Insight (OBIEE): Demystifying unique totals

Otilia Antipa-Oracle
Otilia Antipa-Oracle Product ManagerPosts: 97 Employee
edited May 6, 2022 1:53PM in Eloqua

Have you noticed a difference in ‘unique totals’ between Classic and new Insight? New Insight delivers more accurate ‘unique totals’ than Classic Insight.

Insight aggregates unique totals differently than Classic Insight. So, when columns like unique open, unique open rate, unique clickthroughs are totalled, you will see values different than you saw in Classic Insight.

Let’s break down why there is a difference.

Here is a sample report comparing Classic Insight and Insight.

If you didn’t notice, here is the key difference: unique opens and as a result unique open rate:

What the heck? How can the numbers be different? That doesn’t make any sense!

The key difference is that Insight allows us to do a calculation that we couldn’t do in Classic Insight.

First a definition:

  • An open is the number of times that an email was opened.
  • A unique open is the number of contacts that opened that specific email.
  • A unique open rate is the unique opens for a given email divided by the total emails delivered (unique open / total delivered).

So, you could have 50 opens but if those opens came from the same 5 people, you would get 5 unique opens. If 10 emails were delivered, that would give us an unique open rate of 50%.
Now that we’ve got that straight, let’s focus on that grand total line.

In Classic Insight, the total unique opens is the result of adding the column values together by using a simple SUM like you would in Excel. Since unique open rate is the total unique opens divided by the total delivered (7 / 15), that gives us the Classic Insight unique open rate of 46.67.

However, Insight is doing a more sophisticated calculation. It is calculating unique opens for the entire column based on the actions of the contact across all the emails or campaigns in the report. This means that Insight now truly answers the question: How many contacts opened my emails? In this case, three contacts opened the emails in the report. And the the unique open rate is calculated using 4 / 15, which gives us the unique open rate of 26.67.

How can you verify that? Simply add in the email address column:

Clearly this is demo data that I’m using to demonstrate this concept. But by adding the email address column to the report, you can see the 4 unique contacts: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

So, if you’ve been confused with the totals you’re seeing in Insight when compared to Classic, it may help if you add in the email address field to review the data at the individual level. Then you can see where that unique total is coming from.
When using grand totals in Insight, the following metrics use this new aggregation method by default:

  • Unique Clickthroughs
  • Unique Form Submissions
  • Unique Form Submissions from Email
  • Unique Inbound Activities
  • Unique Leads
  • Unique Opens
  • Unique Outbound Activities
  • Unique Page Views
  • Unique Responses
  • Unique Visitors

The help center provides information on which subject areas include these metrics:

If you want to have Insight changing the way totals are aggregated, have a look at these resources: 

Post edited by JodyMooney-Oracle on