Department Spotlight on Business Intelligence



In April 2012, Pepperdine's Chief Information Officer, Jonathan See, created the Office of Business Intelligence (OBI) department to focus on bringing together data from internal and external sources to provide the information required to help University leaders in their strategic planning.

This data can help senior administration visualize trends in student retention, analyze aspects of student learning, explore the use of financial aid, and improve the student experience at Pepperdine.

This intense data analysis is a new focus at Pepperdine and for the Information Technology department. This seasoned team of four data specialists works closely with senior administration and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to provide user-friendly tools and applications to analyze University data. The OBI also guides the University to build a solid data collecting infrastructure and create best practices to grow a robust data warehouse for Pepperdine.

The OBI's first focus is on information from the PeopleSoft Student Administration system. Future plans will incorporate data from areas like Finance, HR, Housing and Residence Life, National Student Clearinghouse, and the Department of Education.

Meet the Business Intelligence Team

The OBI team consists of highly experienced individuals whose combined service with Information Technology at the University is more than 60 years. Get to know the team below and visit their website to learn more:

Novita Rogers 

Novita Rogers

Director, Business Intelligence

Novita is the Director of Business Intelligence at Pepperdine University where she is responsible for transforming the work done by the University into insights and knowledge about the organization. She strives to get the right information to the right people at the right time to ensure the institution has the necessary information to inform, implement, and further its strategic initiatives and goals.

Novita also oversees Pepperdine's ePortfolio application, course evaluation system, and student success initiative. She uses her 10+ years of experience in information systems, her ability to understand business needs, and her empathy toward her business partners to help meet the mission and vision of the organization.

Novita is a Pepperdine alumna with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Mathematics and a Masters in Educational Technology.

Henry Lai 

Henry Lai

Senior IT Manager, Business Intelligence

Henry has been leading data warehousing initiatives for more than 10 years with the goal of helping provide timely and trustworthy data to decision makers at the University. He is an alumnus of Pepperdine University earning a B.S. in Business Administration. He has served in several roles within Information Technology at Pepperdine over the past 20+ years providing broad experience with university information and business processes. He is responsible for data warehouse architecture and tools such as Extraction, Transformation, and Load (ETL), and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP Cube), as well as reporting and presentation layer technologies. He also provides guidance and standards for the sourcing, cleansing, transformation, enriching, and delivery of data for use by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and the decision makers it supports.

Tom Layman 

Thomas "Tom" Layman

Lead Application Developer, Business Intelligence

Tom has been with Pepperdine University for more than 30 years. He has been part of the data warehousing group for the past four years. Prior to joining the data warehousing group Tom spent 25+ years within Pepperdine's Information Technology division working extensively with the student and alumni administrative systems. Tom serves as the lead data warehouse developer focusing on data integrity which maintains trust in the reporting solutions provided. He also supports online analytical processing and regulatory reporting needs.

Ory de la rosa 

Ory De La Rosa

Sr. Business Analyst, Business Intelligence

Ory is the senior business analyst of Business Intelligence. He transforms raw data into meaningful and useful information to provide insights about the University and allow for strategic decision-making.

He has worked with Pepperdine University for over four years. Prior to joining the Business Intelligence team, Ory worked in Information Technology's Administration office assisting with administrative and financial duties. He also gained experience in project design, management, and financial planning as a research associate at J.D. Power and Associates, located in Westlake Village, California.

Ory is a 2006 Pepperdine alumnus with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.


Business Intelligence 2013 Accomplishments

In just under a year, the OBI team has wasted no time in creating strong partnerships with administrative leaders at all schools of Pepperdine.  The most notable accomplishments are listed below.

Graziadio School of Business and Management

The OBI team worked with Graziadio faculty, Charla Griffy Brown, Jim DiLellio, and Ray Valadez, to collect the necessary data to help determine what student BSM data could help predict MBAJ student success.

Data Dictionary

To ensure uniformity in reporting, the OBI team has begun a University Data Dictionary. The data dictionary attempts to standardize the terminology used in data collecting to ensure consistent reporting across the University.

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP or Cubes)

The OBI team created interactive reports, also known as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) or a "cube," to help Pepperdine leadership and other departments perform data analysis on their own.

The culmination of six reports (Freshman Retention Report, Seaver Undergraduate Completion Data, Grad/Prof Degree Completion Data, Seaver Enrollment & Performance Data, GSEP Enrollment & Performance Data, and Graziadio Enrollment & Performance Data) brings together extensive information to help shed light on student retention and performance trends at the University.

The cubes were created for the Office of Institution Effectiveness which hosts these reports on its website: These reports contain detailed information; access is granted on an as-needed basis.