Connect Zendesk to Power BI: A Comprehensive Guide
The key focus of this article is to serve as a reference guide on how to connect Zendesk to Power BI. It will help you get a deeper understanding of why it is important or how the two tools that are connected can help you grow your business. You will be introduced to the concept of Business Intelligence (BI) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This article contains a brief overview of the aforementioned concepts, how they relate to each other, and how to connect Zendesk to Power BI.
Table of Contents
The readers are expected to be familiar with Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. It is recommended to have access to the tools that are explored in this article – Zendesk and Power BI. Follow the steps in this article to establish a connection between Zendesk to Power BI.
Let’s see how this blog is structured for you:
- What is Business Intelligence?
- Understanding Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- What is Zendesk?
- What is a Power BI?
- Connect Zendesk to Power BI
What is Business Intelligence?
Many businesses and corporations need to understand not only the market segment in which they operate but also the customers they are serving. Gaining this understanding is what makes the difference between a successful business and one that lags behind its competitors. Business Intelligence, at its core, comprises strategies and tools used to analyze data generated by businesses, so insights can be formulated to drive growth.
Business Intelligence has become the mainstay to successfully pilot a business or corporation. There are many business intelligence tools available that can try to solve various data-related questions. Various BI tools are SAP Business Intelligence, Tableau, SAS Business Intelligence, QlikSense, etc. However, this article concentrates on Power BI, which is an immensely popular business intelligence tool developed by Microsoft.
Understanding Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an all-encompassing term that deals with the process that a business uses to maintain healthy and positive relationships with its customers. CRM involves the analysis of previous interactions between a business and its customers to ascertain the satisfaction of the customer with the service rendered or product offered. It is also used to analyze potential customers, and the results of such an analysis can be included in product development or sales outreach. The communication analyzed in CRM is typically aggregated from channels such as the company’s website, online chat, customer support tickets, email, social media, etc.
Previously, CRM was used as a strategy for sales teams to pursue leads and hit revenue targets. However, it has changed over the years, as CRM is now being used to build a holistic profile of customers, which can be beneficial for teams across the organization. As a result of it, CRM is now used by customer support teams to nurture enduring long term business relationships with customers, so that professional and personalized services can be provided.
Just like business intelligence, there are many software products in the CRM space. Some of the popular options are Salesforce CRM, SAP CRM, Zoho CRM, HubSpot CRM, SugarCRM, etc. For this article, you will utilize Zendesk, which has an embedded CRM module.
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What is Zendesk?
Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service Software as a Service (SaaS) application that helps you to improve communication between a company, business, or corporation with its customers. Zendesk is one of the leading service offerings in the customer support/helpdesk niche. It is ideal for both startups and large enterprises as it has several modules that may be used in line with the requirements of the business. For example, smaller businesses can choose to use only its most basic features, while larger businesses can take advantage of a wider collection of more powerful features.
Zendesk is an all-in-one suite for managing the entire customer journey as it includes a ticketing system, self-service online support, sales CRM, community forums, call center software, and analytics and reporting module. Zendesk runs on a subscription model whereby users are billed monthly or annually for the services that they access. Different pricing tiers are available by Zendesk. The pricing tiers are for teams of different sizes, and some are more feature-rich and customizable than others.
One of the selling points of Zendesk is its support for integration with third-party applications. There are integrations to business intelligence tools, social media channels, e-commerce software, marketing and lead generation tools, etc. In this tutorial, you will go through the connection of Zendesk to Power BI. Below is a sample image of the ticket management module in Zendesk.
What is a Power BI?
Power BI is a data visualization and business intelligence software by Microsoft that can combine data from various sources to build interactive dashboards and reports. The reports and dashboards provide insights into the underlying data. Power BI uses the Data Analysis Expression (DAX) language, which consists of functions and expressions that are used to build formulas to understand data. The DAX language is used by other Microsoft products, such as Power Pivot in Excel, and such data models can be exported as they are compatible with Power BI. Apart from the Microsoft products, Power BI also offers integration to other tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce CRM, Mailchimp, Stripe, and several cloud databases.
Power BI comes in three main flavors – Power BI Desktop, Power BI Service, and Power BI Mobile apps. The Power BI Desktop is a Windows desktop application that features all the components of Power BI as a standalone application, and it is mainly used by those who create the reports for distribution to the wider organization. The Power BI Service is the cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) product of Power BI. Reports created using Power BI Desktop are usually published to Power BI Service so that those reports can be consumed by less technical users within the organization.
Power BI Mobile app is the mobile version of Power BI. It is used by the users on the go, such as sales teams that may want to have access to real-time analytics data. All the three types of Power BI discussed above feature tight interoperability. There is a fourth version – Power BI Report Server, which is an on-premises offering of Power BI for organizations that do not want to move proprietary data to the cloud. However, reports created in Power BI Report Server are compatible with other Power BI products, so those reports can be moved to the cloud once the organization feels comfortable.
Power BI can be integrated with active directory to enable organizations to provide corporate login functionality and secure data access to only individuals with the required privileges. Power BI is a mature business intelligence product, currently in use by many enterprises.
Connect Zendesk to Power BI
In this section of the tutorial, you will connect Zendesk to Power BI using the default integration provided by Power BI. You have to install the Zendesk template app, which includes some pre-built reports to help you get started. You can choose to customize the reports after installation to reflect the metrics you care about or use it. It is mandatory to have a Zendesk administrator account as you will be asked to authenticate the integration.
The series of steps required to complete the process of connecting Zendesk to Power BI are listed below:
- Open Power BI and in the left navigation pane, select Apps, then click on Get Apps in the top right corner.
- In the AppSource page, select the Apps tab, and search for Zendesk.
- Select Zendesk, then click Get it now.
- Next, in the Install this Power BI App? screen, select Install.
- In the Apps pane, select the Zendesk tile.
- In the Get started with your new app page, select Connect.
- You need to provide the URL associated with your Zendesk account. The required URL will be of the form,
- You will then be prompted to provide your Zendesk credentials. Make sure you select oAuth 2 in the authentication mechanism and click Sign In.
- After you have finished the Zendesk authentication flow in the previous step, click Allow in the prompt that appears, to allow Power BI to access your Zendesk data.
- Click Connect to begin the importation of your data from Zendesk to Power BI.
- After Power BI completes the importation process, you will see the content list of your Zendesk app, which includes a new dashboard, report, and dataset.
- You have successfully connected Zendesk to Power BI and can open the dashboard to begin exploring your Zendesk data in Power BI.
Below is the sample dashboard containing Zendesk data from the template app you just installed.
Welcome to the end of this hands-on guide on how to connect Zendesk to Power BI. If you completed the steps above, you should have a working connection between Zendesk and Power BI and some sample reports to explore. As you have seen in this article, Zendesk can be combined with Power BI to take your customer service to the next level by making use of data analysis and business intelligence.
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