Comparing Reports with Differing Metric Values

Each Sprout widget and report plays a unique role in the social data story you tell. Sometimes, you might notice that two of your reports or widgets have different values for the same metrics in the same date range – this is expected.
The most common reason for discrepancies lie in Sprout’s use of two separate data collection methodologies, Lifetime and Reporting Period. Understanding the difference between these two can help you better analyze the health of your brand on social. Learn more about these differences.

Note: You can find which methodology is being used by hovering over any metric in the Sprout app.

Other reasons your metric values may not match:

  • Organic vs. Paid data: Depending on the data Sprout receives from the network, some metrics may be organic only for Lifetime but organic and paid for the Reporting Period. You can find a breakdown within this article.
  • Time zone: The same post or profile activity may be attributed to different dates depending on the timezone the report is using. Activity within a 24-hour span in one timezone may be different than activity within a 24-hour span in another timezone.
    • Check the top-left corner of each report to see what time zone is used.
  • Backfill: Some networks have different backfill limitations for Reporting Period and Lifetime. You can find a breakdown within this article.
  • Update frequency: How often each report requests and updates data from a network.
  • Disconnection: If a profile becomes disconnected from Sprout, that disconnection impacts data collection. This most often happens on both widgets simultaneously, but it's possible for the disconnection to affect them differently.

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