in reply to searching across a file then parsing
I'm going to take a wild guess here... you're not just new to Perl (it's not called 'PERL', by the way), you're new to PerlMonks, right? :) Very important thing here - please pay attention:
YOU HAVE TO USE CODE TAGS AROUND YOUR CODE.
Otherwise, it will all come out as one line. Which is what happened. Which is why your question is essentially not answerable - since, as you yourself pointed out above, we need to see the format of your data file.
Please re-edit your post and put <c> code goes here </c> tags around the code/data part of it. Folks would be happy to help you then, I'm sure.
I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.
-- Bernard Moitessier, "The Long Way"