Correlation vs Regression: Difference Between Correlation and Regression

The basic need for the difference between both terms is connected to the statistical analytical approach it offers to find the mutual connections between two variables. The measure of each of those connections and the impact of those predictions are used to identify those analytical patterns in our day to day lives.

It is quite easy to get confused between the two terms. Here’s how their difference would be highlighted with a key note. The main difference in correlation vs regression is that the measures of the degree of a relationship between two variables; let them be x and y. Here, correlation is for the measurement of degree, whereas regression is a parameter to determine how one variable affects another.

Must Read: Multiple Linear Regression in R

Correlation Coefficient

A correlation coefficient is applied to measure a degree of association in variables and is usually called Pearson’s correlation coefficient, which derives from its origination source. This method is used for linear association problems. Think of it as a combination of words meaning, a connection between two variables, i.e., correlation.

When a variable tends to change from one to another, whether direct or indirect, it is considered correlated. It is labeled such as there is no effect of one variable on the other. To create a better representation of this quality, let us assume such variables and name them x and y.

Dreaming to Study Abroad? Here is the Right program for you

The correlation coefficient is measured on a scale with values from +1 through 0 and -1. When both variables increase, the correlation is positive, and if one variable increases, and the other decreases, the correlation is negative.

To measure the changes in each of these two units, they are considered positive and negative.

Positive change implies that the variables x and y have movement in the same direction.

Negative change implies that the variables x and y are moving in opposite directions.

If there is a positive or negative effect on the variables, it creates an opportunity to understand the nature of trends in the future and predict it for the best of needs. This hypothesis would be completely based on the nature of variables and would define the nature of any physical or digital events.

The main beneficial source of correlation is that the rate of concise and clear summary defining the two variables’ nature is quite high compared to the regression method.


Regression can be defined as the parameter to explain the relationship between two separate variables. It is more of a dependent feature where the action of one variable affects the outcome of the other variable. To put in the simplest terms, regression helps identify how variables affect each other.

The regression-based analysis helps to figure out the relationship status between two variables, suppose x and y. That helps create estimation on events and structures to make future projections more relatable.

The intention of regression-based analysis is to estimate the value of a random variable that is entirely based on the two variables, i.e., x and y. Linear regression analysis is the most aligned and suitable and fits almost all data points. The main advantage based on regression is the detailed analysis it creates, which is more sophisticated than correlation. This creates an equation that can be used for optimizing the data structures for future scenarios.

Read: 6 Types of Regression Models in ML

Correlation vs Regression

Listed below are some key examples that will help create a better perspective on differentiating and understanding between both of them.

  • The regression will give relation to understand the effects that x has on y to change and vice-versa. With proper correlation, x and y can be interchanged and obtained to get the same results.
  • Correlation is based on a single statistical format or a data point, whereas regression is an entirely different aspect with an equation and is represented with a line.
  • Correlation helps create and define a relationship between two variables, and regression, on the other hand, helps to find out how one variable affects another.
  • The data shown in regression establishes a cause and effect pattern when change occurs in variables. When changes are in the same direction or opposite for both variables, for correlation here, the variables have a singular movement in any direction.
  • In correlation, x and y can be interchanged; in regression, it won’t be applicable.
  • Prediction and optimization will only work with the regression method and would not be viable in the correlation analysis.
  • The cause and effect methodology would be attempted to establish by regression, whereas not it.

When to Use

  • Correlation – When there is an immediate requirement for a direction to understand, the relationship between two or more variables is involved.
  • Regression – When there is a requirement to optimize and explain the numerical response from y to x. To understand and create an approximation of how y an influence x.

To summarize

When looking for a solution to build a robust model, an equation, or for predicting response, regression is the best approach. If looking for a quick response over a summary to identify the strength of a relationship, the correlation would be the best alternative.


Lead the AI Driven Technological Revolution

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Accelerate Your Career with upGrad

Our Popular Machine Learning Course