How 4dDX Works

Before reading this, you’ll find it useful to start with an overview.

How 4dDX Works

4dDX works by laying out real-world definitions of how data capabilities should ideally perform. Each definition is presented in the form of objective statements, which a business uses to target and measure the performance of its data capabilities.

4dDX defines data capabilities at three levels of detail:

  1. Dimensions: One of the four categories of data capabilities in 4dDX.
  2. Capabilities: A specific data capability within a dimension.
  3. Criteria: One of three types of criteria applied to each data capability.

The three types of capability criteria, are:

  1. Defining criteria, which specify the content and configuration of the capability.
  2. Operating criteria, which specify how the capability should be deployed and managed.
  3.  Measurement criteria, which specify how to monitor the performance of the capability.

Across all of its 4 dimensions, the 4dDX framework defines 21 individual capabilities and 190 specific criteria. One example of each these is shown below.



1: Dimension

Data Value (1 example of 4)
‘Data is a high value strategic asset, ful?lling a prominent role in the business’s overarching strategy, and is measurably driving achievement of the business’s goals‘.

2: Capability

Data Science and Analytics (1 example of 21)
‘Through the application of data science, visualisation and analytics, data provides the business with accurate and relevant insights and intelligence, which informs and drives the e?ectiveness of business actions and decisions‘.

3: Criteria

Definition (1 example of 190)
‘The business shares an agreed understanding of what KPIs, OKRs and other metrics are appropriate for measuring the business’s performance‘.

The entire content of the 4dDX framework is published in two document formats:

  • A pdf ‘mind map’, providing a highly visual presentation of all of the capability definitions and their hierarchy across the three levels of detail.
  • A spreadsheet, providing an interactive record of all of the capability definitions which can be easily filtered and sorted.

Both of these documents are available by selecting ‘4dDX Framework PDF’ or 4dDX Framework Spreadsheet’ in your client portal.

The 4dDX framework also comes to life in an online data capability maturity assessment, which uses all of the 21 capability statements and 190 criteria to powerfully assess data capability maturity in a way that is robust, actionable and easily repeatable. If you’re using the assessment tools, you’ll find them by selecting ‘Data Capability Maturity Assessment’ in your client portal.

How to Benefit From 4dDX

The 4dDX framework is effective in maximising data value, when it is applied in the following ways.


4dDX Method

1. Rapidly develop a data strategy that the business can relate to, is highly practical and simple to implement.
  • Apply 4dDX as a comprehensive guide for capturing all essential aspects of data strategy in a lightweight and practical framework.
  • Use 4dDX to both see the strategic ‘big picture’ and specify the detail that supports the big picture, so that all levels of stakeholders are engaged with the right level of information.
  • Overall, use the 4dDX framework to devise a data strategy that covers all of the essential detail – whilst also being practical, agile and be highly implementable.
2. Identify, prioritise and close gaps in data capabilities, by assessing capability maturity in a way that is aligned to data strategy and simple enough to repeat in order to track capability development.
  • Use the the same 4dDX framework that underpins your data strategy, as the basis for assessing how well your business is equipped to achieve its data goals.
  • Use 4dDX to prioritise and roadmap data capability development, by objectively correlating the results of the assessment with your strategic data goals.
  • Apply 4dDX as a common framework that shapes your data capability KPIs according to your data strategy, so that capability maturity can be quickly and easily reassessed to monitor their evolution over time.
3. Rapidly develop data capabilities which are highly effective in generating data value, by being closely aligned with the business’s strategy and goals.
  • Use 4dDX to define the right arrangement of data capabilities for meeting strategic requirements, in a way that is practical and easy to implement.
  • Apply 4dDX as a common framework that consistently links your data capabilities with your data strategy, so that capabilities are developed in ways that achieve strategic goals.
  • Exploit the simultaneous simplicity and depth of 4dDX, to spend less time defining data capabilities which leaves more time for actually developing them.
4. Evolve the business’s data culture in ways which ensure that people in the business care about data, and handle and use data effectively.
  • Use 4dDX to visualise and present your business’s data landscape, in a way that helps everyone understand how data works in your business and defines how data relates to people’s departments and roles.
  • Foster people’s engagement by publishing the data capability maturity analysis generated by the 4dDX based assessment, to highlight capability gaps and communicate capability growth in a way that people can relate to and is visibly aligned with data strategy.

Let’s Start a Conversation

If this all sounds like something you think your business should be doing, let’s start the conversation.