Troubleshooting Techniques: Correlation vs Causation | Tech, No Babel

Troubleshooting Techniques: Correlation vs Causation

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On today’s Tech, No Babel: Troubleshooting Techniques: Correlation vs Causation

There’s a danger that you can fall into when you’re troubleshooting. It’s possible to start to think that things that are correlated in time are cause and effect. That may be the case, but it may not as well.

Today’s featured image shows this mistake perfectly well. Time is the only relationship between use of Internet Explorer and the murder rate, but you may be tempted to think that they’re somehow linked because of the chart I’m showing here.

Don’t. There’s no relationship between these things. Likewise, while “what changed” is a good question to ask, not all changes caused what happened after them. Maybe they did, but there should be a stronger correlation. If something is truly a cause, it should make sense. Work by a plumber is unlikely to cause a projector to quit working, but work by an electrician might.

For more examples, watch the video above.

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Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Lexington City Church (formerly Quest Community Church) in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to a peak of 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines. He has thousands of members of his ProPresenter Users' Group on Facebook and thousands of subscribers to his YouTube channel.