Analysis Overview

Mixpanel is a tool that lets you analyze your user behavior to help you make better decisions about your product, and in this article you will learn what are the different kinds of analyses that are possible and what are the common operations you need to know across these analyses.

Different kinds of analyses

There are generally 3 kinds of analyses that product teams do:

  • Engagement analysis
    • Sample questions:
      • How many rides were completed in the US in the last 30 days?
      • How many users did a purchase yesterday?
      • How many total minutes of content was viewed across all shows in India ?
    • Report: Insights
  • Conversion analysis
    • Sample questions:
      • What was the conversion rate from add to cart to checkout yesterday?
      • How many users listened to 5 songs and created a playlist within the same session yesterday?
    • Report: Funnels
  • Retention analysis
    • Sample questions:
      • What was the 7-day retention for users sending text messages?
      • How many users in the last year have watched their first ever video and then come back and watched another video 30 days later?
    • Report: Retention

Concepts

  • Event: An event is a data point that represents an interaction between a user and your product. Events can be a wide range of interactions. For example, a music service might track a new user signing up for an account or a user playing a song as an event.
  • User: A user is an individual that interacts with your product. In Mixpanel, each data point in your project is connected to a single user. 
  • Property: Named piece of context attached to an event or user. There are 2 types of properties:
    • Event Property: pieces of information that describe the event. E.g. genre = pop
    • Profile property: pieces of information that store the most recent context about a User (user profile property),  Group (group profile property) or another property (lookup profile property).
  • Profile: A profile is a collection of profile properties that describe the most recent context about a user., group or another property. There are 3 types of profiles:
    • User profile: Collection of profile properties that store the most recent context of a user.
    • Group profile: Collection of profile properties that store the most recent context of a group.
    • Lookup profile: Collection of profile properties that store the most recent context of another property. Let's say you are storing SongID as an event property, but now want to expand SongID to also store Song Name and Song Genre, a lookup profile property on SongID can let you do that. To read more, view Lookup tables.
    • See this to understand the differences between a user profile, group profile and a lookup profile.
  • Metric: (or Measure): Metrics turn events, users, or properties into a number.
    • E.g. Video events -> Total videos watched in last 30 days.
  • Segment: are subsets of events or users that share a set of properties.
    • E.g. Users that watched a video from city = San Francisco.

Common operations

Breakdowns

Breakdown is another word for segmentation. To breakdown by a property is to split events or users into segments, each of which shares a particular value, or range for that property.

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Filters

Breakdowns let you view multiple segments. Filters just zoom in to a particular segment.

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Time

 Time is a property on each event that indicates when it happened.

    • The datepicker is how we express filtering on time. Selecting a range in the datepicker scopes down analysis to only events that match that filter.

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    • A time-series, or line chart, is how we express segmenting on time. Every point on the chart is represents some measure of the segment of events that time window.

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Custom Event

A virtual event that was created from one or more events, optionally filtered down by a particular set of properties. It has a name. 

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Custom Property

Properties created from other existing properties by using Excel-like formulas. Learn more.

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Cohort

A cohort is a segment of users that shares a particular property or a particular aggregation on their events (event count, property sum, distinct days active, etc.)

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Report

A report is a visualization of a segmented aggregation of events or users.

    • Insights: Insights lets you visualize a metric (count, sum, average of properties...) of your events or users, optionally filtered or segmented based on their properties. Learn more.
    • Funnels: A funnel segments users by how far they went down a particular sequence of events. A 3-step funnel has 3 segments (one per step)and the visualization shows how many users started from the 1st segment and made it to the 3rd segment. Learn more.
    • Flows: Flows identifies the most frequent paths taken by users from or to any event. Use Flows to understand how your users sequentially perform events in your product, and analyze drop-offs or unsuccessful behavior. Learn more.
    • Retention: Retention is designed to create a normalized, actionable metric to assess user engagement over a specified period of time. .Retention lets you segment your users in two dimensions:
      • The time that they first do a particular event, aka the birth interval
      • The duration between ^ and the time they do the same, or another, event. Learn more.
    • Live View: Live View lets you view a list of all your most recently tracked events, optionally filtered down to a particular segment.
    • Explore: Explore lets you list out all your users, or a segment of them that have a certain property. Learn more.

Dashboard

It is a collection of reports. A dashboard can have a filter applied. In that case, the filter is applied to all of its constituent reports. 

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Compare to Past

Compare to past is a shortcut for segmenting a visualization on two time periods (current and past).

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Session

This is a period of continuous user activity. Use Sessions in Mixpanel to track which events users perform within a session, how many sessions contained a key action or how many sessions it takes for a user to convert in a funnel. Learn more.

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