The value of collecting details about users and their actions in the form of properties is that these properties can be used to perform more granular analyses within Mixpanel. More specifically, there are two primary ways that properties can be utilized within Mixpanel, and we'll explore both in this lesson.
Property filters allow us to narrow the scope of our analysis to a subset of data that meets particular criteria. For example, let's say we want to know what our signup conversion rate is for users within the United States on the Firefox browser. We can get our answer by running a Funnels report with a couple property filters.
Property breakdowns allow us to compare different subsets of data side-by-side. When we select a property breakdown, Mixpanel will first segment our data into groups based on the value of the selected property and then perform the specified analysis across each group separately. For example, if we wanted to know what musical genre has been the most played this month, we can accomplish this with a property breakdown in an Insights report.
Furthermore, most Mixpanel reports support multiple property breakdowns. For example, if we want to know what musical genre is most popular within each country, we could first breakdown by the "Country" property and then breakdown by the "Genre" property.
Event Properties vs. User Properties
Mixpanel allows us to use both event properties and user properties within filters and breakdowns. It's important to know the difference between these two so that we can decide which one is appropriate for our intended analysis.
Event properties provide details about an action at the moment it took place whereas user properties describe the current state of a user. Depending on your implementation, you might have instances where an event property shares the same name as a user property. For example, in our Music Finder project, all events have a "City" property (i.e. event property) and all user profiles also have a "City" property (i.e. user property).
The values for these two properties can differ, even though they relate to the same user and share the same property name. For example, if a user played a song in San Francisco yesterday and then logged in to Music Finder from Los Angeles today, the "Song Play" event from yesterday would have a "City" property equal to "San Francisco" but the user's profile would have a "City" property equal to "Los Angeles."