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Supporting a key children’s charity to make data-driven decisions with online assessments

Case highlights

  • Questionmark enabled Starlight to improve its internal data literacy and its ability to make more informed decisions for the organization.
  • Questionmark supported Starlight’s ability to turn data into actionable business insights.

Tools used

  • Reporting 
  • Ready-Made Data Literacy assessment with Cambridge Assessments


Starlight is the UK’s leading children’s charity for play in healthcare. They are dedicated to using the power of play and escapism to make the experience of illness and treatment better for children and their families. All of their services are funded through the generosity of the public through donations and fundraising activities.

With such meaningful work under Starlight’s belt, it’s no wonder that the drive to optimize operations and continue to improve its workflow was high on the list of priorities. A key area that Starlight wished to develop more was its data literacy as well as understand the current data literacy level the organization was working at. The desired outcome of this was to be able to provide reporting dashboards and insights that would enable more effective decision making in the future.

Broader still, Starlight hoped to speed up their processes, communicate better internally, inform decisions and, of course, improve the results from fundraising and children’s services while delivering a great experience for their employees out in the field.


It was clear from initial conversations with the Starlight team that the core focus was on data literacy, a skill often overlooked in many organizations and yet integral to success when it comes to making informed decisions and acting on company data.

As part of our wide range of assessment formats, and in collaboration with Cambridge Assessments, we were able to provide Starlight with a superior data literacy test:

“Most other data literacy surveys were based on self-report, and having used a self-report model previously, it was easy to bias the results and not give meaningful insight into where to focus efforts, especially when the sample size was relatively small (around 40, in our case). Questionmark’s Data Literacy assessment was the only example of a “practical” based approach to testing the data literacy of an individual.”

David-Amos Reeves, Starlight

Delivering data literacy tests for maximum ROI

For maximum impact, every member of staff at Starlight was asked to complete Questionmark’s data literacy assessment, from Administrators and Coordinators to Managers, Heads of Departments and Directors. The data literacy assessment was time-limited and completed independently within a period of about 6 weeks.

The results showed that Starlight, overall, was actually quite a data literate organization, but helped David and his team focus their efforts on helping their stakeholders evaluate the quality and appropriateness of data – an area of the assessment that needed some improvement. It also helped colleagues recognize where they could include elements of data literacy in their personal development, and formed the foundation of the conversation about what being an evidence-led organization is really about.

How reporting and data literacy work harmony

Of course, to make the most of a data literate workforce you need access to clear, concise and accurate data reporting. With Questionmark’s range of reports, not only did Starlight save time and reduce the risk of human error, but also provided them with transparent results from which they could make more informed business decisions.


“Having worked in the charity sector for some time, and in a role that has championed a cultural shift in the sector to be more “supporter centric”, it is easy to recognise bad habits around data. There is a growing body of data literate professionals in the sector, and it’s important for charities to really understand the importance of data literacy across the entire organisation in order to be successful. More charities should be using tools like Questionmark’s data literacy assessment to understand how to improve data literacy within their organisation.”

David-Amos Reeves, Starlight

By moving to Questionmark’s online assessment solution, Starlight was able to meet key goals including:

  • Measure and improve their organization’s data literacy for better analysis and use of company data
  • Harness Questionmark’s reporting tools to identify what was working and what needed improvement
  • Save time and reduce the risk of human error when collating and reporting on data

“We have only used a tiny part of what Questionmark can offer, but my experience of working with them has been great. My contact at Questionmark has been responsive and supportive, and I’ve enjoyed working with her – thank you.”

David-Amos Reeves, Starlight

To discover how Questionmark could transform your organization, talk to us today. 

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