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 Student Data Management System



The DIT Design Studio is a makerspace of the campus of the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology.  

Accurate records of student membership, projects and studio use is required for reporting and beneficial to infor m strategic growth. Some makerspaces use paper records which are time-consuming, result in multiple errors and require additional labor for data storage and retrieval. As studio manager, I decided to create a online 


I interviewed report authors from out international team at Rice University and the DIT administration to identify the data periodically required from the Design Studio and preferred methods of information format, access and classification. I also surveyed a number of studio members to understand their own pain points and existing data management processes. 


From my research I identified a number of useful insights and opportunities: 

  1. Each data entry required comprehensive member information. 

  2. Existing system required repeated entry of the same data during all studio activities (member induction, workshops, entry, machine certification) which was arduous for students. 

  3. Students already carry around an ID card for access around the school and thus, own a lanyard or card holder. 

An ideal system would allow for fast member check-in, reduce the number of times the same information is collected and allows for fast retrieval of important data points for reporting and strategy. 

  • Repeated collection of similar information

  • Paper data storage 

  • Data not readily available to international team

  • Arduous check-in procedures

Concept Generation

I aimed to reduce the pain points identified during research, ensuring that comprehensive member information is only collected once, check-in times were made shorter and our international team could access the data without my intervention. 

  • Comprehensive member information collected only ONCE. 

  • All data stored online in a securable database. 

  • Data immediately accessible to international team on online dashboard/spreadsheets

  • Quick barcode scanning check-in process

Final Programs

1. Unique ID card generator

The 'Cards Generator' platform is a Google Slideshow with a custom backend program I wrote using JavaScript. The program allows a user to enter requested cards, collects key student information required for ID cards from the master database & writes the cards as shown in the image above for printing.


The program: 

  • automatically deletes previous cards generated. 

  • includes a custom menu allows for printing of all, custom range or specific cards. 

  • automatically collects specific from master database & writes it on ID cards in chosen formatting. 

  • uses http request to send ID number to conversion website   & returns ID barcode image which is appended to individual ID card.

  • saves paper & ink by maximizing space usage, 8 cards per sheet. 


2. Studio check-in system

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-29 at 13.45.29.jpeg

The 'Studio Check-in' platform is a Google Spreadsheet with a backend JavaScript program. The program allows entry of the member ID number (by barcode scanning OR typing) & visit reason, sends ID number to master database, retrieves corresponding student data then writes the information into the visit database. The visit database includes a dashboard for tracking of visitor data trends. 



1. Reduced number of work hours used on data collection and management. 

2. International team has ready access to raw data & key reporting metrics without need for manager intervention. 

3. System currently also in use at makerspace in Malawi with continuing plans for expansion. 

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