This essay discusses the use of big data analytics (BDA) as a strategy of enquiry for advancing information systems (IS) research. In broad terms, we understand BDA as the statistical modelling of large, diverse, and dynamic data sets of user-generated content and digital traces. BDA, as a new paradigm for utilising big data sources and advanced analytics, has already found its way into some social science disciplines. Sociology and economics are two examples that have successfully harnessed BDA for scientific enquiry. Often, BDA draws on methodologies and tools that are unfamiliar for some IS researchers (e.g., predictive modelling, natural language processing). Following the phases of a typical research process, this article is set out to dissect BDA’s challenges and promises for IS research, and illustrates them by means of an exemplary study about predicting the helpfulness of 1.3 million online customer reviews. In order to assist IS researchers in planning, executing, and interpreting their own studies, and evaluating the studies of others, we propose an initial set of guidelines for conducting rigorous BDA studies in IS.