Customers are the lifeblood of every business. Competing simply on products and services is no longer enough; companies must also deliver for their customers in other ways. Transforming customer experiences and creating value across all touchpoints requires Data Analysis of customer data residing in your warehouse. To put your visions into action at the front line, you need to feed these data insights into operational applications like Zendesk.

Replicating data insights from Redshift to Zendesk makes your data actionable. You can apply the learned insights into daily decisions and improve the quality of customer interactions by prioritizing customer tickets, recognizing and preventing churn, bettering your relationships, or retargeting correct people to help solve their problems.

In this guide, we explore two methods to connect Redshift to Zendesk. The first method uses Redshift to Zendesk CSV export/import to transfer your data, which, at times, gets messy and annoying. A much simpler and easy way, which is our second method, is to use Hevo Activate (a reverse ETL solution) to sync data from Redshift to Zendesk in just a few clicks.

What is Amazon Redshift?

Amazon Redshift Logo: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data
Image Source: Nightingale HQ

Amazon Redshift became the first generation of Cloud-based Data Warehouse to mark a move away from on-premise Data Warehouse Systems. It is based on MPP technology from ParAccel, which itself is a fork of the popular Postgres open-source database. Redshift was an instant hit among companies, primarily because it brought immediate access to a fully-managed, petabyte-scale, cost-effective data solution for analyzing large volumes of data without having to maintain hardware resources. 

Today, Redshift is the fastest growing service on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is used by tens of thousands of customers worldwide to process exabytes (1018 bytes) of data daily. It provides an innovative approach to query execution that seamlessly combines database operators in each query fragment. Amazon Redshift also automates common administrative tasks like provisioning, configuration, monitoring, backup, and security, so that you can focus on high-value tasks.

With Amazon Redshift, you don’t run the risk of over-provisioning your data warehouse, thanks to AWS’ pay-as-you-go pricing model and advanced data compression capabilities. Redshift’s pay-as-you-go pricing model only charges for the services you need, for as long as you use them. Using advanced data compression abilities, AWS Redshift allows you to reduce disk space (up to 40%), analyze more data, improve query performance, and in turn reduce your overall storage costs. 

You can find more information about Redshift architecture and key components in the following guide – AWS Redshift 101: A Guide to Redshift Architecture & More. To know the differences between AWS Redshift and PostgreSQL, refer to this extensive comparison guide – Amazon Redshift vs PostgreSQL Comparison: Choosing the Right Data Warehouse.

Business Benefits of Using Amazon Redshift

  • Easy Deployment: Every business can set up and deploy its AWS Redshift Data Warehouse in a matter of just minutes. AWS delivers high performance with gigabyte to petabyte-scale scalability at a fraction of the cost of what other Cloud-based Data Warehouses offer.
  • Massively Parallel Processing: Amazon Redshift Data Warehouse features a powerful combination of massively parallel processing and columnar data storage to provide efficient storage and optimum query performance across large datasets. It distributes table rows to multiple compute nodes so that data can be processed in parallel, and uses columnar data storage to reduce your overall I/O requirements. 
  • Concurrency Scalability: Amazon Redshift cluster nodes can be added with more processing power when you need it. To handle burst workloads and concurrent queries, Amazon Redshift can automatically and transparently add more concurrency scaling resources without burning a hole in your pocket.
  • Security and Governance: Data encryption and security are two of the most important pillars of data protection. To ensure your data is safe, AWS Redshift provides a number of security features, such as hardware-accelerated SSL, column-level and row-level security control, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and the protection of data at rest through encryption.
  • Real-time Data Analytics: Redshift supports Real-time Data Streaming with external streaming providers such as Kafka or Kinesis. It can ingest real-time data and process it super quickly using services like AWS Glue, AWS QuickSight, and AWS Sagemaker. For additional details, please see one of our other blog posts, Real-Time Redshift Analytics: 5 Simple Steps to Get Started.
  • Native Integration with AWS: Redshift databases take full advantage of Amazon’s cloud server infrastructure and the AWS ecosystem to work seamlessly with the rest of the tools from AWS. This can include data storage and backups to AWS S3, streaming ingestion from Kinesis and MSK, Redshift ML, federated queries to Aurora and RDS operational databases, and many more.

What Is Zendesk?

