Watershed Essentials: How to Use Data Search

 Heads Up: This article is for Watershed's free product Watershed Essentials. If you're a paid client, please visit our main help section.

 Expertise: This article is best executed with technical or xAPI knowledge.

How do I search data in my Watershed Essentials LRS account?

Watershed Essentials is powered by moments of activity called interaction statements (or xAPI statements). Sources—such as mobile apps or learning management systems—are connected to Watershed, and, as users perform actions in these sources, interaction statements are sent into Watershed. Data Search shows every interaction statement that has been sent to your Watershed Essentials account and allows you to perform complex searches to find specific statements you're looking for. It's a great tool to troubleshoot data issues.

This article consists of three sections:

Simple Search

The simple Data Search has four options: AgentVerbActivity, and Statement Dates. Use the Refresh button to search for values you add to one or more of the options.


Agent: Each interaction statement references a certain action performed by an individual. Here's an external resource that takes a deep dive into how people are identified in interaction statements. The Agent search allows you to search for all of the statements related to specific individuals. There are three options for agent search:

  1. mbox: The mbox search allows you to find people by their email addresses. (Note: this will only find statements that specifically have the users' email addresses in the mbox field.)Essentials_Data_Search_2.png
  2. account: In many interaction statements, the person performing an action is identified by a unique identifier for a given system and a user's unique representation on that system (e.g., Twitter.com and a user's handle). When choosing the account option, you're given the options to search for Name and Homepage. In the Twitter example, the Name would be the user's account login, and the Homepage would be http://www.twitter.com/. You might need to find an example statement that uses account to identify people before actually using this search. Essentials_Data_Search_3.png
  3. name: This will search for all interaction statements associated with a particular name, regardless of whether the person is associated with an mbox or account in the statement.Essentials_Data_Search_4.png


In each interaction statement, verbs are represented by IDs, and they're paired with display names. There are two options for verb search, and they represent either the ID or the display name:

  1. id: Search for all verbs that match the ID you choose.Essentials_Data_Search_5.png
  2. name: Search for the actual verb's name to pull up all statements with that verb.Essentials_Data_Search_6.png


In each interaction statement, activities are represented by IDs, which are paired with display names. Activities also can have short descriptions in interaction statements. There are three options for activity search, and they represent the ID, display name, or description:

  1. id: Search for all activities that match the ID you choose.Essentials_Data_Search_7.png
  2. name: Search for the actual activity's name to pull up all statements with that activity.Essentials_Data_Search_8.png
  3. description: Search for a full description or part of a description with the description search.Essentials_Data_Search_9.png

Statement Dates

Two different dates are associated with every interaction statement, and you can search for date ranges associated with either date. Use the Since box to choose the beginning of the range and the Until box to search for the end of the range. If you only choose a Since or Until, it will search for all dates with the one condition you chose.

  • stored: The stored date is the date that the statement was added to Watershed.Essentials_Data_Search_10.png
  • timestamp: The timestamp is when the activity that generated the statement actually occurred. If the data is being sent to Watershed in real time, the stored and timestamp dates should be very close, but if you're importing legacy data or the data does not come into Watershed in real time, the dates could be different.Essentials_Data_Search_11.png

Advanced Search

Advanced Search offers some lesser-used search options that can help you narrow down very specific statements you need. Six additional options come with Advanced Search: 


  1. Statement ID: Use the Statement ID to search for individual statements. This is useful for troubleshooting with a team.
  2. Related: These flags are associated with behavior as laid out in the xAPI specification. Check the Related Agents box to search for people related to users. Check the Related Activities box to search for related activities.
  3. Format: This searches for format as identified by the xAPI spec. (This search option is rarely used.)
  4. Card Filter: Paste in the Advanced Configuration from a card filter to search for all statements that would be used to get the data for the card.
  5. Query: Check out Advanced Data Search for more information about queries.
  6. Refresh: Use the Refresh button to search for values you add to one or more of the options (including options from Simple Search).
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