The information we handle can be systematized and organized in many ways. One is through comparative tables. They are general schemes with which it is possible to contrast the different elements that make up a certain theme with another similar one. In other words, it is a technique that facilitates the understanding of a subject through the schematic visualization of information.
General considerations on comparative tables
This type of scheme fulfills a triple function :
1) provides a synthesis of information,
2) compare the relevant data ,
3) the similarities and differences of a theme are shown.
As a general criterion, they are organized from several columns that distribute the information. These frameworks are applied in any type of activity, for example, in research, teaching, school activity or in the business world.
These informative tables facilitate the systematization of information. In this way, one organized theme can be compared to another. The concepts or ideas compared provide a global view, so it is more feasible to know a specific subject. Comparative Tables
A practical example
Let’s assume that we are intending to buy a new car, but we are in doubt between two models. From this initial concern, we created two different tables and noted relevant information about both. In it, we indicate specific data, such as displacement, type of engine, power, price, etc. When comparing the characteristics of the two cars, we use this tool to decide whether to buy one or the other. Comparative Tables
When there is no need to compare information, a summary table and other methodological tools can be used.
As the name implies, the comparative table serves to contrast information. However, when it comes to organizing data without comparing it with others, it is also possible to use another tool: the synoptic table . With this technique, it is intended to organize, dismember and hierarchize certain information.
It should be noted that comparative tables or synoptics are some of the traditional methods for developing study techniques , but there are also traditional concept maps, graphs, schematics or summaries. All of these methods reinforce learning and understanding of information. Comparative Tables