Build a Query in Signal

Signal measures and evaluates the association between a correlation event and a goal event and quantifies the correlation between the two. Understanding the possible connection between events builds deeper understanding of end user experience, and can ultimately prompt informed changes in an application. This article describes how to build a query in Signal.

View this article to learn more about Signal and how it assesses possible connections between events. 

Accessing Signal

To access Signal, first click Analysis, then click Signal in the right part of a Mixpanel project.

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By default, Mixpanel will build a query to show how your top 50 events correlate with 2nd week retention in the last quarter for all users. This translates to, “How do the top events correlate with two week retention in the last quarter for all users?"

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Build a New Query

To build a new query with Signal, enter the Signal report in the desired Mixpanel project.

Signal queries require a minimum of 60 days worth of data. Queries with any less data history will return a calculation error.

1. Determine and specify the target users. “All users” is the default.

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2. Select any event performed by the target user by clicking the + sign.

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3. Further filter by property by clicking + Filter and selecting any properties as well as the frequency of occurrence.

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4. Determine and select the Goal Event and its properties. The goal event can be a specific event with a frequency (users did Goal Event at least x number of times) or one of the default Signal retention events calculated by Mixpanel.

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The default retention events available in Signal include:

  • 2nd week retention: Users doing a specific action or set of actions in your project and then returning to do anything within two weeks.
  • 3rd week retention: Users doing a specific action or set of actions in your project and then returning to do anything within three weeks.
  • 4th week retention: Users doing a specific action or set of actions in your project and then returning to do anything within four weeks.
  • 2nd month retention: Users doing a specific action or set of actions in your project and then returning to do anything within two months.

5. Determine and select the Correlation Event and its properties. It is possible to add up to ten different correlation events by clicking the + button at the bottom of the query builder. 

  • The correlation event can be broken down by property. To do this, select + Breakdown and select the property to break the data down by.
  • The correlation event can be filtered by property. To do this, select + Filter and select the property and property value you want to filter by.

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6. Select the time frame for the query and the users who are to be evaluated. It’s important to select a long enough time frame that allows users to complete both the correlation event(s) and the goal event.

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6. Click Correlate.

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Difference Between New Users and All Users

New users are users who have completed their first event in the selected time frame.

All users will look at all users in your Mixpanel project who have completed the event in the selected time frame.

Breakdown a Query

It is possible to breakdown the correlation event of a Signal query by its properties. Breaking down the query will return results for all of the values tied to the breakdown property.

There are two different requirements that must be met in order to break down a Signal query.

  • The target users must be “All users” and not “New users”.
  • A query can only be broken down if one correlation event is selected.

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Correlation calculations for events which are sampled may be affected by the absence of omitted users. Please keep this in mind when interpreting results. Calculations for events without sampling will be unaffected.

Filter a Query

It is possible to filter the correlation event of a signal query by a property value. Filtering the query will return results for only the property value that the query is filtered by.

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Using Cohorts 

It is possible to use a Mixpanel cohort as either the target users or as the goal event. 

Use a Cohort as the Target Users

It is possible to select a cohort as the target users in a Signal query. This runs Signal calculations, such as correlation and opportunity, with the queried population being all users currently in the cohort.

To build a Signal query with a cohort as the target users, enter the Signal report, select the users dropdown, and select a cohort from the list. Learn how to create a cohort.

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Use a Cohort as The Goal Event

It is possible to select a cohort as the goal condition of a Signal query. This runs Signal calculations, such as correlation and opportunity, with the the goal being target users either existing in or not existing in the selected cohort.

To build a Signal query with a cohort as the goal event, select the Goal Event dropdown, select the Cohorts tab, and select a cohort. Learn how to create a cohort.

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Cohorts are always calculated at query time.

This means that if a “from date” and “to date” are selected so that the query is analyzing a time period in the past, the cohort will NOT be the cohort during that historical time period. The cohort will be current, meaning the users analyzed will be the users currently in the cohort.

View Results

View this article to learn about interpreting Signal results. 

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