Use the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

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Zendesk ODBC Driver

The Zendesk ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Zendesk project management data, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Zendesk like you would a database - read, write, and update Tickets, Groups, Users, Schedules, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Connect to real-time Zendesk data in SAS for reporting, analytics, and visualizations using the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk.

SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. When you pair SAS with the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk, you gain database-like access to live Zendesk data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for Zendesk in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time Zendesk data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live Zendesk data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS to Zendesk, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Zendesk and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can easily visualize and analyze Zendesk data in SAS.

Connect to Zendesk as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Zendesk follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments (the ODBC Driver for Zendesk must be installed on the machine hosting the SAS System).

Connecting to Zendesk

To connect, set the URL and provide authentication. The URL is your Zendesk Support URL: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com.

Authenticating to Zendesk

You can authenticate using the Basic or OAuth methods.

Using Basic Authentication

To use Basic authentication, specify your email address and password or your email address and an API token. Set User to your email address and follow the steps below to provide the Password or ApiToken.

  • Enable password access in the Zendesk Support admin interface at Admin > Channels > API.
  • Manage API tokens in the Zendesk Support Admin interface at Admin > Channels > API. More than one token can be active at the same time. Deleting a token deactivates it permanently.

Using OAuth Authentication

See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for an authentication guide.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData Zendesk Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk Description = My Description URL = https://subdomain.zendesk.com User = my@email.com Password = test123

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Create a Zendesk Library in SAS

Connect to Zendesk in SAS by adding a library based on the CData ODBC Driver for Zendesk.

  1. Open SAS and expand Libraries in the Explorer pane.
  2. In the Active Libraries window, right-click and select New.
  3. Name your library (odbclib), select ODBC as the Engine, and click to Enable at startup (if you want the library to persist between sessions).
  4. Set Data Source to the DSN you previously configured and click OK.

Create a View from a Zendesk Query

SAS natively supports querying data either using a low-code, point-and-click Query tool or programmatically with PROC SQL and a custom SQL query. When you create a View in SAS, the defining query is executed each time the view is queried. This means that you always query live Zendesk data for reports, charts, and analytics.

Using the Query Tool

  1. In SAS, click Tools -> Query
  2. Select the table sources and the table(s) you wish to pull data from. Then, click OK.
  3. Select columns and right-click to add filtering, ordering, grouping, etc.
  4. Create a local view to contain the query results by right-clicking the SQL Query Tool window, selecting Show Query, and clicking Create View. Name the View and click OK.

Using PROC SQL

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC SQL to query the data and create a local view.
    NOTE: This procedure creates a view in the Work library. You can optionally specify a library in the create view statement.
    proc sql;
      create view tickets_view as
      select 
        id, 
        subject 
      from 
        odbclib.tickets 
      where 
        Industry = 'Floppy Disks';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize Zendesk Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze Zendesk data using the powerful SAS features. Print a simple report using PROC PRINT and create a basic graph based on the data using PROC GCHART.

Print an HTML Report

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC PRINT to print an HTML report for the Zendesk Tickets data.
    proc print data=tickets;
      title "Zendesk Tickets Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC GCHART to create a chart for the Tickets data.
    proc gchart data=tickets;
      pie id / sumvar=subject
          value=arrow
          percent=arrow
          noheading
          percent=inside plabel=(height=12pt)
          slice=inside value=none
          name='TicketsChart';
    run;