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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle correlates with Global Warming!

Correlation analysis by Don Burleson

August 21, 2015

Oracle is correlated to global warming!

When performing predictive modeling, it’s the strength of the correlation that determines the validity of an observation, and while it’s interesting to understand the root causation behind the correlation, it’s the strength of the correlation that matters.

"Predictions are difficult, especially about the future". Yogi Berra

Dr. Carolyn Hamm goes into great detail on the use of correlation strength in her recommended book Oracle Data Mining: Mining Gold from your Data Warehouse

Winston Churchill once said "The farther you can look into the past, the farther you can see into the future", and this applies to Oracle data as well,

Oracle knows this, and they have invested heavily in predictive modeling tools such as the "intelligent advisors" and the SGA and PGA advice tools:

For an example of the use of correlation in science, physicians noted a high correlation between patients taking the anti-depressant drug Wellbutrin (generic name Bupropion) and quitting smoking.  The strength of this correlation was statistically significant and had predictive validity, leading to the use of Wellbutrin as a quit smoking aid, under the name Zyban. 

The doctors don’t understand how using this drug helps people quit smoking, they only know that there is a strong correlation, and that’s all that matters.  (BTW, it works, I used it and I have not had a cigarette since 2008!)

Does Oracle cause Global Warming?

For centuries, scientists have used statistically significant correlations for its predictive validity.  If Event “A” correlates Event “B” with 95% predictive validity, then you can use this fact to predict events, even if you don’t know the root cause of the correlation. 

While it might be nice to unravel the cause, it’s the science of the correlation that matters.

On the other hand, there may be no causation at all behind items that are highly correlated, simply coincidence! 

For example, according to Google trends, Oracle and global warming are correlated.  Does this correlation imply causation? (1)

There are also questions about the validity of Goggle trends itself.  For example, I found this Google Trends keyword suggestion to be creepy:


(1)  There is not any scientific proof that global warming is tied to human activity

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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