Freshpaint + Mixpanel: Powerful precision tracking meets codeless implementation - Mixpanel
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Freshpaint + Mixpanel: Powerful precision tracking meets codeless implementation

Harsh Patel Product Marketing @ Mixpanel

Product analytics tools help teams understand mission-critical metrics so they can transform data into actionable insights that improve the user experience. 

But before you can use a product analytics tool with your own data, you need to send the data to it. Usually this involves implementing a tracker, which looks something like this:

mixpanel.track("user subscribed", {"plan": "free trial"})

Here’s where things can get complicated. Businesses typically have dozens of tools in their tech stack, and most of these tools require some form of tracking, often for the same data. Code-based implementations (also known as precision tracking) require engineering work, so collecting data to send to all of these different tools, or even just one of them, means that the team must divert their focus from core product development.

For many—especially burgeoning startups—this can be a nonstarter. In our conversations with with thousands of companies we’ve heard many objections, the most popular being:

  • We don’t have the developer resources for this project
  • We’re concerned about ongoing maintenance for analytics, and
  • We’re worried we might make a mistake and forget to track things.

It’s due to these concerns that many organizations who want to get more value out of their data view the implementation process as a dealbreaker. We commonly hear sentiments like, “we’re not entirely ready for a code-based implementation”, “we’ll stick with Google Analytics”, and “we’ll revisit this in a year.”

These concerns are valid—they’re the reason codeless tracking (also known as autotrack) first rose in popularity. However, autotracked events come at a cost, which is why we discourage relying solely on a codeless implementation. In fact, many of our customers have told us that they made an active choice to proceed with a codeless tool like Heap or Pendo due to resource constraints, only to regret not choosing more robust coded tracking like Mixpanel earlier on (more on this below).

But, what if there was a better way to track data and get started with Mixpanel with minimal, or even no code?

What if this solution also gave you retroactive historical data?

What if you could use Mixpanel today without requiring a developer to set it up, and then rely on more robust coded tracking when resources aren’t bottlenecked? 

That solution exists, today. It’s called Freshpaint, one of Mixpanel’s partners. And it’s free to get started.

What is Freshpaint?

Freshpaint is a customer data platform (CDP) that helps unify and standardize customer data from your site or app across your analytics tools. Freshpaint enables data collection with both codeless and code-based tracking at the same time. This allows teams trying to implement new tools (like product analytics) to free up developer bandwidth and unblock product and growth teams so they can fully leverage their data.

What makes Freshpaint so valuable is its ability to reconcile precise code-based tracking and codeless, point-and-click, visual tagging. This enables teams to collect data codelessly so they can get up and running fast, and then augment it with cleaner, more robust, customer data collected with coded tracking (for instance, as they scale and acquire more dev resources, or for new mission-critical data points).

Hybrid tracking for reliability and scalability

This hybrid approach to tracking provides the best of both worlds: helping you get value out of your data today, while ensuring you can level up for increased data accuracy, reliability, and security tomorrow.

Who needs hybrid data tracking?

While the benefits of a fully code-based approach are unmatched, not every organization has the resources in place to rely on one. If you’re resource-constrained, Freshpaint and Mixpanel recommend a hybrid approach to collecting data. Usually, this is done by tracking critical data points with code, and using codeless tracking for non-critical data.

Why a codeless implementation will let you down

Most companies looking for a product analytics solution don’t just want features that answer their specific questions—they’re trying to solve a larger problem that helps them inform their future data strategy.

The promise of a codeless implementation is enticing, and the claim is simple: you can automatically capture user interactions without writing code using a simple point-and-click UI. 

This is understandably attractive for resource-constrained teams, but tools that are 100% codeless are far from a silver bullet. Codeless tools require less upfront attention but can compromise a long-term data strategy. We’ve heard many complaints from users that have switched to Mixpanel from 100 percent codeless tools:

  • Inaccurate and incomplete data collection
  • Weak identity management
  • Tracking that breaks with front-end product changes
  • Difficult to export data to other tools
  • Enforced client-side tracking

Over time these issues compound and make it even tougher to use data for decision making. This is the last thing you’d want when experiencing consistent growth.

An implementation that scales with your company

This is where hybrid data tracking is unique—it provides you with a practical path to augment your implementation over time, so your setup can grow with your company without jeopardizing your agility now and in the future.

Freshpaint lowers the barrier to getting started with product analytics

Hybrid tracking enabled by Mixpanel and Freshpaint saves time and jumpstarts your team’s use of data while proving a clear upgrade path as your strategy grows in sophistication.

This reduces the need for development resources, makes product analytics more accessible at a lower internal cost, and provides greater access to data for more people without impacting data integrity. This prevents the “garbage in, garbage out” problem that plagues most users of codeless tools, which is inarguably a good thing.

If you’re interested in hybrid data collection, Mixpanel makes it easy for you to connect your data with CDPs like Freshpaint. Check out our developer documentation to learn more about getting started.

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