This work examines the role of Big Data Analytics in addressing contemporary challenges associated with current changes in institutions of higher education. The paper first explores the potential of Big Data Analytics to support instructors, students and policy analysts to make better evidence based decisions. Secondly, the paper presents an institutional framework for exploring Big Data at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Thirdly, a series of use-case scenarios are presented to demonstrate the benefits of Big Data in Higher Education, and some of the challenges associated with implementation. Finally the paper concludes by outlining future directions relating to the institutional project on Big Data at the University of Otago.