Zendesk Export: 3 Easy Steps to Export your Data

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Zendesk Export

Are you facing difficulties with your daily Zendesk data exports? Do you find it grueling to perform all the work? Well, look no further! This article will answer all your queries & relieve you of the stress of finding a truly efficient solution. Follow our easy step-by-step solution to help you master the Zendesk Export and easily export your data in various formats.

It will help you take charge in a hassle-free way without compromising efficiency. This blog aims at making the data export process as smooth as possible. Upon a complete walkthrough of the content, you will be able to carry out a successful data export to a data warehouse or any destination of your choice for a fruitful analysis.

It will further help you build a customized ETL pipeline for your organization. Through this article, you will get a deep understanding of the tools and techniques being mentioned & thus, it will help you hone your skills further.

Table of Contents

What is Zendesk?

Zendesk Logo.
Image Source

Zendesk is one of the most popularly used customer-service, available as a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) application. With Zendesk’s all-in-one suite, which contains a ticketing system, analytics and reporting modules, a sales-based CRM, call-center offerings, and a lot more, you can easily track a customer’s entire journey in absolute depth.

Zendesk provides robust integration support with a variety of applications such as social media channels, marketing automation software, business intelligence tools, etc. making it the ideal solution to facilitate communication between the customers and the organization.

With a competitive subscription-based pricing model, it allows users to either subscribe to a monthly or an annual plan, modifiable as per data needs and team size. It is the go-to solution not only for startups but even for big organizations.

For further information on Zendesk, you can check the official site here.

What is a JSON File?

JSON File Logo.
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It stands for JavaScript Object Notation, which allows storing data in an easy to access and human-friendly way. JSON makes use of a key-value pair notation using strings & can be easily exported/imported using various tools. The main function of JSON is to transmit data between a web application and a server. It is usually used as an alternative to XML.

JSON can store various types of data such as arrays, objects, strings, etc. Binary JSON (BJSON) is a type of JSON, that is considered to be rich in data types.

What is a CSV File?

CSV File Logo.
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CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. In layman terms, it is a plain text file containing a list of values. These files are typically used as a medium of exchanging data between multiple applications. They are also known as Character Separated Values or Comma Delimited Files.  

CSV files can be used with a majority of spreadsheet applications such as Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel. One feature that sets the CSV files apart from normal sheets is that it doesn’t allow saving formulas and only one sheet is allowed per file with restrictions on saving rows, columns, etc.

Complex data is usually taken from an application and then converted into the CSV format to load it into any other application.

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Prerequisites

  • Working knowledge of Zendesk.
  • A general idea of CSV, JSON file structure.
  • A general idea of using APIs.
  • A general idea of Python and its libraries.
  • Zendesk installed at the host workstation.

Methods to Export Data From Zendesk

Zendesk provides multiple ways to access and export the data in various formats such as JSON, CSV, XML, etc. To export data, users can make use of the RESTful APIs provided by Zendesk. It is easily accessible through its APIs and allows users to access and export large data sets with the help of custom Python or Perl-based scripts. 

For the users that have a professional or enterprise Zendesk subscription, they can directly use the export option from the toolbar and export their dashboards in various formats.

You can use the following methods to export your Zendesk data in your desired format:

Method 1: Performing a Zendesk Export Using the In-Built Export Option

The in-built export option is available only to the users that have a higher subscription plan that is the Professional or Enterprise plan. Using this option requires having permission to view, edit and export data. The administrators or enterprise agents, usually have this access.

Plan availability Zendesk
Image Source: Zendesk Help

This method can be implemented with the following steps:

Step 1: Enabling the Data Export Option

Zendesk keeps the data export option disabled by default to keep the data safe. To get the service activated, you can call or reach out to Zendesk customer service. Ensure that you’re using a professional or enterprise subscription.

