Yes, Perl can be used to process the data. However, I don't know if it can be used to scrape the data. I'd just start with that and collect the data.
For me, looking at historical data is of limited use -- if I were going to write anything is this area, I'd write a training tool to give me feedback and/or support on what my hunch says. And to me, that means real-time processing -- I'd want to be piping the dealer chat into a system that would give me immediate feedback.
So, good luck with your project.
Alex / talexb / Toronto
Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.