I con­sider myself for­tu­nate to be in my fifth year, pre­sent­ing in my sev­enth break­out ses­sion, at Adobe Sum­mit. But I must admit that I’m more excited — in very spe­cific ways — about this break­out than any I’ve pre­sented in the past.

This year, I’m super stoked that I’ll be joined onstage by a fine panel of experts to dis­cuss how you can approach “big data” in a way that ensures you can answer key ques­tions and be able to act on the answers. The approach? Look at big data in small, focused bites, rather than as a com­pre­hen­sive whole.

Think­ing Small: A Panel on Mak­ing Big Data Action­able” will include Ashish Bra­ganza, Direc­tor of Global Busi­ness Intel­li­gence at Lenovo; Jonathan Watts, Direc­tor of Ana­lyt­ics and Strat­egy at Tick­et­mas­ter; and Scot Liewehr, Pres­i­dent and Prin­ci­pal Ana­lyst at Dig­i­tal Clar­ity Group. Together, we have sev­eral decades of expe­ri­ence in analy­sis and opti­miza­tion based upon var­i­ous stores of data.

For those who are unable to join us, we’ll spend the hour giv­ing exam­ples and dis­cussing our four key take­aways related to big data:

1) Shape Your Own Future and Define Your Needs. Be very spe­cific and delib­er­ate about the ques­tion you want to answer and what you will do with the results (that is, what action you might take). Many analy­sis pro­grams fail for lack of focus; skip­ping this step puts your’s at risk of the same fate.

2) Con­sider “Imme­di­acy.” Under­stand the time­li­ness of each of the data streams that is part of your big data uni­verse. Many ques­tions don’t need real-time data, and the invest­ment required to have imme­di­ate access to some data points doesn’t jus­tify itself. Focus on the analy­ses that you can per­form and the action you can take, using the “imme­di­acy” of the data avail­able to you.

3) Make it Sim­ple, Smart, Respon­sive, and Social. Plan, from the out­set, how you’ll share and evan­ge­lize the results of your analy­sis — focus­ing on ways to make it sim­ple, smart, respon­sive, and social for your busi­ness stakeholders.

4) Drive Smarter Test­ing and Deci­sions. Ulti­mately, analy­sis in any con­text — big data or small —must drive toward some action in order to be worth­while. Keep the end in mind as you exe­cute the above steps, and you’ll help ensure that your analy­sis will not only be valu­able, but action­able as well.

These four key take­aways are cov­ered in great detail in the Dig­i­tal Clar­ity Group white paper, Think­ing Small: Bring­ing the Power of Big Data to the Masses.

For the break­out, I’ve com­piled a list of extra read­ing and per­spec­tives on big data that can help prac­ti­tion­ers get results. I hope you enjoy and find value in some of the fol­low­ing links.

• “What is Big Data?” (YouTube). The Econ­o­mist asked thought lead­ers, entre­pre­neurs, and peo­ple on the streets of New York City: What is big data?

• “Forbes CMO Reveals How the Pub­lisher Uses Big Data” (CMO​.com). Tom Davis, CMO of Forbes, spoke at the Dig­i­tal Strat­egy Inno­va­tion Sum­mit in New York City in March. His topic of con­ver­sa­tion: how the Forbes pub­lisher is using data to bet­ter inform and serve audi­ences, jour­nal­ists, and marketers.

• “Lit­tle Data Mat­ters, Too” (via Booz & Company’s Strategy+Business): encour­age­ment to take the “small data” approach — make big data bite-sized!

• “3 Ways Com­pa­nies Can Bet­ter Use Big Data in 2014” (Reuters): the real­ity of big data for the enter­prise and for mar­keters, and three quick tips for bet­ter using big data this year.

• “BIG Data Equals BIG Headache for Exec­u­tives” (Forbes): an overview of some of big data’s shortcomings.

• “The Right Stuff: 3 Steps to Turn Big Data Chaos into Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence Gold” (McK­in­sey & Com­pany): quick tips for get­ting to action and a great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence using big data.

• “Three Rea­sons You Need a Big Data and Ana­lyt­ics Strat­egy” (Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing blog): help for ana­lyz­ing whether your orga­ni­za­tion has the right big data and ana­lyt­ics strat­egy in place.

Thanks in advance to all those who will be join­ing us for our “Think­ing Small” break­out at Sum­mit — and here’s to putting your vast stores of data to use for you in dri­ving increased test­ing and opti­miza­tion, and bottom-line busi­ness results.

The vol­ume of busi­ness data world­wide is expected to dou­ble every 1.2 years.San­Disk LinkedIn