Once the data export option is enabled, administrators can now export data using the email id of their domain. By default, the domain is set to the account owners email id however, you can modify the domain as follows:

  • Select the admin option from the sidebar on the left and go to manage and then choose the reports option. 
  • Replace the domain in the approved email domain option.
  • Click on save. 
Approved Email Domain: Zendesk
Image Source: Zendesk Help

This is how you can enable the export option and modify your domain to set up the Zendesk Export process.

Step 2: Exporting Data in your Desired Format

Once you’ve enabled the data export option, you can export your Zendesk data into the desired format of your choice such as JSON, CSV, etc. Various formats in which you can export your data are:

Full JSON: Zendesk allows you to export most of your data in the form of JSON objects. You can export your tickets, information about your organization, users, and a lot more. JSON files usually have a system-generated timestamp associated with them which represents the time of the most recent data update.

CSV: Zendesk exports tickets in the CSV format. Data exported in CSV doesn’t contain information about the deleted tickets, comments, or information related to it. 

Full XML:  The files that are exported in an XML format, contains the following fields:

  • Accounts: This contains the settings for your account.

  • Entries: This gives information about the newly added data in your forums, including comments.

  • Forums: This gives information about your forums.

  • Groups: This gives information about various groups in your account. 

  • Organizations: This gives information about your organization in depth.

  • Tickets: This gives information about your tickets, comments, etc. 

  • Users: It displays a list of users such as end-users, agents, etc. 

Use the following steps to export your data:

Select the admin option from the sidebar on the left and go to manage and then choose the reports option. Click on the exports option. A new dialogue box will now open up where you need to select the type in which you want to export the data.

Carefully select the desired type and fill in the necessary details as follows:

JSON: Enter the type of data that you want to export along with a date range from where you want to extract the data. 

Carrying out a Zendesk export
Image Source: Zendesk Help

This will export the data in the following format:

{"ticket":{"id":....}}
{"ticket":{"id":....}}
{"ticket":{"id":....}}

CSV or XML: To export your data in CSV or XML format, click on the request file option.  

The Zendesk Export mechanism immediately starts exporting data in the background and provides it to the user in the form of a zip file, sent to their emails. You can then download the data from the link up to 3 days.

This is how you can export your data using the in-built Zendesk Export option.

Limitations of this Method

  • The Zendesk in-built export option is only available to the users that can pay for the higher subscriptions such as the Professional or Enterprise. This can be challenging for small organizations that don’t want to invest a large sum of money.
  • Users need to contact the customer service even for enabling the data export option.
  • Only administrators and enterprise agents can access data for their domain.

Method 2: Performing a Zendesk Export Using Zendesk APIs & Python

Zendesk data can be easily accessed using its RESTful APIs, which not only extract data but also write and update data stored in Zendesk. You can access the Zendesk API either by using a GET command or by writing a simple Python script to retrieve the data.

This method can be implemented with the following steps:

Step 1: Installing Python on your Workstation

If you don’t have Python installed on your system, you can download the latest version of Python from the official website and install it on your system. 

Once you have installed it, run Python on your system and use the following lines of code to install the requests library, which will help simplify the HTTP requests:

pip3 install requests

Step 2: Accessing Zendesk APIs Using Python

To access the Zendesk API, you first need to define the URL for your sub-domain. Use the following syntax to define the URL for your domain:

url = 'https://your_subdomain.zendesk.com/api/v2/groups.json

Replace the subdomain parameter with your domain name. Here, the Zendesk group API is being used. Learn more about various Zendesk APIs here and select your desired API. Now make an HTTP request by using the GET method of the requests library as follows:

response = requests.get(url, auth=(user, pwd))

The response now contains the data returned by the Zendesk API in a JSON format. Store this data into a Python dictionary as follows:

data = response.json()

This dictionary will produce the following output:

Example JSON Response.
Image Source: Zendesk Help

The following Python script contains the entire code to extract data using the Zendesk API:

import requests
url = 'https://your_subdomain.zendesk.com/api/v2/groups.json'
user = 'your_email_address'
pwd = 'your_password'
response = requests.get(url, auth=(user, pwd))
if response.status_code != 200:
    print('Status:', response.status_code, 'Problem with the request. Exiting.')
    exit()
data = response.json()
print( 'First group = ', data['groups'][0]['name'] )
group_list = data['groups']
for group in group_list:
    print(group['name'])

Replace the parameters such as URL, user, pwd, etc. with your credentials and URL to use the Zendesk API to access your data.

