An Intro to Mixpanel Library for Beginners

An Intro to Mixpanel Library for Beginners

Mixpanel is quite different from Google Analytics. It offers different types of libraries for setting up Mixpanel on different platforms like websites or mobile apps.  For websites, Mixpanel offers a JavaScript library which contains multiple functions to set up events.

For example, if you want to track pageviews, you will have to setup pageview event using the pageview function(mixpanel.track(“Pageview);. So you don’t need to be a ninja but at least need to have basic knowhow of different types of Mixpanel functions to properly follow your tracking plan.

The Mixpanel tracking snippet initiates the Mixpanel library which contains the mixpanel.init function. If you have enabled auto tracking, this will track pageviews automatically, otherwise, you will have to add the pageview function(mixpanel.track(“Pageview”);).

In this article, I will walk you through some of the basic and necessary functions that are used to track events in Mixpanel. This will help you understand how Mixpanel events can be used for tracking different types of events. You can, of course, thank me later.

 

Intro to Mixpanel

As you know that Mixpanel is an event-driven advanced analytics tool. It focuses on tracking events rather than pageviews and we already have covered intro to Mixpanel in our previous posts.

So for tracking events, Mixpanel provides a certain set of libraries each with different functionality. We have to use these libraries to setup everything we need to track.

 

Basic Functions to Set up Mixpanel

Below is a list of functions to use while setting up Mixpanel tracking.

mixpanel.init

As the name suggests, we use this function to initiate the mixpanel tracking

mixpanel.init('new token', { your: 'config' }, 'library_name');

 

mixpanel.track

This lets you stalk your users’ activity, not literally though. mixpanel.track used to track events and properties performed by the user

mixpanel.track('Signup', {'$gender' :  'Male',  '$age' :  21});

 

mixpanel.register

This is used to store super properties i.e properties that we want with all events and don’t have to send them again to mixpanel.

mixpanel.register({  '$email' :  'jdoe@example.com',  'account_type' :  'Free' });

 

mixpanel.people.set

This lets you set the people, again not quite literally. mixpanel.people.set is used to set properties on the user profile

mixpanel.people.set({ '$company' :  'Acme',  'plan' :  'Premium'  });

 

mixpanel.identify

With mixpanel.identify you can identify people. This is used to identify and create a user profile

mixpanel.identify("YOUR_USER_ID");
 

mixpanel.alias

This brings past to present. mixpanel.alias is used to stitch data between user’s previous and current id

mixpanel.alias( 'newer_id', 'new_id' );

 

mixpanel.register_once

This is similar to the register function with the exception that once set, it can’t be overwritten

mixpanel.register_once({ 'signup_date' :  new Date() });

 

mixpanel.people.set_once

This is similar to the people.set function with the exception that once set it can’t be overwritten

mixpanel.people.set_once({ 'signup_date' :  new Date() });

 

mixpanel.people.increment

This is used to maintain counts on users profiles.

mixpanel.people.increment( 'page_views',  1 );

 mixpanel functions checklist

The functions we discussed above are enough to implement a basic tracking plan. But let’s dig a little deep in the Mixpanel library and see what additional items Mixpanel can offer us.

mixpanel.init

We use this function to initiate the Mixpanel tracking. We can also pass configuration with the init to override the default configs like debug or persistence. We can also run multiple Mixpanel projects by declaring the library name.

 

mixpanel.get_property

We can use super properties stored in the Mixpanel cookie with help of this function

 

mixpanel.cookie

Cookies are scrumptious. Mixpanel.cookie contains all the data stored in Mixpanel’s private cookie including the name of the cookie and super properties.

 

mixpanel.get_distinct_id()

Returns the unique id that is used to store the user profile in Mixpanel.

 

mixpanel.getConfig

Returns the value of the config for Mixpanel, for example, the token, disable persistence, cross_subdomain_cookie.  

 

mixpanel.setConfig

Update the default configuration of Mixpanel. For example, we want to update the cookie life or update the blacklist properties or to enable Mixpanel debug function

 

mixpanel.config

Contains all the config data for Mixpanel

 

mixpanel.disable

Doesn’t track events passed in the param for the user, if no params, then all events won’t be tracked

 

mixpanel.people.delete_user

This helps you with moving on. mixpanel.people.delete_user function deletes the user’s entire data from Mixpanel

 

mixpanel.time_event

Tracks the elapsed time between the ‘time event’, when called and ‘track calls’

 

mixpanel.people.clear_charges

It helps you in case of regrets and permanently clears all revenue report transactions from the current user’s people analytics profile. We should use this to clear data from our test users.

 

mixpanel.reset

Clears super properties and generates a new random distinct_id for the instance. Useful for clearing data when a user logs out

 

Here are a few configuration from the mixpanel object, Complete list of configs can be found here

  • Autotrack : true

  • Cookie_expiration : 365

  • Cookie_name : "mp_22420ac6ab5de7b77f5194ba37655aaa_mixpanel"

  • Cross_subdomain_cookie : true

  • Debug : false

  • Disable_cookie : false

  • Disable_persistence : false

  • Loaded : function()

  • Persistence : "cookie"

  • Persistence_name : ""

  • Property_blacklist : []

  • Save_referre r :true

  • Secure_cookie : false

  • Store_google : true

  • Token : "9e1c164b0a847343a7b7c2999ffe09c7"

  • Track_links_timeout : 300

  • Track_pageview : true

  • Upgrade : false

 

Conclusion

So Mixpanel isn’t a piece of cake.It is an advance tracking tool and one needs to have a good understanding of programming languages. If you are good at JavaScript & jQuery, you can easily setup Mixpanel on websites. If you have anything to say about this topic or need help with Mixpanel implementations, let us know.

 

Related Posts:

The Complete Guide to Mixpanel Activity Analysis

How to Setup Mixpanel With Google Tag Manager

 

Suleman

Technical Analytics Specialist knocking out implementation and playing with code to figure out best ways to collect the data we need.