Andreessen Horowitz-backed analytics startup Mixpanel is aiming to become one of the go-to data sources when you need to learn about the digital landscape, particularly consumer activity on mobile.
The company is launching a new feature called Mixpanel Trends, which pulls together the data that it has been collecting for customers (Mixpanel says it tracks 6.2 billion actions every month) in an aggregated, anonymized fashion. The Trends page offers six reports: Android OS versions, iOS versions, desktop versus mobile, Android versus iOS, top U.S. cities and Android device manufacturers.
This is the first time Mixpanel is offering its data to the public for free. Co-founder Suhail Doshi said that he realized that “a lot of companies don’t really know” much about the broader landscape and they end up making decisions like whether to build for iOS or Android first, or to launch in a specific city, based on “the opinion of somebody in the room” rather than actual data.
And while there are plenty of other companies releasing their own reports on things like iOS versus Android, Doshi and Mixpanel’s director of corporate communications Nicole Leverich noted that these aren’t just canned blog posts and charts that only focus on whatever the company wants to talk about. Instead they’re interactive charts that pull real-time Mixpanel data. (The interactivity is a bit limited for now, but you can adjust the time period that you’re examining.) Doshi compared them to Google Trends.
“I really hate that companies lock up the data or make you buy the information,” he said.
One thing to keep in mind: As with many of these company reports, this isn’t comprehensive industry data, but rather information about Mixpanel’s customer base, which could skew the results. For example, Doshi noted that Mixpanel clients are “a little bit more mobile.” (The actual desktop versus mobile report shows that mobile usage and desktop usage are usually pretty close.) As for whether companies mind their data being used for this reports, apparently it’s allowed by Mixpanel’s terms of service. Plus, Doshi said the vast majority of them don’t care.
And yes, the company plans to make more reports available over time.