Joanna Schloss
Some of the concepts that strike fear in other's hearts — big data analytics, IoT analytics, data warehousing — are the very topics that are near and dear to Joanna Schloss. Joanna manages to make the confusing and complex clear, an ability that can only come with deep knowledge. 

In her monthly columns, Joanna shares her enthusiasm for the potential of new technology to solve problems, and the capabilities that many organizations already have in place — both in existing technologies and accidental analysts — to get started. 

What’s your proudest accomplishment of 2015 (personal or professional)?

There’s nothing more gratifying to me than being able make a tangible difference through the sharing of ideas with colleagues, customers and peers. And looking back at 2015, I’m extremely proud of how often I was able to that. Whether through day-to-day conversations with customers, through published content such as my monthly contribution to CMSWire, or through speaking opportunities such as the one I had at Cassandra Summit 2015, I feel truly blessed to have had so many opportunities to share, converse, and hopefully, make a difference.   

What excites you about your field today?

Great new technology, of course! Whether you’re talking about in-memory technology, hosted analytics, or data and information management capabilities that far exceed what anyone ever could have imagined, the great minds in the IT industry continue to push the envelope, and every day you’re seeing creative new solutions come to fruition that help real customers deal with real challenges. If that doesn’t excite you, you’re in the wrong field! 

What inspires you?

I’m most inspired by the fact that as an industry — with vendors and customers playing an equally important role — we’re finally starting to make good on the promise of big data analytics, and are delivering true value in the process. When you look at some of the tangible, real-world, and often life-changing outcomes now being achieved thanks to data-driven decision making and the insights that come from smart data management and analytics, you begin to get a clear picture of just how powerful data can be, and just how limitless the possibilities are if we keep pushing forward.     

What personal or professional goal have you set for 2016? 

To do everything I can to inspire the women of tomorrow to join the women of today and change the perception that IT is a man’s world. IT is a world for the forward-thinking, for the hard working and for the determined. That sounds like a heck of a lot of the women I know.            

If I had a magic wand and could change one thing about my industry it would be …

Closing the gender gap. Like the world in general, the world of IT is a better, fuller place when it’s enriched by the insights, innovations and leadership of men and women alike.