Zendesk Logo: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data
Image Source: Zendesk

Every business understands the value and trust their customers place in them. Continuing these strong ties requires clear and straightforward communication when they need help, across all channels – email, phone, SMS, and social media. Moreover, with increasing competitiveness, it is difficult for businesses to constantly keep in touch with their customers and respond quickly, especially when customer expectations have gone high and every other company wants to capture some other’s audience.

Zendesk is an omnichannel, cloud-based customer support platform that places customer convenience above all. It enables quicker and easier interaction between businesses and customers so that businesses can profit from effortless customer experiences and grow on channels that bring in higher customer satisfaction, faster resolution times, and better all-around customer experiences.

Using Zendesk you and your workgroup can track and record one-on-one conversations or customer support requests, received through phone, chat, email, and social media. Zendesk offers a plethora of tools to tailor your offerings and meet your customer expectations through web and mobile self-service, communities, virtual agents, automated chat dialogues, and chatbots.

Business Benefits of Using Zendesk

  • Ticketing System: Zendesk is a one-stop solution to converge all your customer support requests from any source and manage them from one location. You can bring in customer requests from various sources with a unified channel API, and provide them with the same fabulous experience no matter what channel they use.
  • Knowledge Base: A knowledge base is a self-service library to help your customers find quality answers to their questions instantly without having to contact an agent. Having a quality knowledge base helps your agents free up time and focus more on solving complex and serious issues rather than the repetitive job of addressing FAQs.
  • Automation Bots: Zendesk leverages AI to provide answer bots for your customers. This functionality can be set up in minutes and reduces your agent’s repetitive work of collecting customer information like name, email, issue type, and more.
  • Reporting & Analytics: Zendesk Explore is a native reporting and analytics service to dig deep into metrics and make decisions that boost growth. Zendesk Explore provides powerful, built-in reports to visualize key information on your customers and your support resources.
  • Community Forums: Strong customer relationships thrive on active and engaging communities that help customers voice their concerns and receive answers from other compeers. Zendesk provides community forums through Zendesk Gather where your customers can talk and help each other instead of constantly relying on your support team.

Redshift to Zendesk Integration: Why Sync Data From Redshift to Zendesk?

One of the most important steps in meeting and exceeding customer expectations is to have a single customer view by linking various data sources and bringing together data on a single customer. While ETL has helped businesses aggregate customer data into their warehouses, it’s essential for your business teams to have that customer data right at their fingertips, in their preferred tools, to be able to drive operational decisions, more so in real-time every day.

Generating vital insights from customer data in Redshift and using them in your everyday tools like Zendesk paves a way for more personalized omnichannel interaction that results in better business performance. Putting data insights in the hands of your business teams boosts revenue, expands the share of customer wallets, and enables them to be more attentive to the needs of customers. This ultimately drives a holistic customer experience.

By syncing data from Redshift to Zendesk, you can activate customer insights and deliver relevant marketing journeys and experiences based on customers’ app use or past interactions. Consider a scenario where a customer who signed up for a free trial on your website a few days ago calls you. He/she is interested in becoming a paid user and evaluating the usefulness of your premium product. Using the Amazon Redshift to Zendesk connector, you and your teams will be able to access and share key information, in real-time, regardless of whether the person is continuing from a previous conversation or starting a new one.

Redshift to Zendesk integration syncs data from Redshift (which in turn is acquired from various channels) to Zendesk, so that your sales and support team can prioritize customer tickets according to the risk of churn, upsell, and so on, and provide the necessary attention your customers need. With the Redshift Zendesk integration, they’ll be able to get insight into the status of customers’ pending tickets and resolve them faster by gaining full visibility into where the customer query has been stopped. 

Read more on how Operational Analytics helps actualize Data Insights.

Explore Methods to Connect Redshift to Zendesk

Method 1: Using CSV Files to Manually Connect Redshift to Zendesk

This method requires you to manually convert your Redshift Warehouse data into CSV files using SQL commands. The data present in the CSV Files must then be modified according to the format given by Zendesk. Afterward, the data can be imported and mapped directly into Zendesk.

It is a time-consuming approach, one-time approach that will also require manually fixing specific troubleshooting errors. To sync new and updated data, you’d have to go through the same steps again.

Method 2: Automated Data Sync From Redshift to Zendesk Using Hevo Activate

Hevo Activate provides a hassle-free, one-stop solution to connect Redshift to Zendesk in an effortless manner. Hevo Activate syncs customer /product data in your Redshift warehouse to your Business Application.

