What is the Top Limit field and how to use it

What is the Top Limit field

The Top Limit functionality is offered by Adobe Analytics and affects the number of elements returned by the query. More specifically, it keeps the first 'n' elements ordered by the first metric chosen in a query.




How it works

The Top Limit takes the first n breakdowns, aggregated by the first metric requested, over the entire period specified, then returns the daily values for those values, whether or not they are in the top values for that given day.


The Top functionality works in several steps as follows:

  1. Adobe aggregates the metrics for each breakdown, over the entire period specified
  2. Compares the aggregated values and only keeps the top ‘n’ breakdowns (where ‘n’ is the top limit)
  3. Returns the daily values for the breakdowns that are in the top ‘n’



Scenario A - Top Limit set to 5


Query: Pageviews per page for 7 days, granularity daily.

By setting the Top Limit to 5, Adobe takes the total pageviews for that week, sorts the pages by their total number of pageviews and takes the first 5 Pages.

For each of these pages, it will then return the daily pageviews.

In this scenario, it will return *at most* 35 rows (5 pages * 7 days).


NOTE: It is possible for Adobe to return less than 35 rows if, on a given day, one or more of those pages do not have any pageviews (yet in the overall ranking for that week, they are in the top 5).

Scenario B - Top Limit not set

Query: Pageviews per page for 7 days, granularity daily.

If for the same query as in scenario A, the Top Limit is not set, Adobe simply returns the entire data for the daily pageviews.


In this scenario, it returns 49 rows. In general, the number of rows returned depends on the number of available pages.