Understand User Behavior with Data and Analytics - Mixpanel
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Understand User Behavior with Data and Analytics

Last edited: Aug 18, 2022 Published: Aug 2, 2019

The more you know, the more you’ll grow. Great product development requires an intimate understanding of the user. It doesn’t matter how much time, energy, and money is spent on creating a product if no one wants to use it.

Mixpanel Team

What Data Tells You About User Behavior

Behavioral analytics goes much deeper than simple metrics like page views. It tells you what a user viewed on the page, how long they viewed it, and what they did afterward. Engagement, retention, conversion – what needs to be done to make improvements becomes much more clear when you have in-depth data on user behavior.

Unearthing user behavior data and turning it into actionable insights doesn’t require special knowledge or building a custom reporting system in-house. Mixpanel has developed a highly compatible behavioral analytics platform that can help product managers and development teams delve deep into user behavior. Our out-of-the-box reports make it easy to see how users are interacting with products, using your website, where they are coming from, and much more. 

The Mixpanel platform gives you the ability to parse out data that answers specific questions like how intuitive is the purchasing process and are marketing campaigns speaking to the right type of consumer. Data parameters are fully customizable to gather precise user behavior analytics that matter most to your business.

With a comprehensive analytics platform, you have the ability to know what users do, how they do it, when they do it, and why they do it.

How Analytics Data Reveals User Behavior

Without analytics, businesses would have to use time-consuming, limited consumer testing to get a better understanding of how customers interact on a website or use a product. Even then you won’t get a true sense of how the user base at large behaves.


Segmenting data allows you to focus on a factor that can influence user behavior or analyze the behavior itself. Examples of segmentation include:

  • Browser
  • Date
  • Time
  • Device
  • Location
  • Age
  • Activity level

At Mixpanel we also give you the ability to segment by action, such as video upload and account sign in. The various segments can be combined to analyze behavior at a granular level. 

Cohort Comparisons

Sometimes user behavior data is most beneficial when you’re able to compare results. This is a key aspect of measuring retention rates when you need to compare behaviors among a cohort at different time intervals.

Comparing one user cohort against another can also tell you which group is the most valuable and therefore should be targeted. The number of purchases or amount spent are data points that can show the lifetime value (LTV) of a cohort. You can then build campaigns specifically for the most profitable users and take initiative to get them to behave in a desired way. 

Follow the Customer Journey

The path that a customer takes is very telling. For one, it tells you if the funnels you’re creating are doing their job and leading customers toward an established goal.

Behavior data can also tell you how a user got to an end point. Knowing what the user did along the way and after taking a desired action allows you to guide future users down a certain path. And knowing where users drop off allows you to address the challenges that are hindering conversion rates. The Mixpanel analytics platform makes it easy to review customer journeys with starting and ending point parameters. 

Event Data Taxonomy

The event data you select and how it is arranged has a huge bearing on interpreting user behavior. The events you choose to track should relate to your business’ key performance metrics and goals. From there, event taxonomy should reflect the path you want users to take. The Mixpanel analytics platform gives you the ability to easily organize event taxonomy that pulls from a selection of user properties, events, and event properties.

Interpret Intent

Intent boils down to what users want or expect to get out of your product, app, service, etc. Users are acting in a way with the intent of getting something in return. With the help of user behavior data you can find out what they want and give it to them. 

Understand Emotions

Behavior data isn’t just cold, hard facts. Behavioral analytics gives you an idea of what users are feeling. It can tell you if people are excited, bored, or happy depending on how they interact and how engaged they are. And emotions lead to actions. If you know how users feel and/or what elicits an emotion you can use that to your advantage to encourage users to take specific actions. 

Cross-Platform Behavioral Analytics

For the most comprehensive understanding of your users, you’ll want to use tools that are capable of cross-platform behavior analytics. Not only can you pull user behavior data from various sources with the Mixpanel platform, you can choose to keep each one separate or compile them all together. You can find out if users are using a product in a similar manner across platforms or if there are unique patterns. 

Why Understanding User Behavior is Beneficial for Business

Knowing how users behave drives growth. Deeper insight into your customers’ behavior tells you what’s working and what’s missing the mark. Having this understanding can lead to informed decisions that improve marketing campaigns, engagement, conversions, and retention. 

Know if You Are Targeting the Right Type of User

If users aren’t converting or remaining engaged it’s a sign you may not be targeting the right audience. Analyzing the key differences between users that convert the most and those that convert the least can reveal characteristics that influence who you market to and how you reach them.

Know if Messaging Resonates With Users

Emotions, drop offs, paths taken – they all give you an idea of how well your messaging is working. Behavior like commenting and reviews can also be used to develop messaging that encourages conversions.

Save Time and Your R&D Budget

You don’t have to waste time guessing what product features will attract customers and improve retention when you have user behavior data. The user behavior data is powerful research that tells you what users want and directs product development. It can also show you where A/B tests should be conducted. 

Influence Future Behavior

Knowing what users are doing now and how they engage gives you the insight needed to influence the behavior of future users. You’ll be able to determine where users run into roadblocks that keep them from converting, upgrading, or coming back. For instance, if you find that a significant number of users are dropping off before providing their physical address on a form removing the field or making it optional can improve form completions. 

Know Where Users Are Coming From

How users find your website or product is crucial in terms of marketing and converting. You may find that your highest converting users primarily come from a single source. Ramping up marketing efforts to drive more traffic from the source can boost conversions and revenue. Conversely, you may discover that the majority of users from a particular source bounce immediately and marketing spend may be better spent elsewhere. Knowing where users come from also gives you insight into their mindset and motivations once they reach a landing page.

Use Behavior to Define User Cohorts

Behavioral analytics can help you define user cohorts based on the actions that users take. Tracking the cohorts you’ll be able to see if and when users transition to another group, and you’ll be able to better predict retention among a user cohort. 

Create a More Engaging Content Plan 

Which pages have the most likes, views, and comments? These actions tell you what type of content your user base is most interested in seeing. Use the information during the content planning phase to optimize each page and even figure out when to schedule content publishing. 

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