Instead of using your username and password, you can also make use of the API token to extract data. Select the admin option from the sidebar on the left and then select API from channels. 

Copy your API token and modify the user and pwd field as follows:

user = 'email_address' + '/token'
pwd = 'api_token'

This Python script will work perfectly well even with a moderate number of records. If you want to use Zendesk API and retrieve a very large dataset, you can check the official documentation here.

This is how you can use Python with Zendesk APIs to export your data in a JSON format. You can even export the JSON data as a text file using the following lines of code:

group_list = data['groups']
output = ''
for group in group_list:
    output += group['name'] + 'n' # add each name to the output variable
with open('groups.txt', mode='w', encoding='utf-8') as f:
    f.write(output)
print("Done.")

This will generate an output text file in the same folder as that of your Python script. This is how you can perform a Zendesk Export using Python and Zendesk APIs.

Limitations of this Method

  • Using APIs by writing custom code lines can be challenging for most users, especially beginners. This increases the dependence on the technical team to export data.
  • Strong knowledge of using languages like Python, Perl, and APIs is a must for exporting data using this method.

Method 3: Exporting Data from Zendesk Sell

With Zendesk Sell, you can easily export data about your contacts, leads, important documents, tasks, etc. without worrying about your subscription plan. 

Zendesk Plan availability.
Image Source: Zendesk Help

Zendesk only allows admins to export data by default, however, you can easily grant permission to all users to export data whenever required.

You can use the following steps to enable data export and grant permission:

  • Select the settings icon and click on data. Once you’ve clicked on data, select the export option.
  • To enable the smart list export, click on all users from the drop-down list.
  • Save your settings.

This will allow every user and not just the admins to export data from Zendesk.

You can now start exporting your data from Zendesk, click on settings, and then select data. Now select the export option. A new window will now open up, from where you can export your entire Sell account data in just a click.

Zendesk Export Settings.
Image Source: Zendesk Help

Click on Export. Zendesk Export option will now start exporting data in the background. Once the process is done, you will receive an email from where you can download the data as a zip file. This contains all your data in CSV format. 

You can access the download link from your email only for 24 hours. This is done by Zendesk to keep the data safe.

This is how you can perform a Zendesk Export while working with Zendesk Sell.

Conclusion

This article introduces you to the various methods that can be used to set up Zendesk Export. It also provides in-depth knowledge about the concepts behind every step to help you understand and implement them efficiently. These methods, however, can be challenging especially for a beginner & this is where Hevo saves the day.

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Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline helps you transfer data from a source of your choice in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code repeatedly. Hevo with its strong integration with 100+ sources & BI tools, allows you to not only export & load data but also transform & enrich your data & make it analysis-ready in a jiffy.

You can now load Zendesk data to any Data Warehouse such as Redshift, BigQuery, Snowflake, or a destination of your choice without writing code in just a few minutes for free with Hevo.

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Tell us about your preferred way of exporting your Zendesk data! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Divij Chawla
Marketing Operations and Analytics Manager, Hevo Data

Divij Chawla is interested in data analysis, software architecture, and technical content creation. With extensive experience driving Marketing Operations and Analytics teams, he excels at defining strategic objectives, delivering real-time insights, and setting up efficient processes. His technical expertise includes developing dashboards, implementing CRM systems, and optimising sales and marketing workflows. Divij combines his analytical skills with a deep understanding of data-driven solutions to create impactful content and drive business growth.

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