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.[tweet “Correlation isn’t causation. No matter which of the troubleshooting techniques you choose, be careful not to make that mistake.”]
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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