Inside Mixpanel

10 things you [probably] didn’t know you could do with Mixpanel

Jeff Beckham

Every now and then you have a conversation that opens your eyes to an idea staring you in the face, waiting for you to notice it. A few weeks ago, I was walking a partner through our product vision and recent shipments, when he exclaimed, “wow, I didn’t know Mixpanel could do that.” Then he said it twice more during our 20-minute talk.

He had been using Mixpanel for years, but has a lot going on (as we all do), and some features he values had slipped past him. In case you’re in the same situation, our Product Management and Customer Success teams have surfaced their greatest hits of “I didn’t realize that” moments from throughout 2019.

The topics span activation metrics, chatbots, mobile dashboards, and emojis.

1. Build highly-customized dashboards – and check on them from your phone or inbox

Anyone who makes decisions with data should have a go-to dashboard. They’re how I check on which blog articles the world finds interesting. To that end, an additional inspiration for this post was the popularity of last year’s article, 2018 Product Highlights.

In the last year, we’ve released dozens of dashboard upgrades. Highlights include:

  • Drag-and-drop cards that can be resized to your liking, so your dashboard is ready for any metrics meeting
  • New visualization options, including pie charts, all in new colors that make it easy to distinguish trends and segments
  • Filter by cohorts and properties to see your metrics from any lens, all in one place
  • Email digests so you can get weekly updates on any dashboard in your inbox
  • Brand new iOS app. We launched the first version in 2016, but have given it a full overhaul that brings all the visualizations of the web to mobile
custom mixpanel dashboards on mobile

2. Query Mixpanel data with SQL, enabled by managed pipelines to your data warehouse

A common request many analysts and data scientists have is, “how can I query Mixpanel data with SQL?” It’s simply what they feel most comfortable with, and when user data is in a data warehouse, it’s easy to combine it with other business data stored in other tables. We use BigQuery at Mixpanel to calculate certain advanced business trends that span systems of record. For example, “how should we assign CSMs to accounts to ensure all customers get great service, while maximizing retention and growth opportunities for the business?”

Our Data Pipelines product can sync your data in Mixpanel to the top cloud data warehouses from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Snowflake, as well as blob stores and real-time queues.

3. Run up to 2,296 Mixpanel reports in a week

That’s the 2019 record set by a long-time Mixpanel user, which translates to 328 queries run per day. Our goal is always to help you answer your questions as quickly as possible so you can get back to building your product, but sometimes there are a lot of questions!

If you are the type who likes to dig into the data, we’ve improved query speed by 25% in the last year, from an average of 1.2 seconds to 0.8 seconds. We know every millisecond of your time is valuable, and want you to be able to answer a series of questions on the fly, without throwing off your whole day.

4. Ask Mixpanel to automatically segment a funnel by every available property, then send a list of high- and low-converting segments to your inbox

At your request, Mixpanel can surface segments that disproportionately contribute to conversion rates – either positively or negatively. Beneath any funnel, click the “Find Interesting Segments” button and you’ll get an email showing the results within a couple of minutes. It only includes statistically significant segments so your results are actionable.

For example, if you are charged with driving new subscriptions to your video streaming service, Mixpanel could tell you which platforms and regions are worth further investment in terms of product development and advertising.

5. Find your own “7 friends in 10 days” metric, then measure and monitor it

Facebook provided the prototype for activation metrics by famously finding the tipping point that gets their new users to stick around in the long run. With Mixpanel’s correlation analysis tool, Signal, you can find your own “aha” moment. Simply input a goal, like 90-day retention, and see which series of actions typically leads users to that outcome. Here is what our customer, PatientPing, did.

From there, it’s important to keep tabs on how your metric is trending. Mixpanel lets you define the metric in the cohort builder, then create a time series in Insights to follow its status at any point in time. This capability is not available in other user analytics solutions and applies more broadly to other Growth KPIs, such as stickiness and power usage.

heatmap mixpanel

6. Collect enough data in a month to fill over 100 million floppy disks

A customer running a video streaming platform once ingested 95 billion data points into Mixpanel during the month of an international sporting event. If we were still in 1982, it would take 131,944,444 brand new 3.5-inch floppy disks to store all the data. That’s a lot of disks.

To ensure you can make use of all your data quickly, at any volume, we introduced a feature called query-time sampling. It gives you all the performance benefits of ingestion-time sampling – the common approach – but without dropping data that you’ll need for accurate decision making and behavioral targeting.

7. Trigger an in-app message right when a user meets the qualification criteria

Timing and targeting are everything in marketing. I’ve been in the field my entire career, and in the past would roll my eyes at the common trope, “send the right message at the right time.”  But it’s actually possible now. For example, you can send in-app messages encouraging your active users to rate the app after they complete a specific action, such as sharing a comedy video or building a photo album.

This is one of many ways you can use your Mixpanel data to engage with users.

8. Include emojis in your emails and push notifications 💪

Who said data can’t be fun? If you’re sending a message that deserves a smiley face or fire emoji, you have the power to make it happen with full UTF-8 support.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are three 🔥messages that have been shared with us:

👏Fab-leisure it up, your class starts in 20 min! 🏃💪

Are you ready to ⌚the next episode?

🔥⛵Red hot sale – get 30% off today!

9. Track any events you want, without worrying about extra costs

For 20+ years, the analytics industry was charging for data points collected, or, in simpler terms, storage. As software continues to eat the world, there are more and more critical online interactions with customers that every business needs to track. Without knowing all the details about the customer experience, you are playing with a hand behind your back in making it great.

For this reason, and many others, we transitioned to a Monthly Tracked Users (MTU) pricing model last year. We think you’ll find it better matches with the value your business creates. It’s also more predictable should you be fortunate enough to successfully increase user engagement.

10. Power analytics for robot vacuums and digital jukeboxes

We nerd out when we see cool new analytics use cases. They’re the manifestation of how technology and the world are changing. Regardless of what your product is, if it connects to the internet, we can help you track the experience, analyze the data, and make it better for your customers. In case you’re looking for inspiration, here are some of the most interesting use cases from our customer story catalogue:

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