Mixpanel Now Funnels Into The Past

Mixpanel, an analytics startup that helps websites and apps track key stats in real-time, has launched a new feature that will help data-hungry site owners do even deeper dives: retroactive funnel analysis.

Funnel analysis is a technique used to figure out how far users are making it through various flows in web apps. So, for example, if you had a series of pages used to sign users up for your app, you could see how many were making it through each step, and which pages were causing users to give up and head elsewhere. Similar funnels can be used for any variety of things, like analyzing payment and sharing flows.

Mixpanel has offered real-time funnel analytics since it launched, but it would only analyze data beginning at the time that you created the funnel. Founder Suhail Doshi says this is still better than the funnels offered by competitors, which often have a lag time between when the funnel is created and when you can actually view the resulting data. But starting with a blank slate with each new funnel still wasn’t ideal.

With this update, that’s changing. You’ll now be able to create funnels and immediately see their results, including all of your historical data (Mixpanel began storing this data six weeks ago, so that’s as far back as you can go, and it will store all of this data going forward). This opens the door to quickly experimenting with your funnels, using your historical data to hone in on the optimal setup.

Doshi says that Mixpanel is the only analytics service to offer real-time, retroactive funnels, and that the site is uniquely able to do this because it built its own proprietary data-store from scratch. He adds that the site is now tracking 1.2 billion actions per month and that users have deployed some 7,000 funnels � and that the site is growing 20-30% each month.

Competitors to Mixpanel include Omniture and Kissmetrics. Kissmetrics has actually been offering retroactive funnel analysis for quite a while, though there is a delay of a few hours as new data is added (Kissmetrics says this is so that they can include details about each individual user). It’s also worth noting that Mixpanel’s funnel UI looks similar to Kissmetrics.