Dove, Inc., performs a Point-In-Time (PIT) survey to quantify the homeless population in Macon County. Their process consisted of hand-counting paper surveys according to guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This took approximately six months as the HUD online entry system rejected submissions for totals that did not reconcile with associated community data. This manual process was subject to a high probability of human error. Students worked with representatives from Dove to analyze the existing process, recommended a new survey method, and design and develop a database application to collect, store, and report homeless data using the extremely complex rules that HUD had given. The database efficiently stores the data from the surveys, generates reports to mimic HUD’s online entry system, and includes an easy-to-use interface. Two student interns continue to work on moving this project forward by providing feature enhancements, training users, and implementing HUD changes to the reports.


Mari Mann Herbs Co., a small shop here in the heart of Decatur that focuses on providing their customers with high quality products centered around fresh herbs had their Information Technology resource unexpectedly leave the company. After a few months without an IT resource, Mari Mann paired up with Millikin University in revitalizing their now stale systems. The first leg of this race was to manually edit the scripts containing errors within their system and make sure that the new code ran as well if not better than it did before. This was completed in the Fall of 2015. This semester students are working on suggesting a new server (hardware, operating system, and software) along with ways to improve their networking infrastructure in their current system.

BabyTALK, a local non-profit organization, needed to store donor information in a simple, effective manner. BabyTALK specializes in educational programs for early childhood development. Because BabyTALK is a non-profit organization, they require donations in order to fund these programs. This information was housed and maintained in a database that was not serving the client’s needs. Using Microsoft Access and database modeling tools, a data model was created that could store all donor information and metadata in an efficient manner. Queries, reports, and forms were also tailored to fit the client’s needs. The user interface was also simplified and made aesthetically pleasing. A student intern has continued to work with BabyTALK to improve upon the database.