in reply to Data Analysis
Perhaps what is more important is the wide range of apps that Perl can be applied to, at really low cost. I take radiological data from a Geiger Counter in Perl. Once the data is in the clutches of the Perl script, really anything is possible. Some of my recent code simplifies downstream processing by taking a simple sum of three data points, which happens to produce data samples that correspond to micro Roentgens per hour. The script then inserts the summed values into a MySQL databse. Other code then reads the data from the table. You can do any type of algebra in between, but more critically you can move the data around, reformat it, do side calculations, and then FTP it or make HTML or PNG's from it. Matlab wants $3,500 US for their "web page formatter". There is no easy to use FTP module for Matlab, either. (You can exec out etc., but this is not very pure.)
In CPAN there are wonderful statistical modules, Fast Fourier Transforms, and even Neural Networks, for serious data grinders. Look in the Math section and stand back, cause you might get hurt with all of the output.