The power of big data and their applications are evident through the enormous attention they have received over the past few years, with the majority of the research focusing on solving technical and business problems. However, the challenge remains on how to harness the potential of big data in order to come up with innovative solutions on various societal problems. Big data have the potential to change the way that entrepreneurs as well as the other stakeholders of a social ecosystem take decisions, and develop new paths to create social innovation by taking data-driven decisions. Nonetheless, there is limited understanding on how social ecosystems need to change to embrace the advancement that big data entail. There is a need to institutionalize innovation through big data and social entrepreneurship, and examine how to successfully exploit big data towards achieving social good and sustainable change. We suggest building on the current state of the art, and go beyond it by merging and extending the findings with insights from the different stakeholders involved in the social innovation process. Further, we propose developing and testing a framework of best practices, that will be used as a roadmap by interested parties to successfully employ big data for social innovation, through the development of prototype applications which will clearly showcase the impact of big data on addressing societal challenges. This position paper concludes with research questions and challenges for future studies in the area.