Betterment LLC (“Betterment’) is the largest independent digital investment advisor, offering investing and retirement solutions alongside their everyday services for spending and saving. Since 2010, Betterment has had one mission: to make people’s lives better with easy-to-use, personalized investment solutions. Using cutting-edge technology, they empower hundreds of thousands of customers to manage their money – for today, tomorrow, and someday – with expert advice; automated money management tools; and tax-smart strategies designed to maximize after-tax returns.
Betterment was seeking tools and technologies to allow their employees to self-serve insights and analysis to support their focus on driving a data-centric culture. They needed data to surface pain points in their user experience and visibility into event history and lifecycle patterns of their customers.
Betterment partnered with Mixpanel and Hightouch to enrich their tech stack for day-to-day work with their product, design, engineering, and analytics teams to meet their fundamental mission of making people’s lives better. They utilized Hightouch to segment their Mixpanel reports and funnels by different groups of users, enabling more customer segmentation in Mixpanel and a better understanding of customer needs and preferences.
- Improved their user journey knowledge through the creation and use of Insight Reports to monitor how often a particular user action occurs within their platform
- Monitored the impact of deployment changes and tracked any unintended movement in drop-off rates
- Enhanced customer experience by identifying and remediating friction points in signup and onboarding flows.
How they did it:
Tell us about Betterment’s Analytics team’s mission.
Analytics is one of the fastest growing teams at Betterment. We operate with a 360-degree view of the company, working closely with teams to partner and advise on creating the best experience for our users. Projects range from propensity modeling to creating beautiful dashboards that provide a pulse on the business.
Here are some of the key focus areas for our Analytics Team:
- Collaborate with key stakeholders such as product, marketing and sales to drive actionable insights through data-driven analysis
- Communicate results and trends to management with recommendations for change
- Build, maintain, and improve reporting to measure and track performance and understand customer behavior
- Partner with product management end-to-end on analytics: quantify the impact of features, implement tracking, design and measure experiments, and monitor performance
- Create useful data visualizations that help business leaders make decisions
What is your culture around data?
Betterment encourages a data-centric culture. We seek out tools and technologies that allow our employees to self-serve insights and analysis. Mixpanel is a natural fit in this tech stack – product, design, engineering, and analytics routinely use Mixpanel in their day-to-day work.
How is Mixpanel used alongside your internal tools?
Mixpanel is Betterment’s choice for product analytics. At Betterment, we generally use Mixpanel in one of four ways:
- Insights & Flows – Mixpanel is critical to allow our product professionals to better understand user journeys. Our teams routinely create Insight Reports to monitor how often a particular user action occurs within our platform. This has helped to optimize our funnel performance – maximizing the number of visitors that convert to full-fledged customers.
- Funnels – Betterment deploys dozens of changes – small to large – to our core product in a given week. Mixpanel allows us to monitor the impact of these changes and track any (unintended) movement in drop-off rates.
- User debugging – customer experience is a critical component of our product. Mixpanel allows our customer-facing teams to see the event history and pattern of life for a particular user.
How does Mixpanel fit into your larger tech stack?
Betterment uses Amazon Redshift to collect application data, event data from Amazon Kinesis and Segment, and relevant third-party data into a single storage space. That space is maintained and curated as the golden source of data for the organization. Relevant reporting and BI tools – like Looker – consume this data to surface insights for Betterment.
At Betterment, Mixpanel is positioned as a tool to access real-time event data from Segment, absent the latency of a traditional data warehouse.
You’re using both Mixpanel and Hightouch to drive success with your business. Tell us about how you use these tools in tandem, and how Hightouch helps you get more out of Mixpanel.
Customer Segmentation is a critical part of Betterment’s marketing and go-to-market strategies. We found that funnels and insight reports were incredibly valuable, but sometimes missed the context that our teams require to drive messaging decisions.
Hightouch is essential to including more customer segmentation in Mixpanel. We use Hightouch to routinely send data from our Redshift cluster to user properties in Mixpanel. These properties range from cursory details – age, signup date, etc. – to more complex details such as assets under management, etc.
The value-add of these custom user properties has been significant for Betterment. Product and engineering teams use Mixpanel to better understand the impact of design changes at a very granular level.
Prior to bringing on Hightouch, how were you hydrating Mixpanel with data?
Prior to bringing on Hightouch, we were primarily propagating Segment data into Mixpanel. At the time, this was our best and most effective option to expose real-time data to our Product and Engineering Teams. Segment is our closest source of “live data” – events are emitted every few seconds, compared to the daily cadence of our data transforms.
What are some of the questions you and the team are using Mixpanel reports to answer?
Betterment offers a 401(k) product that integrates with most payroll providers. Mixpanel reports have been particularly helpful for assessing how employers and employees onboard onto our B2B platform. For example, Funnels and Flows have helped to identify higher conversion rates for Web, when compared to users on mobile. These insights are critical to surface pain points in our user experience.
What’s your favorite new feature release that Mixpanel made in the past year?
The ability to drag and drop properties anywhere in query builder has been our favorite new feature release to date. This enhancement encourages our users to more readily play with our data.
How would your job be different if your team didn’t have Mixpanel?
Mixpanel is a universal language at Betterment. Our Analytics Team uses Mixpanel to communicate insights with stakeholders in product, design, and engineering. We routinely create custom reports, funnels, and dashboards in lieu of workbooks and ad-hoc queries. This helps Betterment to increase data literacy and competency across the organization. Without Mixpanel, bridging the gap between Product and Analytics would be challenging.
How would your Mixpanel usage be different if you didn’t use Hightouch?
Betterment’s fundamental mission is making people’s lives better. To do this, we need to understand and contextualize what the Betterment experience is for different audiences.
Hightouch enables us to segment our Mixpanel reports and funnels by different groups of users. Without Hightouch, we would find it difficult to understand customer needs and preferences.