Inside Mixpanel

Introducing analytics for startups for the new year, 2009

Suhail Doshi

I’d like to personally introduce you to mixpanel an analytics service built specifically for any web application to drive companies big and small through user-behavior metrics. I highly recommend checking out the site if you have not come because of it.

Why are analytics even important?

It is our belief that the most successful products, services, and most entertaining applications on the internet address the most pivotal factor determining their success: understanding their users. Analytics are the equivalent of batman’s tool-belt when he fights crime, they help you understand your users in the best possible way. A lot of people who start out for the first time don’t realize that most of the successful companies/brands are also obsessively data driven by internally built analytics: Facebook, Slide, RockYou, Google. They know everything from what size of a button makes you click on it more to how many people come back after 6 days to post a comment on your wall. Intelligence is key, being able to predict the future is invaluable, and understanding what about your site users love and hate is the difference between being successful or not. Figure out what users interact with the most, find out why they come back, and find out why they leave– analytics is your tool-belt to help you, use it.

Why you and not Google Analytics or some other service?

It’s true, Google Analytics is free and we don’t even discourage you from using it–you should, we even do! Here’s the reason though, mixpanel is focused on delivering metrics and analysis specifically for your site, something Google either cannot do or is extremely tedious. We built our API with flexibility and robustness and we can do some pretty cool things:

  • We can figure out what percentage users come back to interact with any feature of your site 1, 2, 3, 4 days after even.
  • We can tell you how many times each user on your site does action/event: x, y, z.
  • We can tell you how many unique users do action/event: x, y, z
  • We can tell you how many notifications, invites, emails, x, y, z a user sends out on average and total amongst all users.
  • We can do your A/B tests and then filter it down to male/female, young/old, happy/sad, etc.
  • We even tell you how your events/actions are doing week after week
  • We can help you track metrics for your lifecycle messaging events.
  • We provide extremely detailed analysis for any interactions on your site, we really mean detailed analytics. Like 5% of your male users come back to their profiles to poke 20 females on average on the second day they come back to your site detailed. (I know it’s a mouthful, bare with me)

There’s a lot more to it and we encourage you to try us out and there’s so much under the hood. I think any startup will understand as they mature, generic services like Google Analytics simply do not cut the kind of tracking user-behavior metrics require and we hope to solve this problem. Focus on your product and use us early to help you iterate till it becomes mature. We’ve built a service that probably works faster and is more detailed out of box then your competitors (and we work passionately on making it better everyday). If you’re already mature hardware, maintenance, data storage, and employees cost a lot of money. Try us out and migrate slowly, we’re happy to assist anyone big or small even if we have to write some code!

Conclusion

To conclude, we’re going to dedicate most of this blog to helping data driven people squeeze the most out of mixpanel and hopefully usher a new year of successful companies that we’ve helped.

Most of the posts here will either describe a new or current feature of mixpanel or help you understand how to use mixpanel in innovative ways even we’ve just discovered! Even if you don’t use us and are obessive about your stats, we encourage you to read or subscribe as we will also dedicate many posts to our ideas in using user-behavior metrics in unqiue ways to help any data driven company.

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