For instance if you use the Identify Features tool within the map to bring up the attribute data on a particular object you are then viewing the related row stored within the table. Similary clicking on rows within the attribute table will highlight the relevant objects within your map.
Most GIS desktop software has the facility for sorting on a specific field. For instance if you had a City field this could be sorted in ascending or descending order. You achieve this by clicking on the column head or by accessing a menu option. Again statistical information regarding a specific field within the attribute table can be obtained with most GIS desktop software. Both ArcGIS and MapInfo have statistical functionality available from within the attribute table. QGIS has an option providing similar information but this is not currently available within the attribute table itself.
If you would like to further explore how GIS could help your organisation jps services offers one and two day training courses in QGIS, ArcGIS and MapInfo.