While Arena was formally founded by Michael Rosenbaum in 2015 (when it was known as Pegged Software), its roots began long before. Early in his career, while he was a Fellow at Harvard and working with the White House in economics and law, Rosenbaum saw how inefficient the labor market could be since it is primarily based on subjective perceptions of a candidate’s future performance. By capturing and applying a large amount of data to create more accurate predictions of a candidate’s performance, Rosenbaum argued that making the labor market work better could solve a host of problems. Seeing the potential to rethink the way hiring is done, he decided to put his theory into practice.
In 2001 Rosenbaum assembled a team to develop an analytics engine for selecting candidates based on data, and he created a technology company called Catalyst DevWorks using these principles. Not only has Catalyst proven his theory, it continues to realize substantial growth and garner praise from the press (including the Wall Street Journal and CIO magazine), industry analysts (including Gartner), and clients (including Nike and L'Oréal).
In 2010, the engine was ready to move beyond technology and Rosenbaum incubated Pegged Software inside Catalyst to use the same principles to help health care organizations improve their outcomes. Our first client was Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and our goal was to reduce employee turnover in clinical and administrative positions by 10%. In fact, initial turnover decreased by 58%, and after the machine learning effects improved the accuracy of the algorithms turnover was decreased by 77%. In 2015 Pegged Software became a separate company and in 2016 we changed the name to Arena.