It is a common belief that big data and real-time data analytics help organizations to improve their competitiveness. Indeed, studies and publications tend to present examples of successful application of big data technologies in companies. There is much less emphasis on companies that have encountered difficulties in adapting big data solutions. The goal of this article is to identify the necessary conditions for gaining business value from data. I argue that neither data itself nor advanced analytical tools produce meaningful value. The key issue is to connect data analysis with a specific business context and to do it quickly. I conclude the article with a model that identifies the big data capabilities needed to achieve this goal.