Data Extensions

Ways of Populating Data Extensions in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

In one of my blogs, I have shared what types of data extensions we have in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. In this one, I am going to share how we can populate our data into the data extensions.

Blog Name: Types of Data Extensions in Marketing Cloud

As you must be aware we have three types of data extensions available to us in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud:

  1. Standard Data Extension
  2. Filtered Data Extension
  3. Random Data Extension

Ways to store/populate data extension are:

Importing The Data

After creating the standard data extension we can directly import the data from a CSV file into the data extension.

  • Navigate to any data extension and open it and click on the Records tab
  • Click import and then a window will appear where you have to define from where you want to import data, either it can be from FTP or from your computer. After this browse the file to import.
  • You can further select Delimiter, import type, date format, etc as well.
  • Configure the mapping at the next step and then review all the configurations you have made and then start the import.

dont miss out iconDon't forget to check out: Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Einstein Just Got Better!

Filtering Out the Data from a Source Data Extension

We can also populate the data from another data extension(Source) in another data extension(Destination). This can be done by directly clicking on the filter icon on the data extension or by creating a data filter and using that same data filter into the automation studio filter activity to populate the data extension.

  • Navigate to the Email studio section and click Create
  • Select Filtered Data Extension
  • Next, it will ask for the source data extension, select the data extension from which you want the data to be filtered out.
  • Create the filter criteria as per the requirement and click Save and Build
  • One more way to populate a filter data extension is to navigate to data filters in Email Studio then create a filter by defining a source and filter criteria and then use that filter in Filter Activity in Automation Studio and select the created filter, this will automatically create a data extension in the folder where source data extension is.

The below image represents where we have to define filter criteria:

We can also populate a filtered data extension by clicking on the filter icon as highlighted in the below image:

Filter activity configurations for populating a filtered data extension:

Importing the data from Sales Cloud reports

If our Marketing cloud instance is integrated with Sales Cloud then we can also import object data or any report data into a data extension by creating an import in Marketing Cloud.

  • Navigate to interactions and then Import and click Create
  • Provide the name and description. You can skip the external key.
  • Here we can import records from Salesforce objects or reports to be imported. Select as per your requirement.
  • After selecting the required source as per the requirement, configure the Import Action Settings and click save.
  • You can manually run the import after saving it or you can use the import in an automation studio to run on a frequency basis.

dont miss out iconCheck out another amazing blog by Udit here: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Automation Studio and Its Activities

Querying out the data from one data extension to another

We can also query the data from one data extension into another by using SQL in Marketing Cloud. 

  • Navigate to the Automation Studio
  • Click on the Activities tab and select SQL Query
  • Provide the name of the activity and then in the next step write your query and fetch only those fields which you want to from the source data extension and validate it.
  • After successfully validating your query, select the date extension where you want to store the data and select the data action and click Save.
  • You can run the SQL for one time or you can run it on a frequency basis by using it in automation.

Manually adding the records into the data extension

You can also add records manually into the data extension but this does not come under best practice.

  • Navigate to Audience builder > contact builder and then select the Data Extensions tab.
  • Select any data extension and select the Records tab and then click on Add Records


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