Correlation
Overview

In statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variable
Random variable
In probability and statistics, a random variable or stochastic variable is, roughly speaking, a variable whose value results from a measurement on some type of random process. Formally, it is a function from a probability space, typically to the real numbers, which is measurable functionmeasurable...

s or two sets of data
Data
The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...

. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence.

Familiar examples of dependent phenomena include the correlation between the physical statures
Human height
Human height is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body standing erect.When populations share genetic background and environmental factors, average height is frequently characteristic within the group...

of parents and their offspring, and the correlation between the demand
Demand curve
In economics, the demand curve is the graph depicting the relationship between the price of a certain commodity, and the amount of it that consumers are willing and able to purchase at that given price. It is a graphic representation of a demand schedule...

for a product and its price. Correlations are useful because they can indicate a predictive relationship that can be exploited in practice.