With big data growing rapidly in importance over the past few years’, academics and practitioners have been considering the means through which they can incorporate the shifts these technologies bring into their competitive strategies. To date, there has been an emphasis on the technical aspects of big data with limited attention on the organizational changes they entail and how they should be leveraged strategically. As with any novel technology, it is important to understand the mechanisms and processes through which big data can add business value to companies and have a clear picture of the different elements and their interdependencies. To this end, the present paper aims to provide a theoretical discussion leading up to a research framework that can help explain the mechanisms through which big data lead to competitive performance gains. The research framework is grounded on past empirical work on IT-business, and builds on the resource-based view (RBV) and dynamic capabilities view (DCV) of the firm. By identifying the main areas of focus for big data and explaining the mechanisms through which they should be leveraged, this paper attempts to add to literature on how big data should be examined as a source of a competitive advantage.