Creating an Implementation Spec

Mixpanel recommends creating an implementation spec that presents business goals and analytics questions while setting up Mixpanel. The implementation spec should clearly outline the events, event properties, super properties, and user profile properties needed to align a Mixpanel implementation with quantifiable KPIs and business goals.

Ultimately, your implementation spec will serve as a map for implementing Mixpanel and a reference ensuring that meaningful events and properties are being collected. It should be treated as a mutable document that is continuously updated with any implementation changes or notes that can be referenced by your team. An implementation spec should be the source of truth for questions about your Mixpanel implementation.

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What to Include in an Implementation Spec

Before even determining what possible events are, it is important to write out what you hope to accomplish through tracking. After that, consider the path within the application that you would expect a user to follow to reach your goal. Lastly and most importantly, transfer that path to specific events and the properties that describe them. This can then, for example, be viewed in a Mixpanel Funnels Report that calculates how many users are completing this path.

To break this down, start building your implementation spec by determining:

  • A business goal (i.e., something you're trying to accomplish to improve your business or product).
  • A related question about user behavior.
  • The user flow, or chain of behavior, you would need to look at to answer that question.
  • The specific events, event properties and user profile properties that define that user flow and those user behaviors.
  • Events and properties needed to target and send Mixpanel messages and campaigns.

For example, let's say you work for a music sharing application and you're building an implementation spec to get started with Mixpanel. You've decided that the most important metric for your business is revenue, so you'll start by addressing a goal related to revenue, connect that to a question, build a user flow, and then select items to track:

Goal: Drive more song purchases.
Question: What music artist is generating the most revenue?
User flow: Log in -> Listen to Song -> Purchase Song
Specifics to track:
Event name: Log in
      -Property 1: Username | Example Value: (dexter)
      -Property 2: Age | Example Value: (29)
      -Property 3: Gender | Example Value: (female)
Event name: Listen to Song
      -Property 1: Song Title | Example Values: (Stairway, Flow, California)
      -Property 2: Song Artist | Example Values: (The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys)
      -Property 3: User Plan Type | Example Values: (Free, Premium)
Event name: Purchase Song
      -Property 1: Song Artist | Example Values: (The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys)
      -Property 2: Song Price | Example Values: ($0.99, $1.00, $2.00)
      -Property 3: User Plan Type | Example Value: (Free, Premium)

Mixpanel’s client-side libraries add many important properties by default, so you don’t have to worry about generic properties like device type, browser, operating system, city, etc.

Sample Implementation Specs

Below Mixpanel provides the following light templates for vertical-specific implementation specs:

Blank Implementation Spec

You can access a copy of a blank Implementation Spec from here. Save a copy to your device to get started on your implementation spec. 

If you'd like to see another vertical-specific implementation spec that isn't available yet, please post your feedback in Mixpanel Community.

Professional Services

Mixpanel also offers Professional Services to ensure your success with user analytics - from implementation to ongoing support and technical consultation.

While the templates above can guide an implementation, they do not cover as much as Mixpanel consultants do when working directly with you and your team.

Please contact Mixpanel if you'd like guidance through the process of building out an analytics measurement framework and the corresponding data schema specific to your business and objectives. 

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