I have a journey setup on random splits running over a week. The source data extension was cleared after the journey started and the journey is still running perfectly.

I understand that the journey has picked the data up and the data extension is not required until it needs to start again the following week.

Where is the journey data stored for a journey that is running?

I've had a look under triggered sends and can see the remaining days, but they are currently set to 0 with nothing in the queue.

2 Answers 2


The Journey Data is not really used directly from the entry DE, but is in fact a JSON payload that is cached for the contact along the journey, with a snapshot of the data as it entered the journey. Hence the record in the entry DE has no effect on the journey (if updated or deleted) once the contact is in the journey (unless the DE was linked to contact model and explicitly referenced in a Decision split for instance).

Even for Email personalization (and likely SMS/Push), the engine will use the data in the JSON payload, not the DE.


Is it possible to have Journey Builder re-check the Data Extension along the way? We have a number of contacts we need to email that aren't in the CRM yet so I was hoping we could refresh the Data Extension via data import every few days and use Decision Splits to move people along the way. Based on my testing, and as mentioned above, it looks like Journey Builder will write to the Data Extension but doesn't refer back to it once the journey has begun.

  • Not 100% of that scenario. In our case, the contacts have exited the journey before it runs the following week. We do have another case where only new contacts are picked up from the DE, but again the contacts exit daily and the journey runs again the next day with the new data. Have you tried a recurring journey? It should pick up the new contacts in the DE and start them from the beginning when the journey runs again?
    – lyslexic
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 8:06
  • That's an interesting approach. I hadn't considered that. I was making a linear journey because I want the first two emails to fire within 24 hours of each other and all the rest should have a one week delay between them. I could kick them out of the journey on a daily basis and then use a decision split to figure out what email they get - but not sure how I'd build in the delay.
    – jdblundell
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 23:35
  • you could try using a wait for the delay but you need to test it. had something recently where i had to start a journey later than normal, it included set times to fire mails on a random decision split across 5 days. the wait was 1day, that actually means 24 hours from the time the journey started.
    – lyslexic
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 14:31

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