With Hevo Activate you can bring the data to the fingertips of your business teams, where they need it the most – Business Applications. Teams can now make faster, smarter actions by analyzing the user journeys, and creating personalized experiences with Hevo Activate.

Get Started with Hevo Activate for Free

Steps to Set Up Redshift to Zendesk Integration

Replicating data from Redshift to Zendesk helps your teams prioritize customer support tickets and prevent churns well ahead of time. This directly contributes to higher customer retention. Here are two ways to integrate Redshift Zendesk platforms.

Method 1: Using CSV Files to Manually Connect Redshift to Zendesk

Exporting Redshift Data Into CSV Using UNLOAD Command

A quick way to export Redshift table data into a CSV file format is by using the UNLOAD command. This command can be used in your Redshift query editor to natively unload your table data into an S3 bucket. 

to 's3://mybucket/unload/' 
IAM_ROLE 'arn:aws:iam::<aws-account-id>:role/<role-name>'

Here, the UNLOAD command unloads “Hevo table data and writes it to the S3 target bucket path s3://mybucket/unload/. To be able to do so successfully, you would need an IAM role that has write access to Amazon S3, which we specify in the third line. The last line specifies the data format in which we wish to export Redshift tales. For our case, we intend to export the data in CSV format, so we have specified the CSV keyword.

Amazon Redshift to Zendesk integration offers plenty of other options to format your exported data as well as specify the type of data being exported. These can be defined in your UNLOAD command code as follows:

UNLOAD ('select-statement')
TO 's3://object-path/name-prefix'
[ option [ ... ] ]
where option is
| PARTITION BY ( column_name [, ... ] ) [ INCLUDE ]
| HEADER           
| DELIMITER [ AS ] 'delimiter-char' 
| FIXEDWIDTH [ AS ] 'fixedwidth-spec'   
| BZIP2  
| NULL [ AS ] 'null-string'
| PARALLEL [ { ON | TRUE } | { OFF | FALSE } ]
| MAXFILESIZE [AS] max-size [ MB | GB ]
| ROWGROUPSIZE [AS] size [ MB | GB ] 
| REGION [AS] 'aws-region' }
| IAM_ROLE { default | 'arn:aws:iam::<AWS account-id>:role/<role-name>' }

For exporting large volumes of data, you can compress your data and export it as a single file. This saves costs and reduces storage footprint. 

To do this, you can use GZIP and PARALLEL OFF options to compress your exported data in GZIP format and prevent AWS Redshift from exporting it in parallel mode. This results in a single file output at your S3 target bucket location.

to 's3://mybucket/unload/' 
IAM_ROLE 'arn:aws:iam::<aws-account-id>:role/<role-name>'

Once exported, the file becomes available in your S3 bucket and can be downloaded into your local system.

Integrate Redshift with Zendesk by Exporting Redshift Data Using AWS CLI

Amazon Web Services CLI also allows you to execute SQL queries and download CSV files for your existing Redshift tables. You can find installation instructions for the AWS Redshift CLI on the following documentation page – Installing or updating the latest version of the AWS CLI. 

Upon a successful installation, you can query and export your Redshift table data into a CSV file using the following command:

aws redshift-data execute-statement 
    --cluster-identifier hevo_cluster
    --database hevo_database                
    --secret arn:aws:secret:us-west-1:167025718026:secret:hevo_secret_key 
    --sql "select * from Hevo"

When you execute the following command, you will receive an ID for your SQL statement. You can use this ID (by replacing hevo_sql_id) in the below command and download your Redshift table data as CSV.

aws redshift-data get-statement-result --id hevo_sql_id

Importing CSV Files to Zendesk From Redshift

Zendesk requires you to import CSV files that contain Zendesk required field data. Zendesk supports three different flavors of CSV files:

  1. CSV file with tickets
  2. CSV file with ticket comments
  3. CSV file with Knowledge Base

For the scope of this blog, we’ll be importing and using CSV files with tickets. This CSV file with tickets must include the following header columns:

  • TicketId
  • Subject
  • Description
  • Type
  • Status
  • Priority
  • AgentEmail
  • AgentName
  • ContactEmail
  • ContactName
  • CreatedTime
  • UpdatedTime

Including or excluding these optional header columns:

  • Tags
  • DepartmentName
  • ContactPhone
  • CompanyName
  • ClosedTime
  • Attachments

While preparing your CSV files, please bear in mind that:

  • Your CSV file size should not exceed 1 GB.
  • All CSV files must contain the necessary header rows.
  • All CSV files must have a comma as a delimiter. 
  • For data spanning multiple lines, use double-quote marks (“).
  • Headers must be written in English and begin with a capital letter.

