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Tracking Anonymous User Data Coming from Two Different Devices

  • 20 September 2019
  • 14 replies
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Userlevel 6
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"How do I associate 2 sets of anonymous data to the same user?

To explain the problem I am having let me use airbnb as an example. Here is my user story:

Event 1: View Home Page

Event 2: View Paris
Event 3: Select House

Event 4: Sign-up , email = jim@gmail.com -- Note: according to documentation I would alias here

Event 5: Book House


Now months later the user is travelling again. They have just purchased a new computer so they have no cookie.

Event 6: View Home Page

Event 7: View Rome
Event 8: Select House

Event 9: Log in, email = jim@gmail.com -- Note: according to documentation I would identify here

Event 10: Book House


Here is my question. How do I make sure events 6, 7 and 8 are connected to jim@gmail.com? "

"I have read all those articles and that question none of them answer my question @IvanMuniz. In this example you book right after log in. but what about the events before the login?

event 1, 2, 3 are tracked as distinct_id="aaaau8yhj7n8_89yil_98u8" stored in the cookie

event 4, 5, 9 and 10 are tracked as distinct_id="jim@gmail.com", because the user is logged in
however,

event 6, 7, 8 are tracked as distinct_id="bbbbbjuiyg7_h7guy87_iuh79g" because the user is using a new device.


How do I track all 3 of these distinct_ids in mixpanel as 1 user?"

- @jhooey (Original Idea post here)


Cassandra 8 months ago

Hello valued community members,

We just released an update called “ID Merge” that will allow you to understand the entire user journey, from their first pre-login interaction to post login usage.  This update enables you to get even more accurate conversion and active user metrics by eliminating “false-uniques” caused by anonymous users who later login.


ID merge improves the behavior of identify() and adds a new method called merge(). 

  • Identify() will now link pre and post authenticated event streams under a single identifier.  This eliminates "false-uniques", ensuring the most accurate conversion and drop-off rates in funnels and flows. Alias is no longer required at signup. 
  • Merge() allows you to use multiple identities from different sources to refer to one user. This is a differentiator many of our competitors do not have.


Learn how to enable to ID merge here: https://help.mixpanel.com/hc/en-us/articles/360039133851-Identity-Merge#enable-id-merge

 

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14 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

@jhooey @sviridov @stephendb9 @kyle Thank you for expressing interest in this Idea! I have gone ahead and filed a product gap on your behalf with our Engineering and Product Development team. Make sure you are following this Idea - via the Follow button in the right hand column - to get emailed updates on its progress.

Other users interested in also having a product gap logged on their behalf as well, please make sure to write comment on this Idea thread expressing interest and details of your use case for it!



I think we are suffering the same issue. Trying to understand it and make sense of the docs … here’s the scenario: We have a mobile app. Someone signs up via the mobile app, we call alias. They then login and we can identify. So far so good. Events pre signup and post login all seem to tie up.  

But, later, someone who already has an account logs in on a different device. Identify is called.  (Not alias, because they are already signed up). Suddenly ALL EXISTING events prior to the anonymous events on the new device are lost.

So their whole journey is lost. The user now looks like a new user. They still have the original alias, but their events prior to using the new device are lost.

What are we missing or doing wrong?

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Hi @marcus_untied ,

Your situation sounds like a known product gap on our end on Identity Management, there is an old community post shared here. Can you confirm that this a the same situation? Upon confirmation I can go ahead and move your comment under the existing Idea on this and log a product gap on your behalf as well! 

Yes @stephanie I am pretty sure this is the same situation. Please do move my comment to the idea and log it.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

@marcus_untied Thank you for that confirmation. We filed a product gap on your behalf with our Engineering and Product Development team. Please make sure you are subscribed to this Idea - via the Subscribe star button at the bottom of the post - to get emailed updates on its progress.

Hi,

I have one application on two different platforms (iOS and Android). We have been using MixPanel to track events and profile properties for our users since the applications launched and we’ve been using deivce_id as our unique identifier, naturally we had one MixPanel user for each device.

We have decided to track users with our own user_ids and therefore we have to set the MixPanel unique identifier after user logs in the application or else registers (When we have access to the actual user_id) but the problem is that we need some properties to be sent for the user before the user logs in or registers. i.e. User opens the application and we send a time property, naturally, we need a platform that knows that this is a unique user. So when he/she opens the application, a user is created in MixPanel (Granted they don’t have one yet) and sets the time property for that user. and after the user logs in or registers, we are able to set the distinct id to our user id and set other properties as well for that same user in MixPanel.

To say it in other words, I install the application, a user is created for me in MixPanel, then I log in on the device, now my user_id is set for me on my MixPanel user profile. then I open the application on another platform, and another profile is created for me in that platform, then I log in with the same account as I had in the other platform and all this new data is updated for me on my MixPanel user profile.

 

Is there the possibility of such a thing happening? and if YES, How?

 

Thank you.

It looks like that idea link no longer works. Are you still expecting to roll out a beta that addresses this tracking issue?

 

I’d hate to lose data when a user is not logged in.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

@hula  thanks for flagging this, I have gone ahead and updated the link to the correct one. Additionally, I have moved your comment to the existing idea and logged a product gap on your behalf with our engineering and product team!

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Hi @mmirshafa,

 

I think what you are running into is the case of having is an Identity management situation when anonymous data cannot be connected to a user who comes back on a different device. Similar to the case outline here https://community.mixpanel.com/data-management-10/how-do-i-associate-2-sets-of-anonymous-data-to-the-same-user-406.

 

If this is similar, please let me know and I would be happy to move your question to the idea and log a product gap your behalf! 

Hi @stephanie 

You are in fact correct. Thank you.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

@mmirshafa Thank you for confirming. I have moved your question under the idea and logged a product gap in your behalf with team. 

 

Please make sure you are subscribed to this Idea - via the Subscribe star button at the bottom of the post - to get emailed updates on its progress.

 

 

@stephanie I have the same question.

The track activity of returning users who appear anonymous, but then login, ends up messing up our conversion analysis. We want to make sure that pre-login session data gets associated with the login so that it’s not treated as an orphaned session that didn’t convert.

Please go ahead and me to the list!

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

@amishollie We have filled a product gap on your behalf as well. Please make sure you are subscribed to this Idea - via the Subscribe star button at the bottom of the post - to get emailed updates on its progress.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

Hello valued community members,

We just released an update called “ID Merge” that will allow you to understand the entire user journey, from their first pre-login interaction to post login usage.  This update enables you to get even more accurate conversion and active user metrics by eliminating “false-uniques” caused by anonymous users who later login.


ID merge improves the behavior of identify() and adds a new method called merge(). 

  • Identify() will now link pre and post authenticated event streams under a single identifier.  This eliminates "false-uniques", ensuring the most accurate conversion and drop-off rates in funnels and flows. Alias is no longer required at signup. 
  • Merge() allows you to use multiple identities from different sources to refer to one user. This is a differentiator many of our competitors do not have.


Learn how to enable to ID merge here: https://help.mixpanel.com/hc/en-us/articles/360039133851-Identity-Merge#enable-id-merge

 

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