these models on customer churn.

7. Sales Cycle Length and its influence on the business.

How to do Cohort Analysis

Before you start with Cohort analysis, you need to identify the question that you want to find the answer to. You would need to collect information based on the data management solution that you can later use to identify the apt resolution for your question. You can use information like:

  • The characteristics or features of your cohort which defines the group
  • Identify the metric which caused the inclusion in the group, also called the inclusion metric
  • Finally, the return metric is the main thing that you want to know about them.

1. Understand the Behavior of Cohorts

Cohort analysis is necessary for any business, and countless templates and resources are available which will help you get started. Create a unique cohort analysis for your enterprise and tailor it according to the specific needs of your company.

You can analyze the behavior of a single cohort or compare differed users or cohorts who share a common experience within a specified time frame. This will help you identify a pattern that will lead to a growth hypothesis.

2. Using Cohort Analysis to Experiment

Cohort analysis gives you an insight into a trend and doesn’t help you identify the cause. Thus, it is great for experimenting and sets a platform to make strategic business decisions.

It tests your business ideas and implementation of business activities like marketing strategies, pricing plans, product features. It further helps to identify, customer churn customer retention, or customer LTV.

3. Impact of Cohorts on the Business

Cohort Analysis is a comparison of customer data that identifies

  • how a product feature impacts retention
  • how introducing a new pricing technique can affect the customer churn
  • how a customized on-boarding program established for customers can improve customer retention.

Data collected based on the above questions can help you make informed decisions and identify the impact of cohort analysis on the business.

4. Correlation does not mean Causation

Businesses are affected by various components, and it may get tricky to isolate one variable from other factors. To determine direct causation is a very arduous task, and this can only be done in a controlled environment.

Cohort analysis is about correlating business experiments instead of identifying the causation factor. The analysis considers confounding variables that affect the outcome. Although correlation is not causation, yet cohort analysis is effective for decision making within an organization, and the experiments are a great indicator of your product and business performance.


Cohort analysis shed light on the significant aspects of consumer behavior categorized into groups. These cohorts help in making data-driven decisions applying the valuable context and data points as assembled through a single cohort. If done correctly, cohort analysis is extremely beneficial and impactful for your organization. 

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