Getting Started

How is Mixpanel different?

Mixpanel is the most advanced analytics platform for mobile & web. Instead of measuring pageviews, it helps you analyze the actions people take in your application. An action can be anything - someone uploading a picture, playing a video, or sharing a post, for example.

There are only two things you really need to know about Mixpanel: events and properties.

What is an event?

An event is an action someone takes in your application or on your website.

You can define any event that is specific to your business. We recommend starting out with just 5 events - a single key metric that you would bet your company on (for Instagram this would be photo uploads) and 4-5 other events that allow you to create a funnel.

What is a property?

A property is a little bit of extra information that describes an event.

For example, Instagram might send an event called 'Uploaded photo'. With that event, they could include a property called 'Photo filetype' so they could determine the kinds of photos uploaded. Mixpanel doesn't inherently have this information so they would need to send it with each event they track.

You can define any number of properties that you want. Your own properties will be specific to your business - 'Photo filetype' makes sense for Instagram, but it likely doesn't apply to your events. You might have properties like 'gender' or 'age' instead. Including a variety of dimensions with your events will let you do deeper analysis with Mixpanel in the future.

Properties are typically sent as key:value pairs. For example:

{"age": 13, "gender": "male", "photo filetype": "png"}

One last thing: Profiles

Mixpanel also lets you tie data to your users. When you do this you have created a profile.

A profile is where you store properties about a specific user - things like an email address, where they came from, or their age. These properties allow you to drill down to very specific segments of customers and learn more. When you include contact information, like an email address, you can start sending targeted email messages right from Mixpanel. 

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