We aim to establish a big data observatory that can become a central hub of knowledge for development professionals, practitioners, and scholars. Because the current issue is not just a lack of data, but rather a lack of knowledge about what data exists and how it can be used, the observatory will be a central hub that can collect relevant links, resources, and information about the data sources and their characteristics (metadata). It could be especially useful in the contexts of development because much of the work done to collect and apply big data has been carried out in proprietary and opaque ways by the private sector. Scholars and practitioners currently have little ability to gain an overview of the ways that big data has been harnessed in the contexts of development. This is especially important in contexts where scarce resources are deployed. Importantly, this hub will serve as a digital ‘place’ in which we can bring together stakeholders as a way of seeding a conversation about big data and development.