As an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the City of Boise, I designed, developed, and deployed a Microsoft Access application to facilitate management and reporting of city-owned affordable housing property information. Before the application, data scattered across spreadsheets, documents, and other files elongated the time necessary to produce simple reports. Now reports and data are easily produced, branded, and shared.
To start, I analyzed all the available property information. In addition, I examined the array of systems that the City uses for various stages of property management, from the waiting list for prospective tenants to work order tickets for repairs. Based on this analysis, I determined that this application would fill a gap and provide valuable, fast reporting features not currently available in other systems already in use.
Following analysis, I determined the application’s goals:
- Provide a single source of truth for property data (versus many spreadsheets)
- Generate branded summary reports on properties
- Allow easy export of data to excel for analysis by team members
- Allow for sorting units based on team-defined tags
To ensure that the application would accomplish these goals, I designed a data model capable of storing all of the necessary property data. After many conversations to clarify the cardinality of specific relationships, I finalized the data model and implemented it as a MS Access database.
User Interface Design
Referencing City style guidelines, I designed the user interface with strong contrast and consistent colors for clickable items.
The application replaces hours previously required to produce reports with seconds. Users can also export branded reports for sharing in meetings with management or full datasets in Excel format for detailed analysis.