Zendesk Query Language (ZQL) to create queries in Explore
Feature Request Summary:
Creating a query in Explore can be tedious. The user must do a lot clicking to just to accomplish simple tasks like adding metrics, attributes, or filters. What's more, every time a change is made to the query the user must wait for the results to update. This is particularly problematic with larger queries.
Zendesk should create a full query language (ZQL) to allow Explore users the option to write a full query statement to pull the data they need.
Users would open the query editor in the same way they do today. There would be a new option to switch from the UI based editor to the new text based query editor.
Writing queries would be similar to the way custom metrics and attributes can be created, but it would extend to the full functionality in the query creator. It would be similar to SQL in many ways (I think Explore is based on SQL anyway?). It would start with a SELECT command and allow users to structure their query with various conditions.
An example statement might look something like:
WHERE (INCLUDES([Ticket tags], "some_tag");
It could mirror the syntax and functionality (like auto-complete) already built into the formula editor, and this would provide savvy users with a sense of familiarity.
Rather than automatically updating the query results after each minor change, users would press a button or enter a keyboard shortcut when they're ready to run their query.
Nice to have: Users can switch from the text editor to the UI based editor and see their written queries carried over (and vice versa).
Business impact of limitation or missing feature:
Using Explore is often time consuming. This feature would save Explore users valuable time, and make it much simpler to pull ad-hoc data when needed.
Other necessary information or resources:
Jira has their own query language called JQL. It's not a 1:1 to what I'm suggesting here, but it's an interesting approach to accessing the right data in complex systems.
Side note: something like JQL might actually be useful in advanced searches in Support.
Implementing ZQL would be a natural extension of several current features, and would greatly improve the user experience for many Explore users.
+1 from me, I would LOVE this. I had an epiphany recently, around understanding why it works the way it does recently and I'm just dying that I cannot make Explore use INNER JOINs in places where it is doing OUTER LEFT JOINs, which is why my reports are constantly timing out and becoming huge when they shouldn't be at all.
This would also be an education short cut -- folks who know SQL wouldn't need to learn how to setup metric filtering, or sorting, or all kinds of features that can be difficult to find and select the way you want, because they likely already know how to do that with SQL directly. And when things like group names change, it'd be a find and replace task, not selecting drop downs in filters manually.
One thing that might help you in the short term -- The nice to have feature you mention, is already a feature! It's buried in the SQL options under the Result Manipulation tab. At the bottom of the SQL options is your query written out in Zendesk's BIMESQL:
Daniel Dobrzensky thank you for this feature request. It is interesting to hear a savvy user's perspective.
We are working on a new reporting experience that will make data exploration a quicker and more pleasant process. The plan is to introduce a feature that will allow switching between auto-load to manul-load of the queries. You'll hear more about this project next year.
We are not planning to introduce the SQL querying experience at this stage. The vast majority of Zendesk customers are not fluent in SQL that's why we are working on improving the core point-and-click experience first.
Meanwhile, if you want to avoid the report loading when you add attributes and metrics to it you can use this trick: https://share.getcloudapp.com/E0uo5zx6
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