Oracle DBAs draw false conclusions

There is a disturbing trend in Oracle whereby beginner DBAs are tempted to take a single "test case", and over generalize it, drawing false conclusions and inferring causation where none exists. 

Instead of a full-blown benchmark using real SQL workloads, some DBAs misunderstand basic science and suggest that a single "test case" can be used to infer causation and explain how Oracle behaves.

For centuries, scientists have used statistically significant correlations for its predictive validity. 

If Event A correlates Event B with 99% predictive validity, then you can use this fact to predict events, even if you do not know the root cause of the correlation. 

While it might be nice to unravel the root cause of a correlation, it is the strength of the correlation that matters, not the root cause. 


Many DBAs make the common mistake of assuming causation between actions and results, when in reality there be no causation at all.


In a recent scientific study, scientists asked teachers to apply reward and punishment and see which was more effective, rewarding punctual students while punishing those who were late.  However, this test was "rigged" by the scientists, who randomly assigned students to be prompt or tardy. 

Universally, the teachers concluded that punishment worked best, wrongly inferring causation between a random event and their reaction to the event.

To learn more about how DBAs make these mistakes in inferring causation, read the full article here:

http://www.dba-oracle.com/t_prediction_causation_correlation.htm

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