Help Scout
to
Redshift

Help Scout Data Integration with Redshift

With Portable, integrate Help Scout data with your Redshift warehouse in minutes. Access your customer support platform data from Redshift without having to manage cumbersome ETL scripts.

The Two Paths to Connect Help Scout to Amazon Redshift

There are two ways to sync data from Help Scout into your data warehouse for analytics.

Method 1: Manually Developing a Custom Data Pipeline Yourself

Write code from scratch or use an open-source framework to build an integration between Help Scout and Redshift.

Method 2: Automating the ETL Process with a No-Code Solution

Leverage a pre-built connector from a cloud-hosted solution like Portable.

How to Create Value with Help Scout Data

Teams connect Help Scout to their data warehouse to build dashboards and generate value for their business. Let’s dig into the capabilities Help Scout exposes via their API, outline insights you can build with the data, and summarize the most common analytics environments that teams are using to process their Help Scout data.

Extract: What Data Can You Extract from the Help Scout API?

Help Scout is a customer support platform used for providing world-class customer support.

To help clients power downstream analytics, Help Scout offers an application programming interface (API) for clients to extract data on business entities. Here are a few example entities you can extract from the API:

  • List Conversations
  • Customers
  • Mailboxes
  • Properties
  • Ratings
  • Reports
  • Tags
  • Teams
  • Users
  • Webhooks
  • Workflows

You can visit the Help Scout API Documentation to explore the entire catalog of available API resources and the complete schema definition for each.

As you think about the data you will need for analytics, don’t forget that Portable offers no-code integrations to other similar applications.

Regardless of the SaaS solution you use, it’s important to find a customer support platform with robust data available for analytics.

Load: Which Destinations Are Best for Your Help Scout ETL Pipeline?

To turn raw data from Help Scout into dashboards, most companies centralize information into a data warehouse or data lake. For Portable clients, the most common ETL pipelines are:

  1. Help Scout to Snowflake Integration
  2. Help Scout to Google BigQuery Integration
  3. Help Scout to Amazon Redshift Integration
  4. Help Scout to PostgreSQL Integration
Common Data Warehouses
Common Data Warehouses

Once you have a destination to load the data, it’s common to combine Help Scout data with information from other enterprise applications like Jira, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Zendesk, and Klaviyo.

From there, you can build cross-functional dashboards in a visualization tool like Power BI, Tableau, Looker, or Retool.

Develop: Which Dashboards Should You Build with Help Scout Data?

Now that you have identified the data you want to extract, the next step is to plan out the dashboards you can build with the data.

As a process, you want to consume raw data, overlay SQL logic, and build a dashboard to either 1) increase revenue or 2) decrease costs.

Replicating Help Scout data into your cloud data warehouse can unlock a wide array of opportunities to power analytics, automate workflows, and develop products. The use cases are endless.

Now that we have a clear sense of the insights we can create, let’s compare the process of developing a custom Help Scout integration with the benefits of using a no-code ETL solution like Portable.

Method 1: Building a Custom Help Scout ETL Pipeline

To build your own Help Scout integration, there are three steps:

  1. Navigate the Help Scout API documentation
  2. Make your first API request
  3. Turn an API request into a complete data pipeline

Let’s walk through the process in more detail.

How to Interpret Help Scout’s API Documentation

When reading API documentation, there are a handful of key concepts to consider.

Authentication

There are many common authentication mechanisms. OAuth 2.0 (Auth Code and Client Credentials), API Keys, JWT Tokens, Personal Access Tokens, Basic Authentication, etc. For Help Scout, it’s important to identify the authentication mechanism and how best to incorporate the necessary credentials into your API requests.

This is an HTTPS-only API and it uses OAuth 2.0 authorization, implementing Authorization Code and Client Credential flows. The Authorization Code flow is typically used for integrations to be used by other Help Scout users. The Client Credentials flow is meant for internal integrations.

All credentials must be associated with an active, invited user in the Help Scout account; a 401 error will be returned if a user does not meet these credentials.

Resources

It’s important to identify the Help Scout API endpoints you want to use for analytics. Most APIs offer a combination of GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE request methods; however, for analytics, GET requests are typically the most useful. At times, POST requests can be used to extract data as well.

For Help Scout, the token endpoint is a great place to get started.

Request Parameters

For each API endpoint you would like to use for analytics, you need to understand the method (GET, POST, PUT, or DELETE) and the URL, but there are other considerations to take into account as well. You should look out for pagination mechanics, query parameters, and parameters that are added to the request path.

