Just because you can get more of it, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. The world is enamored right now with “big data”, and the wealth of information around us does hold promise.

But our efforts to analyze and leverage as much data as possible could be keeping us from seeing two more accessible, more important segments of data that can have a more immediate impact on your business.

What’s more important than big data?

For one, fast data. At least for now, being able to access and react to real-time data is more important than waiting for whatever “big data” tells us to do. This will evolve over time as big data gets easier and faster to analyze, but your customers and prospects today are working in real-time.

That Web site visitor is here now, but might be gone in a minute or less. How do you engage them? What message should they see on your site first?

What action did they just take that means they’re ready for the next step? How quickly can you identify and take action on that step?

Fast data is key to this, and we have both access to this as well as the technology to act fast. In 2013, more Web sites will publish dynamic content on their home and landing pages based on what they know about the visitor. It’s happening already today, with significant increases in engagement, stickiness and conversion.

What’s also more important than big data is the right data. Sounds self-evident, right? Maybe not.

Look at your own company’s key metrics dashboard. Are all of those metrics important? Do they really help you make decisions? Could you teach the organization – your leadership team, management team, and front-line employees – to look at less information but the right information to make critical decisions for the business and your customers?

More data isn’t necessarily better. Focus on getting and leveraging the right data, faster.