Erik's AI tool streamlines data analysis for businesses and researchers

QualAI, Erik’s AI-based research tool, provides researchers and businesses with a trustworthy and efficient method for interpreting data sets.



40 under 40

Award nomination


Spent on ads

Erik highlights how his tool helps diverse users including individual researchers, organizations, and students. Customers can sign up using a custom signup button or the default floating Member Button, which also serves as content navigation upon logging in.


A few takeaways from Erik’s success:

Meet the co-founder

Before starting his online business, Erik Alanson, co-founder of QualAI, was teaching and working on completing a doctoral dissertation. During this time, he experienced firsthand the lack of trustworthy data analysis tools.
Driven to improve qualitative data analysis for researchers and businesses, Erik co-developed QualAI, an AI-based research tool that improves the reliability and efficiency of data set interpretation.


Erik shared his membership journey with us. Find out what he had to say in our Q&A.

Which digital product(s) do you sell?

AI-based research tool

What is the pain point you solve for your customers?

Manual data interpretations are inefficient, prone to researcher bias, and ultimately not trustworthy. By using QualAI, we’ve developed a research tool that provides a more reliable, efficient, and less biased interpretation of data sets.

What were you doing before your membership business?

Teaching and completing a doctoral dissertation

What challenges did you have in the early stages of your business? How did you solve those challenges?

Publicity — we didn’t have marketing capital so everything was word-of-mouth or referral based. 

Startup capital — we are a small team and haven’t had a significant private equity investor, so we used our own money to build the tool.

Were there any keys to success, or big "a-ha!" moments that really elevated the growth of your business?

  • Invitations to serve as an SME [subject matter expert] at AI and research conferences.
  • Using my tool to successfully help peers and professional organizations interpret user feedback and data.
  • Invitation to be featured in Technology Magazine.
  • Nominated for Cincinnati 40 under 40 awards.
  • Published article on our business in Experience Magazine.

Did you have a social media following or large email list before you started your membership?


How do you market your membership and find new members?


Do you spend any money on paid advertisements?


Have you done anything to focus on retention and reduce canceled members?

We’ve tried communication with individual members and that has worked in some instances.

What are some of your favorite online tools for running your business?

Fiverr, LinkedIn, Canvas, WordPress, AI tools

Do you have a team helping with your membership business?

Nope, just me!

What's your source of inspiration?

While completing my doctoral dissertation, I was unimpressed with all of the data analysis tools in the market space. I thought I could do it better. I trained and became certified as an AI prompt engineer and built QualAI in response to wanting to improve qualitative data analyses for researchers and businesses.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?

Failure is inevitable. Everyone fails. It’s those who pick themselves up and try again who are successful.

What's next for your business?

Mobile app, marketing plan, TM [trademark], improved UI/UX