Extracting data from a cell, table, or strategic segment

This procedure explains how to use the Extract process to obtain data from an input cell, such as a Select process, or from a single table or a strategic segment. In this way, you can pare down a large amount of data to a manageable size for subsequent operations, resulting in improved performance.

Before you begin

See The Extract process.


  1. Open a flowchart for editing (click Edit in the flowchart toolbar).
  2. Drag the Extract process Data blocks with arrow from the palette to your flowchart.
  3. Optionally, connect a configured process, such as a Select process, as input into the Extract process.
  4. Double-click the Extract process in the flowchart.

    The Extract process configuration dialog opens and the Source tab is open by default.

  5. On the Source tab, use the Input list to select an input cell, a table, or a strategic segment. The Select based on list indicates your selection. If you selected a strategic segment, you must join it to a table by selecting a table from the Select based on list.
  6. Specify which records to select. If you want to include all records from the input data source, choose Select all records.
  7. If you prefer to use a subset of IDs from the selected data source, choose Select all records with, so you can do a query for the records that you want to extract.

    The Expression box shows columns labeled Field name, Oper, Value, and And/Or.

    When the button says Text Builder, you can build expressions by populating the columns labeled Field name, Oper, Value, And/Or.

    When the button says Point & click, you can view or edit raw SQL and you can use the Formula helper to pick macros, operators, and string functions from a list.

    With either method (Text Builder or Point & click), you can select fields from the Available fields list, including Unica Campaign Generated Fields and Derived fields.

  8. Construct a query to determine which records are selected:
    1. To specify which field to query, click in the Field name cell. The Available fields list should appear. If the list does not appear, click in the Field name cell again. In the Available fields list, expand the fields until you see the one that you want. Select an available field by double-clicking it or by highlighting it and clicking Use.
      Note: When deciding which field to use, you can highlight an available field and click Profile to see a list of values in that field. Then use the Profile selected field dialog to examine the field values. For more information, see Previewing field values from your user data.
      Note: When the list of Available fields is displayed, you can use the Derived fields button if you want to create or select a variable for querying. For more information, see Derived fields.
    2. Click in the Oper cell, then double-click a comparison operator in the Operators list (=, <, >, <=, >=, <>, In, Not in, Between).
    3. Click in the Value cell, then double-click a value. If no values appear, double-click (Profile...) in the Values list to open the Profile selected field dialog so you can select from a list of values. You can also double-click in the Value cell to edit the value directly.
      Note: If you do not see the expected list (Available fields, Operators, Values, For selected expresssion), try either single clicking or double clicking on a cell in the Expression area.
    You now have an expression that consists of a field name, operator, and value.
  9. Click Check syntax to confirm whether the query syntax is valid. Checking the syntax does not put any load on the database server.
  10. To add and combine multiple expressions, follow the guidelines below:
    1. To add another expression, click the And/Or cell, then double-click AND or OR in the Values list to indicate how to combine the expressions.
    2. Build your next expression, consisting of a field name, operator, and value.
    3. To add parentheses to control evaluation order, double-click the Field Name in any row to display the For selected expression list. In the list of expressions, double-click Add ( ) to add a set of parentheses, Remove ( ) to remove a single set of parentheses, or Clear all ( ) to remove all of the parentheses in the selected expression. Parentheses allow you to group expressions when defining complex queries. For example, (AcctType = 'Gold' AND Rank = 'A') OR NewCust = 'Yes' is different from AcctType = 'Gold' AND (Rank = 'A' OR NewCust = 'Yes').
    4. To reorder the selected expression, double-click Move up or Move down.
    5. To add a blank row below the selected expressions, double-click Insert.
    6. To delete the selected expression, double-click Delete.
  11. Optionally, click the Text Builder button so its label changes to Point & click. When the button says Point & click, you can view or edit raw SQL. You can also use the Formula helper to pick macros, operators, and string functions from a list.
    Select process Formula helper
    Note: If your query includes a table field that has the same name as a Campaign generated field, you must qualify the field name. Use the following syntax: <table_name>.<field_name>.

    For related information, see Creating raw SQL queries. Also see Creating queries with Formula helper.

  12. Click the Point & click button to change back to the original query mode. The button label changes back to Text Builder.
  13. (Optional) Use Test query to see how many IDs the query returns.

    A progress bar is displayed while the query is being tested. Close the progress window if you want to cancel the test. When testing is complete, Unica Campaign indicates the number of rows the query returned.

    Important: Global suppressions and cell size limits are not applied in test query counts. Test queries might also return non-normalized data. To obtain an accurate result count, test run the process.
  14. Continue configuring the process, as described below, or click OK to close the process configuration dialog and save the query expression.
  15. Optionally, use the Cell size limit tab to limit the number of IDs generated by the process during production or test runs. See Limiting the size of output cells.

    If you selected Random seed, in most cases you can accept the default seed. The random seed represents the starting point that Unica Campaign uses to select IDs randomly.

    Note: The same random set of records will be used for each subsequent run of the Extract process (unless the input to the process changes). This is important if you intend to use the results for modeling purposes, because different modeling algorithms must be compared across the same set of records to determine each model's effectiveness. If you do not intend to use the results for modeling, you can make the Extract process select a different random set of records each time it runs. To do this, use a Random Seed of zero (0). A value of 0 ensures that a different random set of records will be selected each time the process runs.
  16. On the Extract tab, use the Target data source field to select an output location:
    • To store the data in binary format, select Unica Campaign Server.
    • To store the data in a uniquely named table with a UAC_EX prefix, select an available database.

    Then select fields from the list of Candidate fields and add them to the Fields to extract list. Use the controls to remove or reorder fields. For information about using the Extract tab, see Extract tab reference.

  17. Optionally, use the Dimension tab to add existing dimension tables to the extract table and specify the key fields to join on. The extract table becomes a base table for the selected dimension tables and can be used in downstream processes.
    Note: The Dimension tab is not applicable if you are extracting data to the Unica Campaign Server.
  18. Select the General tab to set the following options.
    1. Process name: Assign a descriptive name. The process name is used as the box label on the flowchart. It is also used in various dialogs and reports to identify the process.
    2. Output cell name: This name matches the Process name by default. It is used in dialogs and reports to identify the output cell (the set of IDs that the process retrieves).
    3. (Optional) Link to target cell: Perform this step if your organization pre-defines target cells in a target cell spreadsheet (TCS). To associate the pre-defined target cell with the flowchart process output, click Link to target cell, then select a target cell from the spreadsheet. The Output cell name and Cell code are inherited from the TCS, and both of those field values are shown in italics to indicate that there is a link relationship. For more information, read about using target cell spreadsheets.
    4. Cell code: The cell code has a standard format that is determined by your system administrator and is unique when generated. Do not change the cell code unless you understand the implications of doing so. By default, the name of a cell created in a process matches the process name. When you save changes to an output cell name, if Auto generate is selected, the cell code is regenerated. If you do not want the cell code to change, uncheck Auto generate.
    5. Note: Use the Note field to explain the purpose or result of the process. Common practice is to reference the selection criteria or other important information. The contents of this field appears when you rest your cursor over the process box in a flowchart, in View or Edit mode.
  19. Click OK to save and close the configuration.


The process is now configured. You can test run the process to verify that it returns the results you expect.