Once all your CSV files have met all requirements, you can visit the Help Desk Migration website and begin your import. 

Upload your file: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data
Image Source: Zendesk

Choose Zendesk as the destination platform and enter your company’s Zendesk URL. Select which records to migrate and map ticket fields. You can start a Free Demo Migration to obtain a quote and see if the data transferred successfully. Finally, review the result of your migration by referring to this guide.

Limitations of Using CSV Export/Import Option For Redshift Zendesk Integration

Manually exporting and importing Redshift data in the form of CSV files from Redshift to Zendesk isn’t a feasible process in the long run. Moreover, it is a one-time process that requires you to repeat the same set of steps if your data changes and you wish to work with updated data in your Zendesk platform. During the process, you may also encounter inescapable errors, such as duplicate Zendesk tickets or customer records. To square things up, you require befitting solutions and mechanisms that don’t eat up your resources and time, nor keep you engaged in a constant cycle of low-value tasks.

With Hevo Activate, you don’t have to do the legwork of capturing and transferring CSV files from Redshift to Zendesk repetitively. Hevo Activate offers a fully automated Data Sync from Redshift to Zendesk with options to deduplicate the data and directly load it to the target destination. Explore what Hevo Activate has to offer to streamline Data Sync from Redshift to Zendesk.

Method 2: Automated Data Sync From Redshift to Zendesk Using Hevo Activate

Hevo Activate: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Replicating data from Redshift to Zendesk Data Replication makes your data actionable, a process which is also called Reverse ETL. While we have discussed the concepts and benefits of Reverse ETL in detail here – What is Reverse ETL and How it Activates your Data Warehouse?, in essence, Reverse ETL works opposite to ETL. It syncs data from your Warehouse to Business Applications so that your teams can take advantage of data collected from multiple sources and be more effective at implementing data insights into their everyday work. 

Hevo Activate is a Data Automation Platform that helps you seamlessly sync data in real-time from Redshift to Zendesk. It is a fully managed solution that completely automates the process of not only importing data from your selected source but also enriching the data and changing it into an analysis-ready format. Hevo Activate’s fault-tolerant design ensures that your data is handled in a safe, consistent manner with zero data loss.

Hevo’s No-Code Activations sync data in real time and provide you with options to customize your Data Replication for Redshift to Zendesk integration. Your teams can either choose to sync data continuously or define triggers for syncing data between Redshift and Zendesk.

Sign up here for a 14-Day Free Trial!

Hevo Activate offers a wide range of features to make your Reverse ETL experience the best. Check out what makes Hevo Activate a standout.

  • Real-Time Data Replication: Hevo Activate, with its strong integration with various data sources, allows you to replicate data quickly & efficiently. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
  • No APIs, CSVs, Just SQL!: You can use the powerful and smart SQL Query Editor to filter and transform data from the Redshift table to the Zendesk Target object. The in-built validation checks ensure each query is validated before you save it.
  • On-Demand Sync: Hevo Activate gives users the option to resume the sync or run sync now to execute Data Sync as per their demand.
  • Intelligent Data Type Conversion: During the mapping action, Hevo Activate transforms the field types of the synced data automatically. 
  • Data Transformation: Hevo Activate provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to transfer. 
  • Live Support: The Hevo Activate team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.

When you are setting up a Reverse ETL Data Pipeline with Hevo Activate, all you require is a simple four-step process to get started – you have to configure your Redshift warehouse source, target Zendesk destination, select your data, and map it from the Redshift to Zendesk application. Here’s a brief rundown of the four steps.

Step 1: Configure Redshift as your Data Source

Visit the Asset Palette section on the home page. Select ACTIVATE for Reverse ETL Data Pipeline creation (syncing data from Warehouse to Business App). 

If this is your first time creating an activation, click +CREATE ACTIVATION on the Activate home page, else click + CREATE ACTIVATION in the Activations List View.

Step 1: Create Amazon Redshift Activation: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Hevo Activate will ask you to select your Data Warehouse from Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, and Redshift. If you have already set up one before, you will see that listed as a source. If you are adding it for the first time, click +ADD WAREHOUSE to add a new warehouse.

