Analysis of QL2 and its products. Related subjects include:
December 7, 2007
Here are some highlights of the QL2 story, per exec Mike McDermott.
- QL2’s main business is scraping price and other product offering data from the web for high-speed competitive analysis. For example, of their 250ish customers overall, over 90 are airlines. Online retailers are another big chunk of their customer base.
- QL2 also commonly partners with text mining companies in applications such as Voice of the Market or competitive intelligence. E.g., QL2 has been brought into a few deals each by Attensity, Clarabridge, and especially Temis.
- QL2 goes well beyond basic crawling. Notably, the system fills in forms with parameters. And of course it monitors pages for changes.
- QL2’s scripting language is, Mike tells me, very SQL-like. Hence the “QL” in the name.
- QL2 rolls its own filters, rather than using INSO or whoever. (Actually, what are the main file-reading filter choices these days? I’ve lost track.) Indeed, Mike fondly believes QL2 does a better job with PDFs than Adobe does.
- QL2 doesn’t want to be thought of as web-only. Rather, Mike likes my formulation of “text data ETL, web or otherwise.” That said, he freely admits QL2’s strength is in Extract rather than in Transform or Load.