Snowplow Analytics vs MixPanel

Let us compare Snowplow Analytics with MixPanel to choose the right solution for your analytics use case.

Snowplow and MixPanel

Both Snowplow and Mixpanel are analytics platforms.

Snowplow is an open-source alternative to Mixpanel.

What is Mixpanel?

What is Snowplow?
Enterprise-strength web, mobile, and event analytics, powered by Hadoop, Kinesis, Redshift and Elasticsearch. Snowplow is also available as open source.
Every single event, from your website(s), mobile app(s), desktop applications and server-side systems, stored in your own data warehouse and available to action in real-time.

Mixpanel can be classified as a tool in the “Funnel Analysis Analytics” category, while Snowplow is grouped under “Custom Analytics”.

Features of Mixpanel

  • Segmentation actually understands your data. When you send a number, date, or list of items our interface will automatically figure out how to use it.
  • Instead of just a simple average, which only gives you a small part of the information you need, Segmentation automatically determines the perfect bucket size to give you a powerful visualization of the numeric distribution.

On the other hand, Snowplow provides the following features:

  • Processes that data including validating, enriching and modeling it
  • Load that data into your own data warehouse to power sophisticated analytics

“Great visualization UI” is the primary reason why developers consider Mixpanel over other competitors,
whereas
“Can track any type of digital event” is the key factor in picking Snowplow.

Major differences in Snowplow with respect to Mixpanel

  • Data never leaves customer premises.
  • One can choose to leverage experienced TechOps people in Snowplow to manage the Snowplow pipeline in a customer environment (Available for paid users, enterprise users).

Some FAQs

Answer: No
Currently, existing Snowplow webhooks does not include Mixpanel.
Existing Snowplow webhooks can be found in the below link
https://github.com/snowplow/snowplow/wiki/SnowPlow-technical-documentation#1b-webhooks

2. Can we send enriched Snowplow events to Mixpanel?

Answer: Yes
Technically we can send enriched Snowplow events to Mixpanel.

Method 1 (Send enriched steam directly to Mixpanel)
Once the enriched events come out in Kinesis steam after the enrichment phase in the Snowplow pipeline,
They can be consumed by a Lambda to send the enriched events to Mixpanel.

Method 2 (Store enriched steam in Snowplow storage and trigger a Lambda to additionally send to Mixpanel)
Once the enriched events come out in Kinesis steam after the enrichment phase in the Snowplow pipeline,
They can be consumed by a Kinesis Firehose to store in S3 and then to Redshift.
Once data is stored in S3, we could trigger a Lambda to send to Mixpanel.
The enriched events will thus be available in both Snowplow Storage (S3, Redshift) for Analytics as well as in Mixpanel.

3. Can we send Mixpanel data to Snowplow storage for custom analytics?

Answer: Yes, Mixpanel has a data pipeline solution to send data to third party destinations.
Mixpanel Data Pipeline:
https://mixpanel.com/data-pipeline/

4. Can we combine Mixpanel data and Snowplow data for custom analytics in a third party?

Answer: Yes, there are third-party solutions available like below which does exactly this.
Panoply: https://panoply.io/integrations/snowplow/
Data Virtuality: https://datavirtuality.com/connectors/join/mixpanel/snowplow/
Fivetran: https://fivetran.com/directory/snowplow-analytics/mixpanel

Learn something new every day — Cheers!

Lead full-stack engineer — AWS, GCP Certified Solutions Architect working at Presidio with love & experience in building cloud-native applications.

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