Requests that return multiple results are paginated to 50 items, with the exception of List Conversation requests, which are paginated to 25 items. The response contains page information and links to fetch the other pages.

Some API endpoints require unique identifiers from a previous API response to be included in the URL path. For instance, to overwrite a customer, you need a customerId that is returned from another endpoint.

How Do You Call the Help Scout API? (Tutorial)

  1. Follow the instructions above to read the Help Scout API documentation
  2. Identify and collect your credentials for authentication
  3. Pick the API resource you want to pull data from
  4. Configure the necessary parameters, method, and URL to make your first request (e.g. with curl or Postman)
  5. Add your credentials and make your first API call . Here is an example request using curl (without real credentials):
curl -X POST https://api.helpscout.net/v2/oauth2/token     
--data 'code={code}'     
--data 'client_id={application_id}'     
--data 'client_secret={application_secret}'     
--data 'grant_type=authorization_code'

How Do You Maintain a Custom Help Scout to Redshift ETL Pipeline?

Making a call to the Help Scout API is just the beginning of maintaining a complete custom ETL pipeline.

Here is a getting-started guide to building a production-grade pipeline for Help Scout:

  • For each API endpoint, define schemas (which fields exist and the type for each)
  • Process the API response and parse the data (typically parsing JSON or XML)
  • Handle and replicate nested objects and custom fields
  • Identify which Help Scout fields are primary keys and which keys are required vs. optional
  • Version control your changes in a git-based workflow (using GitHub, GitLab, etc.)
  • Handle code dependencies in your toolchain and the upgrades that come with each
  • Monitor the health of the upstream API, and —when things go wrong— troubleshoot via the status page, reach out to support, and open tickets
  • Handle error codes (HTTP error codes like 400s, 500s, etc.)
  • Manage and respect rate limits imposed by the server

We won’t go into detail on all of the items above, but rate limits are a great example of the complexity found in a production-grade data pipeline.

The API is rate limited and all users associated with the same account count against the same rate limit. Your current rate limit depends on your plan. Check out our Mailbox API article for the plan details as well as available add-ons. Response code 429 is returned when the throttle limit has been reached.

If you don’t respect rate limits, and if you can’t handle server responses (like 429 errors with a Retry-After header), your pipeline can break, and analytics can become out-of-date.

What Are the Drawbacks of Building the Help Scout ETL Pipeline Yourself?

You can probably tell at this point that there is a lot of work that goes into building and maintaining an ETL pipeline from Help Scout to your data warehouse.

If you want less development work, faster insights, and no ongoing responsibilities, you should consider a cloud-hosted ETL solution.

Let’s walk through the setup process for a no-code ETL solution and its benefits.

Method 2: Using a No-Code Help Scout ETL Solution

No-code ETL solutions are simple. Vendors specialize in building and maintaining data pipelines on your behalf. Instead of starting from scratch for each integration. Companies like Portable create connector templates that can be leveraged by hundreds or thousands of clients.

Step-By-Step Tutorial for Configuring Your Help Scout ETL Pipeline

Off-the-shelf ETL tools offer a no-code setup process. Here are the instructions to connect Help Scout to your cloud data warehouse with Portable.

  1. Create an account (no credit card required)
  2. Add a source —search for and select Help Scout
  3. Authenticate with Help Scout using the instructions in the Portable console
  4. Select Redshift and authenticate
  5. Set up a flow connecting Help Scout to your analytics environment
  6. Run your flow to replicate data from Help Scout to your warehouse
  7. Use the dropdown to set your data flow to run on a cadence

What Are the Benefits of Using Portable for Help Scout ETL?

No-Code Simplicity

Start moving Help Scout data in minutes. Save yourself the headaches of reading API documentation, writing code, and worrying about maintenance. Leave the hassle to us.

Easy to Understand Pricing

With predictable, fixed-cost pricing per data flow, you know exactly how much your Help Scout integration will cost every month.

Fast Development Speeds

Access lightning-fast connector development. Portable can build new integrations on-demand in hours or days.

Hands-On Support

APIs change. Schemas evolve. Help Scout will have maintenance issues and errors. With Portable, we will do everything in our power to make your life easier.

Unlimited Data Volumes

You can move as much data from Help Scout to Amazon Redshift as you want without worrying about usage credits or overages. Instead of analyzing your ETL costs, you should be analyzing your data.

Free to Get Started

Sign up and get started for free. You don’t need a credit card to manually trigger a data sync, so you can try all of our connectors before paying a dime.

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