Unique count on a term more than documents? Is that possible?

(Pantelis Karamolegkos) #1

How is the following possible when searching in an index pattern?
How can the unique appearances of a keyword term be more than the documents themselves?

(swarmee.net) #2

"Unique count" in kibana uses the cardinality aggregation --> see here

If you read the cardinality aggregation page you will see its an approximate unique count. So short answer is due to the distributed nature of elasticsearch - unique counts can only be approximates (unless your index only has a single shard).

(Pantelis Karamolegkos) #3

Thx for this clarification;
so is there a way (or what is the recommended way) to make this comparison:

exact number of unique entries (based on some field)


exact number of all documents


(Christian Dahlqvist) #4

Document count is not approximated, so will be accurate. The cardinality aggregation can be exact as long as you have all your data in a single shard. For a discussion on why this is not possible in Elasticsearch as you scale out, have a look at this thread.

(system) #5

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