To add Redshift Data Warehouse to your Hevo inventory, click +ADD WAREHOUSE > Select Warehouse Type > Redshift

To configure your Redshift Data Warehouse, go to your Asset Palette, then click on the DESTINATIONS option. In the Destinations List View, click on the CREATE button.

In the Add Destination Page that appears, select “Amazon Redshift” as the destination type. Here, you’ll be presented with a “Configure your Amazon Redshift Destination” page where you can specify the required configuration parameters.

Step 1: Configure Amazon Redshift Destination: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Once set up, you can test your connectivity with the Redshift warehouse using the option TEST CONNECTION. Hit SAVE & CONTINUE to save your warehouse configuration.

Step 2: Configure Zendesk as your Target Destination

After configuring and saving your Redshift Warehouse with Hevo Activate, you can configure your Zendesk App target destination. 

Visit the Asset Palette section on the home page, and select the TARGETS tab in the Targets List View. Click + CREATE TARGET to add Zendesk as a destination app. 

Step 2: Create Target: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

On the Select a Target Type page, search for Zendesk and select it.

Step 2: Select a Target Type: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Specify target information like your target name, your Zendesk subdomain, Zendesk API token, and your login ID for your Zendesk account on the Configure your Zendesk Target page.

Note: You can generate a Zendesk API token by visiting your Zendesk Home > Apps and Integrations > APIs > Zendesk API. Under Token access, click on Add API token to generate a new API token.

Step 2: Create your Zendesk Target: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Click TEST & CONTINUE to complete your target setup process. Upon successful completion, Zendesk will be available as a new target in your Targets List View.

Step 2: Pipeline Activate Run: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

And there you have it, you have successfully assembled your Amazon Redshift to Zendesk connector using Hevo Activate. Hevo Activate will start syncing data from Redshift to Zendesk once you select and map your Redshift fields to Zendesk.

Step 3: Select Data Fields For Redshift to Zendesk Integration

On the Select Data to Synchronize page, you can execute a SQL query to fetch data from one or more tables of your Redshift Warehouse.

On the right pane, select your target object, making sure it contains the fields to which you want to map your Redshift Warehouse fields.

Step 3: Select Data Fields: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Click TEST QUERY to validate the query. After a successful test, you can click TEST & MAP FIELDS.

Step 4: Map Redshift Fields to Zendesk Fields

The last step to integrate Redshift to Zendesk using Hevo Activate is to specify your field mappings properties like target object, sync behavior, and target object fields (both required and optional). 

Step 4: Field Mapping: Redshift to Zendesk | Hevo Data

Once you have filled in the details, specify a unique Activation Name, and then click on CREATE ACTIVATION to kickstart your Reverse ETL Data Sync from Redshift to Zendesk.


This guide discussed two methods to sync data from Redshift to Zendesk: one using CSV export/import, which is cumbersome, complicated, and a one-time effect, and another using a real-time Data Sync tool called Hevo Activate. Using the right reverse ETL solution like Hevo Activate, your teams can pipe data from Amazon Redshift to Zendesk and other destinations in real-time securely. Reverse ETL using Hevo Activate empowers your teams with data insights right in the tools they use every day.

Hevo Activate is a fast and secure Data Replication tool to sync data from Redshift to Zendesk in as easy as 4 simple steps. It features a built-in smart SQL Query Editor to filter and transform your data and has in-built data validation checks to ensure each query is validated before you save it.

Visit our Website to Explore Hevo Activate

Using Hevo Activate, you can also automatically convert field types of synchronized data during Redshift to Zendesk mapping. You can use auto-mapping or manual mapping features to provide you with valid data types to select from and set custom Redshift to Zendesk integration reverse ETL Pipeline frequency as per your need.

Get started with Hevo Activate today. Sign Up for a ` and experience real-time reverse ETL in action.

Should you have any questions about the process to integrate Redshift to Zendesk? Feel free to contact us in the comment section below.

Divyansh Sharma
Content Manager, Hevo Data

With a background in marketing research and campaign management at Hevo Data and myHQ Workspaces, Divyansh specializes in data analysis for optimizing marketing strategies. He has experience writing articles on diverse topics such as data integration and infrastructure by collaborating with thought leaders in the industry. The impact he can make in data professionals' day to day life drive him create more content.

Sync Data from Redshift to Business Apps