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Can the Update Contact activity be used to update any DE or just the Event entry DE? I have a scenario where a record entering the journey is supposed to flow through a journey path which results in a "last journey path" field in a "master" DE (set as a population) being updated through an Update Contact step which is written with a value designating the last journey path they flowed through. Upon exit the record is eligible to re-enter with the idea being that the next time that record is imported to the entry event DE (set to overwrite each time data is imported) they will re-enter the journey and a decision split will be used to determine which path they will go through next based on the value of the previous journey that was written to the master DE. (i.e. upon initial entry that value would be null and get written to a 1 as they complete. Upon re-entry the value of 1 would be used to send down path 2, etc.) The challenge I'm having is that the Update Contact step isn't writing anything back to the DE. This seems like it should be a straightforward process but i'm at a loss.

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You should be able to use an Update Contact Data Activity to update any Attribute (Data Extension field) that has a 1:1 relationship in your Contact model. I haven't tried updating a Population, but I can't see why this would not work. To isolate this, I would try the following:

  1. Create a new DE with two fields; ContactKey (primary key) and LastJourneyPath (nullable)
  2. Add the DE you created in Step 1 to an Attribute Group, making a 1:1 relationship back to your Contact Model (where Contact Key = ContactKey)
  3. Set the Update Contact Data Activity in your Journey to update the LastJourneyPath field you created in step 1
  4. Define the LastJourneyPath Attribute as an Entry condition in your Contact Filter Criteria (within the Event)
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